Paid Search Track: Competitive Intelligence
Blogosphere SearchFest 2010
Live blogging from Leisa Hall of Anvil Media, a Portland SEM Agency
Speaker: Mike Roberts, SpyFu
- Know the keywords that your competitors are buying and get to “the best” keywords they have. What happens when a competitor buys a keyword? They are willing to bet their hard earned cash that the keyword is going to make them money.
- 5 Reasons a keyword might NOT be profitable
- The lost money but it didn’t suck
- Inconclusive – not enough volume to make a decision
- Asleep at the wheel
- Vanity buying
- Randomness and libel – random people doing random things
Where does this leave us?
- Antidote – Time: the longer you run a keyword, the better. Eliminates: asleep at the wheel, inconclusive, didn’t suck, randomness (#1, 2, 3, 5)
- Antidote – Money: Accelerates the effect of time. Eliminates: vanity buying, randomness and libel (#4, 5)
- Antidote – Activity: Changes in ad copy, adding and removing keywords, managing bids. Eliminates: asleep at the wheel (#3)
- So, which ARE you competitors best keywords? What would you expect them to be? What are YOUR most profitable keywords – usually branded.
- “ebay” is THE most profitable keyword for eBay
- SpyFu helps to gain intelligence about what keywords you should try buying based on what your competitors are doing
- See which they are buying that you aren’t
- See where you overlap
- Identify profitable terms
- Filter out terms that aren’t universally profitable
- Tool helps winnow down to the best terms to act on
Speaker: Larry Kim, WordStream
How do we leverage competitive intelligence for both PPC & SEO?
- Alexa search analytics
- Types of Data to gather
- keyword lists
- estimates (CPC, competition, keyword difficulty)
- So how do we interpret this?
4 Popular competitive intelligence blunders
- Never assume your competitor’s keyword list is relevant to you. If your competitors are idiots, their keyword lists will be idiotic.
- Too much analysis, not enough action. Don’t get buried in data; make sure it’s actionable.
- Never mistake estimated competitive data for ACTUAL campaign data. The actual CPC’s you see could be lower, for example. Focus on improving Quality Score.
- Ad rank = Bid x Quality Score
- How to Improve Quality Score:
- refine keywords (negatives, etc.)
- tightly themed ad groups
- relevant ad copy and landing pages
- CI data is an important component of kw research, and should be use in ADDITION to other keyword research tools. Don’t forget to leverage your own web analytics data – this is information that is available only to you. The problem with the free tools is that everyone has access to the same data.
Workflow using Competitive Intelligence for PPC
- Determine what is working and what isn’t
- Target more specific, less competitive keyword niches; avoid hyper-competitive spaces
- As your keyword research grows, stop thinking about CI in terms of individual keywords; why?
- Instead, try to break up your keyword research into categories/subcategories and track CI data on a per-grouping basis
CI is an important component of KW research, but pick KW lists that are relevant to YOUR site first. Be bold; don’t be deterred by competitive landscapes. Try it out, adjust, analyze, act.
Q & A
- How do you determine a keyword is profitable?
- Can’t hack data, so use behavior – if an advertiser is consistently bidding on $100 term, it must be profitable