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How To: Use AdWords tools to analyse your competition

No matter how big or small your business is, it pays to know the marketing ins-and-outs that can help you outstrip the competition. Sometimes that means taking your blinkers off to analyse exactly what that other plumber (or florist, or accounting firm, or boutique boulangerie) is doing.

Thankfully, there are lots of ways to find out where you stand against the competition and what you can be doing better – especially if your business is online. These small business marketing tips can help you boost your next campaign above and beyond the competition.


Start on the right foot

Before you dive into a suite of AdWords tools, it’s important to make sure you have the basics right. This includes doing simple and free competitor analysis on Google, such as:

  • searching for key terms and listing competitor companies
  • taking note of any new or unexpected competitors
  • noting what content comes up for these searches (is it bottom of the funnel content? Do you have an opportunity to jump in with something more meaningful to customers?)
  • noting any common sales messages that appear in competitor ad copy.

Once you’ve got an idea of what the marketplace looks like, you can get a more nuanced understanding of the competitor landscape (and gain that competitive advantage) with sophisticated AdWords tools.


Explore your competitor’s source code

You can gain a lot of insights into your competition with a few key clicks. Simply open a competitor’s website and do the following:

  1. Right-click and select ‘view page source’.
  2. CTRL+F and search for ‘keyword’.
  3. If anything comes up, you’ll be able to read through which keywords your competition is using and take note of any unique search terms or missed opportunities.

Check your search rankings with SEMrush

Understanding where you stand on the SEO ladder is a great way to know what keywords are working for you and your competition. SEMrush gives you a detailed overview of all your SEO traffic – along with your competitors.

This tool is a must-have for ecommerce businesses that generate most of their conversions through search traffic. It shows top-level insights into what AdWords campaigns work effectively in your industry, and even estimates your competitor’s cost per click (so you can gauge just how much that PPC campaign is costing them).

Improve your ad copy with iSpionage

One thing that separates iSpionage from other AdWords tools is its unique formula for rating the effectiveness of your competitors’ copy. The Ad Effectiveness Index (or AEI) provides a score out of 100, allowing you to quantify how effective the competition’s ads are and set realistic and concrete targets for improving your own AdWords copy.

Research past competitor campaigns through Ad History

Ad History lets you see the results of previous AdWords campaigns in your industry. It’s a great way to gain a top-level understanding of which keywords are working in AdWords campaigns and which aren’t, so you can update your strategy accordingly.

Get a professional to give you the full picture

While all these tools can be the best help in the world, the only way to really understand AdWords and gain a competitive advantage is to have a professional knowledge of how AdWords works. Sure, there are lots of courses that can teach you how to rapidly interpret and respond to analytics, but these all take time, and if you want expert results fast, a professional is your best bet.

At Redline Digital, we believe in empowering our customers to make the most of every digital marketing campaign. That’s why we’ll work with you to develop effective AdWords campaigns and talk you through what works, what doesn’t and why.

To learn more about what the professionals can do for your online marketing strategy, contact Redline Digital today.

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