How to make a PPC Competitive Intelligence Report

PPC marketing is getting more expensive and many are finding their profits diminishing. A PPC competitive intelligence report can help you to focus on things that work and identify things that don’t. You should run competitive intelligence reports at regular intervals in order to help develop your PPC strategy. With the data from a competitive intelligence report, you can find new keywords and placements, optimize the testing process, improve bidding strategies and improve pricing strategies.

These reports are highly recommended when taking on a new client as they let you get a feel for their position in relation to their competitors. The more you know about the competition the better equipped you are to take them on. Follow this step-by-step guide to making a competitive intelligence report and you’ll find it quite an easy process.

  1. Select competitors

In order to get any value out of the report, it’s crucial to find the right competitors to research. Examine both large businesses with a similar business model or in related sectors as well as successful direct competitors. The diverse strategic approaches will yield more well-rounded results that you can use to develop your own PPC tactics.

  1. Determine the purpose of the report.

What is it that you most want to get out of the report? Make a list of questions regarding the areas you want to learn more about. The questions should help you get the upper hand on the competition, things like:

By what criteria is their product placed:- USP, price?
Do they use ad extensions?
Are any sales being offered and what?
What sort of content do they use on their landing pages?
For branded searches versus non-branded searches, how do they place their ad copy?
What keywords are they using?
Do they bid on competitors’ keywords?

  1. Compiling the Report

The research must be compiled in an efficient way that makes the data easy to read and benefit from. I generally use Excel and add all the relevant metrics to the grid in order of significance. You might want to fill columns with individual metrics that you want to track like ad copy, keywords, landing page, CPC, etc., and then fill the rows with the companies on your list, starting with the most significant competitor.

Alternatively, you could create separate tabs for each of the main competitors so that each grid covers different keywords and related ads and landing pages You can find out which ads have been most successful with this method by checking if there were previously many versions of the same ad running and now there is only one. That’s the winning version. Having compiled a competitive intelligence report you can then create a response plan to optimize your PPC strategy. Consider what your rivals have been doing that you can emulate or outdo. Figure out which keywords aren’t worth bidding for due to over-popularity. With this information, your PPC campaigns are likely to become a lot more successful.