Competitive benchmarking has proven, time and time again, to be an effective practice that can help improve and perfect your paid search marketing efforts. If you are not currently engaged with a competitive benchmarking campaign, we suggest starting one. The effort is worth the rewards!
Quite simply, competitive benchmarking is the practice of measuring specific elements of your company against your competition. This could be in areas of customer service, design, shipping, pricing and more. In our case, we are going to explore competitive benchmarking applied to paid search and SEO.
Determine Your Benchmarks
It’s vital to determine which benchmarks you will use to measure your efforts against your competitors and establish which areas of your company need to see the greatest improvements. With paid search and SEO a few key performance indicators (KPIs) to pay attention to would be impressions, ad position, and ad frequency.
Establish Your Competition
You can easily purchase reports and data on competition from firms, however, conducting your own extensive paid search competitive analysis will give you far more relevant insight into the competition. Additionally, these data reports can sometimes be costly.
Try choosing the top companies in your industry that provide the highest value at the lowest cost and start creating your own analysis reports on their KPIs. What is their usual ad position? How often do their ads appear? What is there page rank?
These are the types of metrics that you will need to record in order to help influence your campaigns and start implementing tactics that will help improve your own metrics.
Additional metrics to note from your competitors are top keywords, cost- per-click, PPC spend per month, ad copy and types of ads.
Tools of the Trade
Today’s world offers a bevy of tools that can successfully help companies in their efforts to implement a competitive analysis or benchmarking campaign. Below are a few we recommend utilizing.
Google AdWords is an excellent way to compare your benchmarks with other competitors who are competing in the same auctions that you are. This data can be found in Auction Insights on the AdWords platform.
Additionally, through Google AdWords, you will be able to create a list of competitors for your auctions, gain insight into impressions, ad position, and overlap rate. Make sure to take advantage of the segment reporting as well, it will allow you to break down data by device type and time.
With Google Analytics, companies can compare their metrics with competitors through the aggregated industry data, but must properly configure the industry settings beforehand.
SEMrush is a great tool that companies can leverage to run reports on competitor organic search metrics, paid search, and display advertising. Additionally, you can discover competitors’ keywords, ad copy, and advertising budgets.
Implementing a competitive benchmarking campaign can be a very involved task but is well worth the impact it can have on your business and ROI. Please feel free to reach out to JXT Group with any questions or concerns you may have regarding implementation, we are always here to help!