5 Ways to Use Competitive PPC Intelligence to Dominate Your Competition

PPC advertising is very competitive.

Not only do you compete with direct competitors, but you also compete against large businesses that drive up the cost per click for the terms you make money from.

It’s incredibly competitive and even cut-throat at times, which is why you need every advantage you can get.

Competitive PPC intelligence is one of those advantages.

With competitive PPC intelligence, you learn which terms your competitors are bidding on, what ad copy they’re using, and which landing pages they’re directing traffic to. You also learn things like approximately how much they’re spending on PPC ads and what SEO terms they’re ranking for.

I’m going to explain five ways you can use competitive PPC intelligence to dominate your competition so you can drive down your cost per click and boost the ROI from PPC campaigns.

#1: Find Out Who You’re Competing Against

The first step is to figure out who you’re competing against. Sun Tzu explains why this is important in The Art of War.


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If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

In PPC as in war, it pays to know who you’re competing against. Once you do, you can formulate your strategy to outperform them.

The easiest way to do this is to use Auction Insights inside your AdWords account to see which companies you are bidding against for your keywords.


Once you have the URLs form AdWords auction insight you can use a competitive PPC intelligence tool like iSpionage to find their profitable keywords, ads, and landing pages. Or you can enter your URL, and then browse the list of competitors to see who you’re up against.

Typically, you’ll be surprised when you do this since there will be advertisers listed that you didn’t realize you were competing against.

Uber provides a great example of this. They clearly compete head-to-head with Lyft and other ridesharing apps, but when it comes to PPC, they compete the most with job sites and rental car companies.

That might come as a surprise, but as you see in the image below, they compete more with Indeed and Expedia than they do with Lyft and other ridesharing apps when it comes to PPC.


So why does this matter?

It matters because your ads need to stand out against the ones they’re being shown with. If those ads are by Lyft, then you want to find a way to find out from Lyft, but if those ads are by Expedia, you might need to find an entirely different way to stand out.

The point here is that your strategy is influenced by who you’re competing against, and you won’t know what that strategy is until you know who it is that you’re actually competing against, which is why you need competitive PPC intelligence on your side.

#2: Write Better Ads

Helping you write better ads is another way that competitive PPC intelligence is helpful.

As mentioned above, you first need to identify who your top competitors are. But once you have, the next step is to study their ad copy so you can write ads that stand out.

And this might actually be the most important tip in this article. Why? Because the better your ads are, the higher your click-through-rate will be, and the higher your click-through-rate is, the lower your cost per click will be. In turn, the lower your cost per click is, the higher your ROI will be.

Do you see how that works? Boosting your click-through rate ultimately boosts the overall ROI for your campaign, which makes your ad copy extremely important since that what triggers the whole process.

So how you do boost your CTR? The easiest way is to write ads that stand out from the competition, get searchers attention, and match what they’re looking for.

The ad below from Wordstream is a great example. While everyone is writing about keyword research tools, they write about FREE keyword research. This makes their ad copy stand out, and if successful, this lowers Wordstream’s CTR and overall ROI for their campaign.


When it comes to competitive intelligence, you want to study your competitors’ ads, not so you can do something similar, but so you can write ads that stand out and get more clicks.

#3: Swipe Profitable Keywords From Large Advertisers

You can also use competitive PPC intelligence to find your competitors’ most profitable keywords. Simply enter a competitor’s URL and click “Search.”


On the next page, you’ll see a list of your competitor’s keywords, something you can download and begin sorting in Excel. You can also sort the keywords based on search volume and cost per click to find the most valuable terms with the greatest likelihood of boosting your campaign.


This step is pretty straightforward, but it does take some time to implement. You can download your competitor’s keywords with the click of a button, but you’ll need to take some time to sort, find the ones that make sense for your campaign, and then add them to your current ad groups or else create new ad groups. The good news is that in the end it’s totally worth it because you’ll identify new keywords and ad groups to bid on that you never would have found otherwise.

#4: Optimize Landing Pages

A stat that’s been going around CRO circles lately is that for every $92 spent on generating traffic, only $1 is spent on conversion rate optimization. Pretty crazy, right?

CRO is one of the most important factors for PPC success. If you’re able to double conversion rates, then you’re cost per acquisition will be cut in half. Yes, you had that correctly. A 100 percent increase in conversions lowers your CPA by 50 percent.

And that’s why CRO is so valuable for PPC.

The good news is that you can use competitive intelligence to boost your conversion rates.

With competitive PPC intelligence, you get access not only to you competitors’ keywords and ad copy, but you also get access to their landing page URLs. By clicking on these URLs, you’ll see which landing pages they’re directing traffic to, and by taking notes, you can come up with new A/B testing ideas or identify entirely new layouts and approaches to try.

In the example below, FlowerDeliveryExpress.com uses a coupon for Google traffic to boost conversions. After seeing that, you might think, “Hmm…maybe we should try a Google specific coupon to see how well it works.” And just like that, you have a new A/B test to run.


If you find yourself running out of landing page testing ideas, take some time to study your competitors’ pages. You might be surprised what you learn and how many great ideas you get.

#5: Keep Up With New Offers

Keeping up with competitors’ new offers is the last benefit of competitive intelligence that I’ll discuss in this post. It’s also pretty straightforward.

With competitor alerts, you’ll know precisely when competitors launch a new product or run a sale.

In the example below, Teleflora ran different Valentine’s Day offers to generate sales. One of them was an opportunity for guys to win $25,000 for “The Ultimate Man Cave.” That’s a really neat offer, and something Teleflora’s competitors would know about if they’re using competitor alerts.


If you’re in a highly competitive industry (who isn’t, right?), then competitor alerts are a great way to keep up with your competition so you can always stay one step ahead.

Getting a Leg Up on Competitors With Competitive Intelligence

Whether you sign up for a few months to download your competitors’ most profitable keywords or continue using alerts to keep up with your competitors’ latest changes, competitive PPC intelligence is a great way to create profitable PPC campaigns faster and to squeeze more revenue out of existing campaigns.

It takes a little bit of time, effort, and a healthy dose of creativity, but in the end, if you follow the tips in this post, there’s a very good chance you’ll boost the ROI for your campaigns and get a leg up on your competitors.

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