Competition in the online marketplace is fierce. Search marketing helps retailers stand out when a good strategy is put into place. A traditional paid search approach involves analyzing a competitor’s keyword strategy and performance, then using it as a benchmark for success. While it’s always important to monitor the competition, this strategy won’t always lead to success.
Traditional competitive analysis tools provide information on things like keyword lists, average cost per click and position, ad copy, and overall investment. These tools don’t take into account the value of your brand. Your brand is unique. How a consumer responds to your ads and landing pages will be different from your competitors. And it’s not just your brand; your goals are unique as well. Your products may have higher margins so you need fewer conversions to be successful. Your competitor may have low product margins and require double the conversions to meet a sales goal.
There is always value in knowing a competitors' search marketing strategy because it provides you with an opportunity to take what they have and do it better. Start by looking at ad copy and landing page relevancy, product offerings, website design, promotions and incentives. You may be able to rewrite a headline, change the product description on the landing page, or switch the color of the call-to-action button.
You should also look for things that your competitor isn’t doing in order to identify new opportunities. You can do this by analyzing search queries and trends. In late 2010, Adlucent noticed an increase in traffic to a client’s site for a particular product they did not sell. After verifying the search trend through Google Insights, we recommended that the client should begin to carry the product. By monitoring and mining the search queries, we were able to drive just shy of one million dollars in paid search sales from the new product for the client in six short months. What’s your next opportunity?
In the end, executing the same strategy as a competitor will not always lead to success, but monitoring their strategy and looking for opportunities to do something new or better will drive performance. You already have all of the research tools and data you need, so go get started.
This presentation was given by Stephanie Bailey, Adlucent Client Manager, at SES NY on March 20, 2012. For a copy of her presentation, please visit Slideshare.