ATYPICAL

Do You Know What Your Digital Neighbor Is Doing?

By Sarah Malcolm
The grass may not be greener on the other side, but that doesn't stop customers from thinking it might be. One mission as a digital marketer is to figure out how to get people to organically discover your brand and not the other. That’s why it’s smart to keep an eye on your competition’s digital moves. Your secret weapon is gathering search engine intelligence about your competition. 

The grass may not be greener on the other side, but that doesn't stop customers from thinking it might be. One mission as a digital marketer is to figure out how to get people to organically discover your brand and not the other. That’s why it’s smart to keep an eye on your competition’s digital moves. Your secret weapon is gathering search engine intelligence about your competition. 

The strategic value of search engine marketing

Look, we know you feel that search engine marketing can improve your business.  A study by Adthena found, “92% of CMOs do believe that SEM can help them make more strategic business decisions. Of these, 60% believe that SEM plays a strategic role by gaining a competitive advantage (58.9%) and identifying new market opportunities (58.2%).”

The data is supplied from search engines shows as what people are searching for and what they might need. Since digital marketing is about serving the target audience what they need, this intelligence is crucial to campaign success. As ATYPICAL’s senior paid media strategists will tell you, knowing where and how to allocate your digital advertising budget to make the highest return on investment is crucial.

Gaining competitor insights

The missing piece from search engine marketing has been its value in giving competitor insights. Just because Johnny Brokerage down the road might be your top perceived competitor, does not mean they are your number one competitor based on search engine data.  

It starts with tracking how your company stacks up against the competition online. Not only is it about the amount of traffic gained and search engine result placement, but also keywords that you might share in common. Who’s winning the AdSense bids? 

How to do an SEM competitive analysis

An SEM competitive analysis is part of auditing your marketing strategy. This analysis helps you understand why some competitors might be outperforming you in the search engine market. You’ll find the companies bidding on the same keywords and categories in a paid search. You need to understand how aggressively these other companies are bidding on keywords and the pricing they're providing for similar products. 

The first step in conducting an SEM competitive analysis is choosing the websites to analyze. If the websites you choose or irrelevant to your business or have ineffective search engine marketing strategies, it's going to throw off your analysis. Pick the ones you’re actually up against.

Spend some time on the competitor site as a typical visitor would. Pay close attention to the optimization strategies they're using on the website, and how they funnel people through the customer journey. The end goal of any search engine marketing is conversion, so even if converting isn't directly related to their search engine results, it's still the end goal and you need to keep it in mind. 

Note any primary keywords they seem to be targeting in their copy and headers. A search engine marketing analysis tool can give a more comprehensive idea of what key phrases the competitors might be using for SEO and PPC. Examples of these are RankWatch, SpyFu, and SEMrush

Conducting regular analysis is part of being a top-notch digital marketer. After an SEM Competitor analysis, you’ll have a better idea on the strategies your competitors use and what it is your shared customer base search for online. These insights help you better tailor your marketing to attract those people away from your competitors and into your website. Using search engine marketing data protects your brand from the competition and streamlines the customer journey. Don’t believe it? Talk to the marketing experts at ATYPICAL.

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