Copying PPC campaigns, ad copy, and marketing strategies from rival companies can help your business get a serious leg up on the competition. When it comes to paid advertising, you want to ensure your marketing dollars are spent wisely. Competitor research is a crucial part of advertising that can help ensure your paid advertising budget is spent as efficiently as possible.
While we don’t recommend copying and pasting your competitors’ ad copy into your own ads, competitive research can help improve your campaign strategy. By incorporating their most effective tactics into your own campaigns, you can discover new target keywords, ad copy ideas, and advertising strategies.
In this article, we’ll offer tips on how to improve your ad copy through competitor research and a bit of critical thinking. By reworking your competitors’ best advertising strategies, you can create more effective PPC ad campaigns with higher click-through-rates and better ROIs. So what are you waiting for?
Google Your Target Keywords
Start by Googling your target keywords and analyzing the top ranking ads on the page. When comparing your ads to your competitors, be sure to pay attention to where the ads are located on the page. Specifically, any advertisements that outrank your own.
Google determines ad position using a formula called Ad Rank, which is based on several metrics, including the following:
- The quality of your ads and landing pages
- The context of a user’s search (location, time of the search, etc.)
- The competitiveness of the auction
While you may not have a say in most of the factors that determine Ad Rank, you do have full control over your ads’ quality and relevance. To improve the ranking of your PPC ads, analyze how your competitors incorporate your target keywords into their headlines and ad copy. Apply the same strategy to your own ads, and watch as your Ad Rank improves.
Identify Your Competitors’ Best Campaigns
If you plan to copy your competitors’ ads, you’ll first need to identify which of their ad campaigns are the strongest. Create a shared Google Sheet with your marketing team, where you can compile a running list of their best campaigns.
You should also spend a few minutes on your competitors’ websites to study the language and tone they are using. Be sure to evaluate both industry leaders nationwide and niche competitors in your local area.
Use Ad Transparency To Stalk Your Competition
Even if you aren’t planning to run social media advertisements yourself, it can be valuable to analyze how your competitors advertise on the social media platform and what keywords they target. Thankfully, Facebook and Twitter offer ad transparency tools that make it easy to research your competitors’ ad campaigns.
To see all the Facebook ad campaigns a competitor is currently running, go to the company’s page and click the Info and Ads tab on the left-hand side of the screen. Here, you can see all of their active ads, including ones that you may not see on your News Feed (if you aren’t part of the advertiser’s intended audience).
On Twitter, you can use the Twitter Ads Transparency Center to analyze all of the ads run by a specific account in the past seven days. This feature allows you to see suspended ads, along with an explanation as to why the ad was taken down. Additionally, you can see an account’s current engagement rate (i.e. favorites and retweets).
Use Keyword Research & Competitor Research Tools
If your marketing team doesn’t have the manpower, keeping up with your competitors’ marketing efforts manually can be a time-consuming task. To streamline the competitive research process, try using competitive tools like SEMrush, SpyFu, Simply Measured, Ahrefs, or BuzzSumo.
While these competitor research tools can get a bit pricey, they are a time-saving, user-friendly way to monitor your competitors’ keywords and PPC strategy. Top-performing tools like SpyFu can also pinpoint your competitors’ most profitable keywords that you can start using in future campaigns.
Don’t Just Copy/Paste Your Competitor’s Ads
Let’s get one thing clear. Under no circumstances should you just copy and paste your competitors’ ad copy. Instead of copying their ad copy word for word, study their strategy. Here are a few key elements to examine:
- What keywords they are targeting
- The tone of the ad
- The format of their headlines and ad copy
- What value propositions they’ve included
- What call-to-action they used
Remember, you aren’t trying to become your competitors; you’re trying to beat them. While it’s okay to mirror their copywriting strategies, such as featuring product prices, special promotions, or free shipping, you should always add something unique to your brand.
Be More Transparent Than Your Competition
An easy way to beat out your competitors’ ads is to be more transparent in your own. Focus your marketing efforts on what you know your company can deliver upon that your competitors can’t. Avoid making false promises that can damage your brand’s reputation and drive away potential leads.
Your landing pages should back up the claims in your ad copy. Utilize data and customer testimonials to highlight your brand’s key value propositions and add clear calls-to-action. Not only will high-quality landing pages improve customer experience, but they’ll also improve your Ad Rank as well.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your ad copy and outrank your competitors’ PPC ads, it may be time to start copying your competitions’ most effective ad campaigns and copywriting strategies.
Our Recommended tool for competitive research
We recommend using SEMRUSH for PPC competitive research. By entering your competitors website, it will be able to show most of everything they are doing online. Its not 100% accurate but just enough to give you ideas and help you understand what is working best for them. Click here to get a free 7 day trial!