Competitors on Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) have the brand awareness and traffic that you want. So why not use your brand as bait into that stream of customers swimming upstream?
Think about it. If a user is searching by name for your competitor it tells you a few things:
- They want to buy what your competitor (and you) are selling
- They are deeper-funnel and already looking into specific brands (i.e. not just researching)
- They are probably qualified
To give a real-world example. You can see in the screenshot below that Monday.com bids against “Salesforce”. Monday’s PPC team knows that anyone looking at Salesforce (a CRM platform) would also be a qualified lead for their CRM platform.
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Know competitor weaknesses
Now if you can pair your strength against the competitors’ weaknesses you’ve really got a strong message – meaning a higher click-through rate, more leads, and a lower cost-per-click – all things marketers want.
You need to do some digging on what users don’t like about your competitors (i.e. their weaknesses). This can be found in a few Google searches and checking their negative reviews.
Is the competition’s solution over-priced, slow, incomplete, poor service, confusing, or something else that customers complain about in reviews?
Here is an example of Microsoft Teams reviews – which generally are pretty good but we filtered to only the 1-star reviews then looked for recurring problems mentioned in multiple reviews. In this case, nearly half of the poor reviews mentioned the confusing interface. So for this case, we may want to include messaging such as “Get a Simple User Interface and Skip the Slow Learning Curve – Try XZY Project Management Free for 14 Days”
Write ad copy that will connect
Now simply turn your messaging into Adwords ad copy and you have a highly attractive ad that gives users a reason to consider your brand over their original search.
As an example, a lot of users know Oracle’s database support is very expensive. So Spinnaker addresses that and highlights their “Low Cost” service.
Use landing pages that will connect
Hey, we didn’t come this far to drop that competitor’s brand traffic on your homepage or general landing page did you?
The landing page should ideally compare your solution to the original brand and further highlight your superiority. I say “ideally” because you’ll need to have enough search volume to justify the cost and time of building these head-to-head landing pages. If you cannot justify that expense for each individual competitor then a more general market landscape page can work.
Here’s a good example of a page Panoply uses when bidding against their competitor, Five Tran. They list each advantage they have and the weaknesses of Fivetran.
And here’s an example of a more general “all competitors” landing page that Talend uses. The Gartner report compares the top competitors and illustrates Talend’s advantages in the marketplace.
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Protect your brand
As a final note, I hate to break it to you – but your PPC competitors are probably also bidding on your brand and stealing your best traffic too. For that reason alone, you need to play defense by bidding on your own brand terms too. It may rub you the wrong way to have to pay for your own brand traffic but it’s worth it.
Brand traffic is about as deep in the funnel as it gets and because your quality score should be high for brand terms, the CPC will be very low in most cases.
This will allow you to outrank your competitors that do bid on your name and drive up their CPC.
Be strategic with your competitive Google Ads campaign and you can tap into a fantastic new source of deep-funnel traffic and leads. Just be sure you follow some basic principles:
- Select only competitor keywords that indicate the user is still shopping vendors (use “uncertainty modifiers”)
- Ensure your ads set you apart – highlighting your advantages and the competitor’s weaknesses
- Be clear that you are NOT the competitor brand. You will confuse users (who will leave immediately), waste ad budget, and appear unethical.
- Create landing pages that further highlight your brands advantages over the competition.
- Protect your brand with your own branded campaign
What other strategies are you using for competitor campaigns? Tells us in the comments section below – and if you’d like to see how Upgrow can take your SEO content to the next level. Schedule a meeting at the link below!