Need Ideas? Let the Competition Give You a Hand!
September 13, 2007
Has your creative well run dry? Do you feel like your PPC ads have lost their kick, or their punch? When reviewing your landing pages do you have the urge to try something new, but you’re just not certain in which direction to go? Don’t worry, everyone gets blocked at times. There is a plethora of ideas waiting to inspire you! You just just need to look in the right place – namely your competitors. Another great way to revitalize your PPC campaign is to check out your competition. Take the best efforts of all your competitors and make them your own!
Let me state this first: I am not encouraging you to blatantly steal from your competition. Reviewing your competition should serve as inspiration, and generate new ideas, which means that you shouldn’t just copy their verbiage word-for-word. Make notes of what they do well, or even better than you, and apply this these tactics to your own efforts. In fact, you need to turn the tables. You need to take what your competition does better than you, make it yours, and do it even better than they do!
The first place to begin mining for new ideas is PPC ad text. How does your competition differentiate themselves from the you and the rest of the pack? Using the Google Ad Preview tool you can run queries to your heart’s content without driving up your impressions. Make notes on every aspect of their ad text:
- Headline: Does their headline speak to your shared audience better than yours? If so, why? If not, why? Are they using dynamic keyword insertion? Are they using it well?
- Body copy: How effective are they utilizing those 70 precious characters? If your products/services are similar, what benefits and features do they highlight? What kind of promises or claims do they make in their ad copy?
- Call-to-action: What is the competition doing to motivate users to click-through their ad? Are they offering free information, special deals or free shipping? Is there an opportunity for you to make a better offer and blow them out of the water?
Once you’ve dissected your competition’s PPC ad texts, then you should move on to their landing page. Comb through their landing page to see how they may be talking to your audience better than you. When a user hits your landing page, you have only a few seconds to pull them in before they click the back button. What is your competition’s strategy to hold users’ attention? What elements of their design or text can you could incorporate into yours?
Also, while you’re reviewing their landing page you should also review your competitor’s contact form and/or shopping cart. How many required fields do they have on their contact form? Do you collect too much, or not enough, information on your form? If you are looking at a shopping cart, go ahead and compare their purchase process to your own. What aspect of their conversion process inspires you to do better?
And these are just a few ideas of how you can learn from your competition. Remember, don’t blatantly steal from your competitors but use them to fire yourself up, get inspired and take action! Take these new ideas from your competition, make them your own – then make them better!
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