If you're using Google Adwords to market your business, you're in good company. Too much company, perhaps. As if the visibility for a Page 1 search listing weren't stiff enough, businesses are also struggling for top-notch real estate space for Adwords listings. More businesses are using Adwords than ever before, driving up bids and clamoring for conversions hoping to see a payoff from their PPC prowess.
Just like any other form of advertising, be it radio, television, digital, or print, good results don't usually happen without a good strategy behind it. If you want to gain a competitive edge in Google Adwords, these five killer strategies can direct you straight to the winner's circle:
Say what? But how am I supposed to beat my competitors if I'm not doing what they're doing?
If you're using Google Adwords just to keep up with the Joneses, you'll always be a step behind. Just because they're investing in Google Adwords doesn't mean they have any better idea what they're doing than you do. If they're shooting in the dark on keywords and copy, mimicking their efforts will ensure you'll also miss the target.
In addition, if you up your bid to overtake your competitors on keywords, you might not always see enough business to justify it. Rather, you stand to wring out your budget faster than your prospects convert. Being in the top slot doesn't guarantee you more conversions, so don't obsess over it too much.
Hunches and hopes just don't deliver the same results as cold, hard data. There are a number of online data tools to help guide your Adwords journey.
Auction Insights will let you view who else is bidding on your selected keywords and other competitor information that will help you tailor your bids.
Google's Keyword Planner can help you discover keywords and phrases you haven't thought of using, but your competitors might be.
Moz offers a Keyword Difficulty tool that lets you gauge how challenging it will be for you to rank for certain keywords. If it's going to be nearly impossible, this tool can help you save valuable ad dollars.
There are dozens more amazing data tools out there, some paid, some free. Just make sure if you are paying for some tools that you factor these costs into your campaign budget - you don't want to blow all your profits on research data.
Advertising is an expensive fight for brand survival, and sometimes you have to steal to make ends meet. Stealing in this case, of course, means luring customers away from your competitors.
With Google Adwords, you can create competitive campaigns to put your product in front of other brands' loyal customers. For example, credit card company American Express might bid on the word Discover to hopefully get a Discover card user to apply for an Amex card.
However, the downside to competitive campaigns is that the Quality Score is usually lower, which means you probably won't rank in the first position. But that shouldn't deter you since there's no proof that the first position gets the most conversions.
Your biggest chance of being competitive in a saturated environment is to avoid any knee-jerk reactions. Instead, take time to do a little research to make sure you're doing your business a favor. Otherwise, your competitors might be ones thanking you later.