Get Paid Search Superpowers for Your Competitor PPC Analysis


Nailing your pay-per-click (PPC) strategy is tough. It can be technical, competitive, expensive, and time-consuming. But there’s a reason why Google makes so much money from ad revenue. Because it works.

But don’t just dive into Google Ads and start bidding. Do your PPC keyword research early, and you’ll understand where to invest your paid search budget to really make it count. How? Glad you asked.

A step-by-step guide to powering up your PPC

You’ve just landed your dream job (go with it…) as U.K. mobile SIM company Giffgaff’s new performance manager. To make things even better, summer’s just around the corner. You know mobile network providers face stiff competition, so the last thing you’d want to do with your PPC strategy is phone it in.

Step 1: Put your budget to work – at the right time

It’s vital to know when, where, and how much your competitors are spending on their search campaigns.

Similarweb’s Paid Search Overview provides a snapshot of your competitive landscape and the seasonality of campaigns. You can even see how much your rivals are spending, and benchmark your efforts against that.

Major mobile providers all begin to increase their spend from mid-summer, and peak in November. This push begins with students returning to university and runs all the way through to Black Friday in November – when consumers are looking for cheaper deals (and maybe a new handset).

With your Giffgaff hat on, it’s easy to see when you’re going to have to compete. While you might not have the budget some of the bigger players do, you can use Similarweb to look for opportunities to differentiate.

So start by getting an idea of general competitive paid search performance.

Competitive Paid Search Engagement Metrics

In the image above we can see that EE has committed the most budget to paid search campaigns, but Vodafone’s winning when it comes to paid search traffic, visit duration, and bounce rate. So if you and Giffgaff want to learn from the best performer, you wouldn’t go wrong by taking a closer look at Vodafone’s paid search tactics.

Let’s do that now.

Step 2: Figure out which paid keywords are driving competitors’ traffic

You can use the PPC Keywords Tool to filter for the paid, non-branded keywords that drive the most traffic to your competitors. Notice there’s lots of activity surrounding handset models (like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy)? You might be better off focusing on less crowded opportunities.

Competitive Paid keyword Analysis

Step 3: Hunt the keywords you’re missing out on

As a SIM-only provider, it makes sense to look at non-branded, paid keywords that include the word ‘SIM.’Missing Keywords Research

Giffgaff’s generating great web traffic from popular ‘SIM’ based keywords, but there are lots of opportunities still out there. You could focus on ‘SIM-only deals’ or ‘unlimited data SIM’ to push for an even greater share of the paid traffic.

Step 4: Create and measure campaigns

If you’re looking to budget efficiently, create a keyword list that both you and your SEO team can target. Then pull the keywords out channel by channel. That’ll help you track your search traffic collectively and separately across channels.

Doing so might even emulate some of Vodafone’s paid success.

Step 5: Find similar search ads – and stand apart

You can see exactly what ‘SIM-only’ search ads your biggest competitors (EE and Vodafone, remember?) are running.

Review Paid Search Ads

You can reveal the ads driving their PPC keyword campaigns with the Search Ads function. Then you can review their messaging, landing pages, associated keywords, and where they’re ranking on SERPs.

This is all killer information when you’re planning your own search ads, as you can focus on making your efforts stand out.

Step 6: Build a winning seasonal PPC strategy

Now you know how to analyze competitor PPC activity effectively, you can repeat the exercise across different seasonal campaigns. That’ll give you the best opportunity to create compelling, on-trend messaging to attract new users – without copying the competition.

Don’t forget, you can use the Keyword Seasonality tool to understand which keywords are most relevant at any time of year.

Seasonal Keywords for the Telecomms Industry

Best of all? You can now plan your paid search campaigns knowing:

  • When relevant industry keywords are on trend
  • What your average CPC is, to stay in budget
  • How much search volume you’re likely to generate
  • Who’s the current traffic leader

If you’re looking to really deliver the ROI, follow the above steps to dive into your competitors’ paid search campaigns, and beat them at their own game.

Paid Search Banner

This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

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