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5 Paid Search Hacks to Throttle Your Competition

Paid Search HacksIn the first week of October, NetElixir conducted some primary research to understand the anticipated holiday shopping behavior. We’ll be conducting a webinar on October 20 to present our insights along with actionable tactics.

One of the most interesting trends we uncovered during our survey found that 82% of people don’t consider the brand name to be important when searching for the perfect holiday gift. This is a clear indication that shoppers are looking for tangible value and aren’t being conscious about intangibles like brand identity.

This proves that, at least from a paid search perspective, being directly in the battleground with your competitors makes sense. Users exploring specific brands will not really hesitate to interact with alternative brands if they offer similar or higher value. In this context, let’s look at five specific PPC hacks that’ll help you cannibalize the competitor market share.

Bid On Competitor Keywords

The simplest competitive hack is to bid on your competitor trademark terms. This method is absolutely allowed by Google and if you have the budget, you can even aim for ad-position number 1 in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for the competitor trademark terms. However, the flip side is the Cost Per Click (CPC) for such terms will be higher since the quality score will be affected due to lack of relevance.

Don’t Restrict Yourself to Google Only

Google, by far, is the most expensive search real estate. At the same time, search engines like Bing or Yahoo! can offer trademark terms at a lower CPC. So, no need to lose hope if the competitor campaigns didn’t work in Google. You’ll still have other search engines to explore, as the competition is less.

Competitor Name in Display URL

As per Google’s norms, you cannot include the competitor trademark terms in the ad copies. But, that’s not entirely true. You can still include the names in the ads, but only in the display URLs. This allows you to show relevant ads, improve the quality score for the competitor keywords, and as a result, lower the CPC. (You can read more about this tactic in this blog.)

Gmail Ads

Using Gmail ads, you can target audiences of your competitors’ newsletters. This is possible through domain targeting where you can target users who have received emails from specific companies (in this case, your competitors). The AdWords algorithm will scan the last few hundred emails to qualify the user before it starts showing the ads.

Less Known Competitors

If you take a list of all of your competitors, there would be a lot less popular names who still have a loyal customer group. If you bid against such competitors, the chance of cannibalizing their market is higher. The CPC will be comparatively lower, as the level of auction participation will be low.

Hopefully, we’ll see you at our webinar where we’ll be presenting our top ten insights, alongside actionable tactics for a successful holiday season!