One sure way of staying above and beyond your competitors in the search engines is to have an effective search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. In order to rank higher than your competitors in major search engines such as Google and Bing and elsewhere on the internet, then there are two main avenues to do so using SEM: Search and Display.
In Search Marketing, one of the most valuable strategies is brand bidding, which is bidding on the brand name and terms of another company. What happens is that when the competitor’s brand is entered as a search term, your own company’s ads will appear. The concept behind this is grabbing traffic on the brand term and diverting it to your own site so that the user will eventually choose your product or service other than the brand that was originally searched for. You need to make sure that the ads that your company will generate are related to what people are originally searching for when they type the competitor’s name. Therefore, it is especially crucial to send the searcher to the most appropriate landing page on your website, one that properly matches their original query. Ad copy and landing page content is very crucial to success. When users search for specific information, they need to be lured into something aside from the actual content that they were looking for.
Another strategy to use in search marketing is to make Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) work for you. What DKIs do is it inserts what the person searches for in Google or Bing into the ad itself, so when they search for a competitor, the competitor name populates in the ad, but will send to your landing page. You can learn more about that in our DKI blog. However, DKIs may not always work because if competitors’ names are either trademarked or registered with Google, you are not allowed to put competitors’ names in your own ads. Instead, what you can do is on your ad headline just have a generic description of your competitors’ products. In order for DKI to work well for you, every keyword in the campaign should be relevant to the ad and they should all reconcile with different landing pages, tailored to each type of competitor.
For Display Marketing, one excellent way of bringing your company ahead of competitors is through custom affinity audiences. This is a way for Google Adwords to give you the flexibility to target your audience very specifically – according to preferences and interests. Bing Ads also has this ad targeting option. The goal of custom affinity audiences is to be able to target high-value customers, bringing the right audience at the perfect time with your ads. These very specific and targeted customers will see your ads as they browse through various content in the Google Display Network, the Bing/Microsoft Network, and YouTube. Using the Custom Affinity Audience tool allows you to build your own audience that is tailored to any website URL – competitors included! So, make sure to make a Custom Affinity Audience based on very close competitors, so Google will find these prospects and serve them your ad. This works because Google targeted customers’ most recent search behavior and have associated their search with the sites listed – even if they have never been to your competitors’ site.
Using effective tools in Search Engine Marketing, you can overtake your competitors and build a stronger and more profitable brand based on the marketing and branding success of your competitors.