Ever wonder how your competitors are setting up their ad strategy or where they’re getting their most valuable traffic? If you don’t keep up with your ads and continually optimize your reach, the competition is going to swoop in and take what’s yours. That’s why we’ve put together this simple 5-step guide on how to crush the competition on the Google Display Network.
- Do Your Research: Conduct a competitive analysis of your top competitors. I’m sure you know about MixRank, since you’re reading our blog. So, head to mixrank.com, search for your competitor’s domains, and export all of the text ads, banner ads, and traffic sources to understand where you stand in relation to your competitors.
- Drive More Reach: Based on the ads you exported from your top competitors, cross-reference their campaign strategy against yours. If they’re running significantly more campaigns than you, you know you’ll have re-visit your ad budget and scale your campaigns on other relevant sites. On the other hand, of you’re competition isn’t running as many campaigns, that’s a good sign too that you don’t have to increase your budget tremendously to reach more customers.
- Don’t Miss Out On the Traffic: From the traffic sources you exported from MixRank, add any placements that you’re not currently bidding on to your managed placements. Be strategic about which ad groups you target these placements on, as the relevancy will impact your Quality Score. To get started, make sure to add every placement on the exported list. If your competitor is running ads on these sites, you definitely don’t want to be left out.
- Optimize Your Budget: As you know, not all placements will perform the same way. So, since you probably have some type of budget for your ad spend, you’ll need to monitor the performance of each placement and adjust your bids accordingly over time. If you’re considering adding negative placements, it may be worthwhile to check back on MixRank to see if your competitors are still running ads on that traffic source before doing so. You can delete a placement as well, which would be less drastic. By deleting a placement, your ad may still show up on the site but only when ad group’s topic or keyword targets are relevant to the content on the site.
- Leverage Banner Ads: Similar to search ads, contextual ads on the Display Network appear right beside your top competitors’. To eliminate the chances of a consumer clicking on your competitor’s ad completely, occupy the entire ad unit with a banner ad. The nice thing about banner ads is that certain sizes will almost guarantee your ad will be above the fold on most sites. The most popular sizes are 728×90, 160×600 and 300×250, but from my experience, 160×600 ads don’t perform as well as the others. Here’s a visual of an ad unit, and how banner ads drive out the competition’s ads: