How to Run Competitor-Focused Campaigns on Paid Search
Appear when customers and prospects are searching for your competitors on Google with this playbook.
Hey I’m Silvio Perez, Head of Product Innovation at Metadata.
There’s nothing like seeing your competitors bid all over your branded terms.
For better or for worse Google allows this activity to happen.
If you’re not going on the offensive and appearing when customers/prospects are searching for your competition that can be a missed opportunity.
Competitive search can be great for driving awareness and hand raisers.
You’ll just want to make sure the average CPC makes sense before getting started.
Here’s a quick rundown of how this works.
How it works
- Create a list of competitive keywords to target such as “competitor”, “competitor alternatives”, and “competitor pricing”.
- Write ad copy that peaks interest but doesn’t plagiarize your competitors (you want to do this with class).
- Direct prospects/customers researching your competition to a dedicated comparison page showing how your brand compares to competitors.
Research and build your competitive keyword list.
Head over to Library → Google Assets → Positive Keywords → Add New Keywords
Enter the desired competitive keywords you’d like to target.
We recommend the following:
- competitor name
- competitor alternatives
- competitor pricing
- competitor reviews
- competitor vs your brand name
For example for us at Metadata, this is what that would look like:
- 6sense alternatives
- 6sense pricing
- 6sense reviews
- 6sense vs metadata
Replace ‘competitor name’ with your competitor.
Repeat for each competitor you’d like to target.
Create your paid search budget group (if applicable)
Head over to Campaigns → Budget Groups → Add New Group
How you set your group is completely optional based on your budget and goals.
If you want to guarantee that a certain amount of spend is allocated towards a specific channel then create its own dedicated group as outlined below.
- Group Name = Paid Search
- Goal = Lead Generation
If you don’t mind your budget is shared across different channels that support the same goal create one group as outlined below.
- Group Name = Demo Request
- Goal = Lead Generation
If you already have a group created that you’d like to use then skip this step.
Build your competitive landing page offer you’re driving traffic towards.
Head over to Library → Offers → Add New Offer → Landing Page for Lead Generation
Enter your Landing Page URL (required) and Thank You Page URL (optional).
If you don’t have a thank you page, no worries! Just enter your landing page URL again.
(You’ll still be able to capture leads in Metadata without a Thank You Page URL).
Select ‘Retrieve Form Fields’ and map your fields accordingly.
IMPORTANT: email is the only required field but if the mapping is incorrect can cause lead capture issues.
For more information on creating landing page offers read this article: https://metadatasupport.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/7643598485268-How-to-Create-landing-page-offers
Here’s an example landing page of Metadata vs 6Sense:
Write your competitive search ad copy with responsive search ads.
Head over to Library → Ads → Add New Ad → Google Ads
Enter your competitive ad copy for a minimum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions.
We recommend the following:
- Pin your brand name in position 1 for awareness
- Don’t plagiarize or speak down on competitors
- Focus on highlighting your unique differentiation.
- You can get away with using competitors’ names in your copy but do so at your own discretion.
- Title case the beginning of each letter to help improve CTR, for example:
- Title case = Metadata Is a Marketing Operating System Used By B2B Marketers
- Lower case = Metadata is a marketing operating system used by B2B marketers
- Pin and leverage as many positions as possible to allow Google to rotate your ad copy but also control legibility with pins (if your ad isn’t readable, no one will click).
- 1 RSA (responsive search ad) should suffice as it’s the equivalent of 5 expanded text ads when leveraging all 15 headlines and 4 descriptions.
Here’s an example RSA of Metadata vs 6Sense:
Set up and launch your competitive search campaigns!
Head over to Campaigns → Add New Campaign → Lead Generation
(You can do brand awareness, but we recommend Lead Generation for search campaigns).
Enter your campaign name, here’s a simple naming convention you can use:
- Region | Competitor | Channel | Match Type | Offer
- For example: NA | 6Sense | Google Ads | Exact | Demo
Campaign Ingredients (Keywords/Ads/Offers):
You’ll want to create one campaign per competitor so you can have a strong message match with relevant keywords, ads, and a dedicated landing page.
- Enable Google Ads and select ‘Include Keywords’ to add all the competitive keywords you created in Step 1 (also recommend excluding relevant negative keywords).
- Once you’ve added all your keywords select ‘Add Ad’ and choose your relevant competitive ad copy for this competitor you created in Step 4.
- Finally, once you’ve added all your ads select ‘Add Offer’ and choose your dedicated competitor landing page.
- MA List for Leads = 100% optional
- Native Bidding = recommend Maximize Conversions to start (can adjust post-launch)
- Daily Budget Per Experiment = $25-$50/day per experiment
- Location = your target location (example = United States/Canada)
- Keyword Match Type = recommend Exact or Phrase
- Schedule = recommend Monday – Friday (can adjust post-launch if needed)
- Language = recommend one language per campaign (example = English)
Once you’ve finalized your settings and campaign ingredients, launch your campaign!
P.S: If you want to test your multiple match types just duplicate your original campaign and make those adjustments.