SEMrush Advertising Research

To create ads to test the value of unknown keywords start by going to the Advertising Research and Positions tab. Use multiple windows to filter results for each competitor. In this example, we want to learn if the keywords related to for sale and buy are profitable.

Keyword Variations

Filter paid search positions to determine which variations of a keyword each competitor is bidding on. Repeat this step for all competing websites. In this example, I have filtered the keyword, for sale for ten different competitors.

Our research shows us that only a few of the yacht manufactures are buying paid traffic related to yachts for sale. Fraseryachts.com, burgessyachts.com and cruiseryachts.com are bidding on variations, while Searay is bidding directly on the keyword.

keyword variations

There are a number of reasons why these other competitors may not be bidding on the main keyword yachts for sale.

For example, they may be bidding specifically on the model, long tail variations or certain geo-locations that have the highest conversion rate. I would speculate that people who live near the ocean or open water are more likely to buy a yacht than someone living in the middle of the country.

Ad Copy Variations

To find the most successful ad copy variations click on the target keyword. You will be redirected to a page that displays the different ad copies. You can export them to a spreadsheet which looks like this.

ad copy variations

Highlighted is searay.com as good a competitor. Rather than innovating, start by modifying an existing ad that has been performing for a competitor for a long period of time. Also look for a consistent ranking increase in their ad placement and that traffic is being sent to a dedicated, conversion optimized landing page. This is typically not the homepage and might look something like this.

PPC Landing Pages

It is best practice to no index your conversion optimized, PPC landing pages from Google and other search engines so they do not negatively impact your SEO. Oftentimes a page like this is not SEO friendly. There are always exceptions to the rule. Please do not no index your homepage or other innerpages that you are driving SEO traffic to! No indexing is strictly for PPC only landing pages to avoid thin content and duplicate content penalties.

ppc landing pages

Go to the Keyword Research Ad History tab and view the data from the past year. Look for seasonal patterns and trends. In our example, there are a number of companies that start bidding and then drop out. The pattern repeats itself multiple times.

This usually means that advertisers are not getting return on investment. See the big turnover from November to December. This is why I cannot stress how important it is to create landing pages that are conversion optimized.

Just because a company is spending does not necessarily mean that they know what they are doing. Let’s take a look at these two landing pages. The website theyachtmarket.com has been running a campaign for the last 9 months and sends traffic to a filter page. My guess is they have split tested this page against other versions that showed pictures of the most popular models of yachts for sale.

Sometimes advertisers do things that do not make sense. For example the wow.com website has been buying traffic for the last year. However, they are sending it to their search engine query cheap mega yachts for sale. Perhaps they are able to generate enough clicks on their ads to turn a profit or they are trying to acquire users for their search engine.

This is why you always need to test and do more than just look at the data. Sometimes competitors behave irrationally and their poor decisions should not impact how you go about creating a campaign.

In the next video, you will learn how to perform an Onpage Site Audit to find issues that could stop your website from ranking well in Google.

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