AdWords Competitor Targeting: Guidelines & Best Practices Before You Dive In

AdWords Competitor Targeting

Mastering Google Adwords is seriously tricky business – essential, but tricky. For digital marketing strategies to perform successfully, however, it’s pretty important to find someone who considers themselves a master of it. For B2B companies out there, you may have tried out or heard about a practice that some might consider controversial: competitor targeting. It’s been around for as long as Adwords has existed; before the Internet even existed, targeting the competition has been a tactic that some have gained true, long-term success from. As Unbounce puts it:

Sneaky as this tactic may seem, online advertising is still a far cry from those “10X better than the leading brand” television ads that are plaguing primetime to this day.

While an effective way to get ahead in the Adwords game, there are still a few guidelines and best practices for competitor targeting on Google Adwords. Unbounce – one of our favorite companies and tools for folks like us – wrote a fantastic article on how to know if this practice is right for you, as well as how to do it well. Take a look at just a sample here:

Proceed with Caution

Targeting competitor keywords might be common, but it’s best to get your ducks in a row before you jump straight in. After all, just because Brand X is doing this, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

The number one thing you need to keep in mind about competitor targeting in AdWords is that it’s competitive. Before you tell your boss or your client that you’re launching a competitor campaign, check if your competitors have already done the same.

First Stop: Auction Insights

To know who’s bidding on your branded terms (and how well they’re doing it), click into your Campaigns (in the new AdWords experience), then navigate to the Auction Insights tab and filter for your branded campaigns.

If you’re not seeing any suspects, hurrah! You now have a decision to make: whether or not you want to risk starting a trend by being the first to target your competitors’ terms. If they catch on, they could return the favor by coming after your terms and potentially driving up your cost-per-click. Even in the Search world, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

Seeing some familiar names in the list? If competitors are already bidding on your branded terms, it’s fair game for you to enter the ring. After doing your homework, of course.


Want more? Head to the Unbounce blog >> 

If you’re ready to get started on your own Adwords campaign, give us a holler! Miguel, our resident Adwords expert, is always ready to help.

Why Using Landing Page Builder ‘Unbounce’ Will Increase Your Google Ad Quality Scores

Google Ad Quality Scores

We believe Unbounce should be a marketing agency office staple – It’s pretty unique to us at Oliver and Sons. If you haven’t heard of it, and you’re in the digital marketing profession, stop what you’re doing and take note.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve created an insanely optimized Google Adwords campaign, but your quality score is detrimentally low? Has your landing page been classified as unrelated to the content of your ads? We’ve seen this happen countless times with clients who have come to us for help. Quality scores cost money, so you have to improve them, and fast.

Why do I get low-quality scores?

Google is smart, and so should you be. Think about it, as a consumer you would get instantly turned off if you’d clicked on a specific product ad and instead you’re met with a rather incongruous homepage. Bleurgh. It’s just not smart marketing.

Don’t get mad at Google. Get even.

How will Unbounce improve my scores?

With Unbounce you can change all that. Implementing Unbounce landing pages will help you get smarter with your paid advertising. How? By creating separate landing pages related to each high performing keyword, and connecting these to each corresponding keyword in your search campaign, your quality score will increase. It’s that simple. Nothing too fancy pants, but it’s just making sure that you have everything ticked on Google’s checklist.

I’m not an experienced UX designer, is this a problem?

No, Unbounce has been created thinking of us in mind. If you know the basics of landing page design and have some idea of what CTAs work best on a landing page, then you’re sorted. The exciting thing about Unbounce is that their software actively encourages A/B testing. Therefore,  if you are afraid your landing page design doesn’t quite cut-the-mustard, you may be pleasantly surprised when you check your conversion rates on the page.  

Additionally, let’s talk about Unbounce’s world-renowned customer service. They take it super seriously, and it means they do stand out in the virtual workspace landscape. No problem is too big or too small, so don’t be afraid to ask them about your desired integrations, Unbounce functions or even give your comments for improvements.

If you’re losing your head with your Google Ad quality scores and you’d like our budding landing page designers to create keyword-specific pages for your business… get in touch!