Mission Possible: Become a Search Marketing Spy through Competitive Analysis


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Presentation from Interactivity Digital Conference - Miami discussing the key competitive insights you should care about.

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Mission Possible: Become a Search Marketing Spy through Competitive Analysis

  1. 1. @billhuntBill HuntBack Azimuth ConsultingMission ImpossibleBecoming a Search Marketing SpyInteractivity Digital – Miami - 2013
  2. 2. @billhunt“If you are ignorant of both yourenemy and yourself, then you are afool and certain to be defeated inevery battle.” – Sun Tzu
  3. 3. @billhunt4 C’s of Competitive Intel• Collecting the right information• Converting to Intelligence• Communicate the Intelligence• Countering the Competitor Actions
  4. 4. @billhuntWho is your competition?• Named Competitors– Typically management only cares about that compete with youon sales and market share.– Who are your biggest direct competitors IBM vs. HP– The larger the company typically the poorer they do in SEO
  5. 5. @billhuntWho is your real competition?• Search Results Competitors– These are the companies that rank in the top positions of searchengines and may not be a direct competitor – like Wikipedia or aTrade Journal or even a partner– Need to understand “why they are ranking” and if you canleverage their ranking via advertising or links
  6. 6. @billhuntDOD pages ranking well vs.traditional competitors
  7. 7. @billhuntWhat do you need to know?• PPC Advertising Spend & Cycles– Insight on what your competition is spending on paid search– Do they have “dark cycles” or “strategic spends”– What keywords do they seem be be performing well for?– What ad messages are they using?• Business & Actionability Value– Justify spending increases on media and resources– Alignment of competitive ads– Hijacking keywords and messages– Understand strategic initiatives
  8. 8. @billhuntWhat do you need to know?• Keyword Lists– What keywords are they focused on using in PPC and/or rankingwell for in SEO– How are they performing for various keywords?– What pages are ranking well – home page or deep pages• Business & Actionability Value– How are we doing for similar strategic keywords– Where are we seeing change in performance?– Competitive Message alignment and focus
  9. 9. @billhunt
  10. 10. @billhuntCompetitor Ad Performance10
  11. 11. @billhuntSmirnoff Paid Ad – Lost Intent11
  12. 12. @billhuntWhat do you need to know?• Team Size and Bench Strength– How do they manage program? In-house, agency– How many team members? Skills?– How big is the agency and their reputation?• Business & Actionability Value– Leverage their team size to increase mine– Expect lack or quality performance based on team
  13. 13. @billhuntSearch Team Size13US Comp1 Comp2 Comp3 Comp4 Comp4Structure Central Central/BU Central/BU BU/Central BU Central/BUPaid Approach Agency In-House Hybrid Hybrid Agency In-HouseEarnedApproachIn-House In-House In-House In-House In-House In-HouseGlobal SEMManagerNo Yes Yes Yes Yes YesTeam Size 4 32 25 15* 14 16Paid 0.7* 18 8 5 2 8Earned 3.5 8 12 5 6 5Owned 0 3 2 1 3 1Analytics 0 3 3 1 3 2
  14. 14. @billhuntWhat do you want to know?• Inbound Links– What quality and relevant sites are linking to them?– What is the velocity of link acquisition?– What practices are they using?• Business & Actionability Value– Leverage their link research to get my links– Justify resources for link acquisition
  15. 15. @billhuntCompetitive Research Takeaways1. Care about competitors once your house is in order2. Monitor performance against your baselines3. Use multiple tools to “Monitor” competition but don’tobsess over it4. Spend time diagnosing site performance5. Share any and all findings with wider audience!15
  16. 16. @billhunteMail: bill@back-azimuth.comBlog: www.whunt.comSite: www.back-azimuth.comThank you!