30 Nov 2016 By Asi Dayan

5 Powerful SEM Tools to Help You Crush Your Competitors

Use these SEM tools to rank higher, write better text ads, spy on your competitors strategy, and get more search traffic.

With the increasing competition that is making SEM harder and more expensive, it’s crucial for paid search marketers to know every possible trick and use any possible SEM tool that can help beat the competition.

 

1. Ubersuggest – Discover more keywords

Most paid search marketers are using the Google Keywords Planner to get new keywords ideas, but there are more search queries to use than what is suggested by Google. Ubersuggest is a free tool that will help you get even more keywords that are not being offered by the Google keyword planner, especially longer ones that are not being used by your competitors.

Ubersuggest offers new search queries by “scraping” the Google search suggestions, that are being automatically added by Google under the search window.

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You Simply type in the keyword you wish to get suggestions for, just as you are doing with the Google keyword planner. Choose the search type (web, images, news etc.) and language, and you instantly get all the search queries suggestions for that keyword.

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In addition to that, Ubersuggest also automatically add more keywords that combine your search queries with other words and divides it by the added letters.

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Once you are done, you can download the suggestions from Ubersuggest as a CSV file, and use them in your ad groups.

Note, that it’s possible that many of the suggestions you will get from Ubersuggest can appear on AdWords with a “Low search volume” status since they are not being frequently searched for. It doesn’t mean you can’t use them, it only means that some of them may not get any traffic.

 

2. SpyFu – Discover the keywords your competitors are using

SpyFu is a keyword spying tool that will help you to discover which keywords your competitors are using, and how much they are spending on search ads.

The data from SpyFu can save you hours of keywords research and more importantly, a lot of money on unsuccessful tests. You can learn from your competitor’s experiments and focus your efforts. For example, if you see that your competitors all failed with a certain vector of keywords, and stopped using them, it probably means that it’s not as relevant as expected, and it’s better for you to pass on them. Unless you know it’s very relevant specifically for you and you will probably see more success than your competitors. It can also be the other way around. If your competitors are all bidding their highest bids on certain keywords, it’s probably because they have the highest ROI, which makes the high bids cost effective.

 

3. Google search console – Use organic data for SEM optimization

The Google search Console (formerly known as Google webmaster tools) helps you analyze your organic traffic from Google, but it can also help you improve your SEM results. If you are using the Google search console, you can also use it to discover which search queries generate impressions of your website pages, but not being clicked on and turning into organic traffic. Use those keywords in your paid search campaigns and quickly generate more traffic. You’ll be surprised how many new keywords you may discover. It can actually help you discover a whole new vector of keywords you haven’t even thought of when you did your original keyword planning.

On the search console, click on “Search Analytics” and mark clicks, impressions, CTR and position as checked. Filter by impressions, and you will now be able to see which keywords get the highest volumes.

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For example, it’s very clear from the image above that the top keyword that gets over 7.5K impressions, can definitely be used in our SEM campaigns. Organically, it just doesn’t rank high enough to get people to click on it, and probably the organic headline is not appealing enough. In this case, using this keyword in our AdWords campaign can instantly get us more relevant traffic. The same goes for the second and third keywords (the third one has an average position of 30.9! so there’s a very low chance that we can improve its ranking).

 

 

4. Google ads preview tool – See your competitors’ ads

The Google ads preview tool is a part of your Google AdWords account and it’s free to use. By using the ads preview tool, you can see how yours and your competitors’ ads actually look like in the search page results. You can simulate a Google search in any geo, language and device, and spy on your competitors’ ads.

See what your competitors are writing in their ads, which ad extensions they are using, and what makes them rank above or below you for specific search queries. Use it to analyze your low CTR keywords, and see what other text ads get clicked on more often.

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It’s better to use this tool than actually do a real search on Google. You’ll see the exact same results as a real Google search but it won’t affect your impressions and CTR.

Reach the preview tool from the “Tools” tab in your AdWords account. It’s free to use for all AdWords advertisers. If you are using Bing ads you can also simulate your ads on Bing, by using the Bing preview tool in your advertising account.

5. TitleCap – Increase your CTR with capitalization

High CTR is the first metric of success in SEM. Higher CTR increase your quality score and ranks you higher than your competitors. Using TitleCap is one of the best ways to achieve that. TitleCap is a free tool that capitalizes your text and makes your ads look more appealing. Capitalized text makes your text look bolder, and increase your CTR, as Hotels.com did in this ad.

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Just copy or type in any text, and it will automatically be capitalized with uppercase first letters. It will not only save you time by automatically replacing the first letters in your text, it will also do it correctly and will capitalize only when it’s right to do so.

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If you wish to know how and when TitleCap decides how to capitalize your text, click on “See the rules”.

Unfortunately, you can not capitalize in bulk, and change multiple texts at once. If you wish to capitalize all your text ads at once, you can also use the “Proper” function in Excel. The downside of using this function is that Excel Will capitalize everything without any rules. Personally, I prefer to use TitleCap. It just makes the ads look better.

 

Bonus tip – Being first is not always the best

Many paid search marketers are using high bids and spend a lot of their budget trying to get ranked first on the search results page, but in most cases, it’s simply a waste of their budget. The highest ranking ad is certainly the one that is getting the most clicks, but since it’s the first thing people see, many of those clicks are random, and will not get you the results you’re expecting. In addition to that, they will have the highest cost per click, since you had to bid high.

In most cases, focusing on getting an average position of 2 – 3 will get you a much higher ROI. You will have to bid much lower, and eventually, pay less for relevant visitors. Meaning you will pay less to get the relevant people to click on your ads. Your brand related keywords are the only ones that should have an average position of 1.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you wish to analyze your website and marketing efforts, and really improve results, you are welcome to try our new analytics tool for Free.