By: Dr. Ram Singh, John Kim and Brian Newell
Marketers today can hardly argue about the importance of search (organic, traditional, shopping, commerce). However, it is quite common to come across situations where opportunity related to search expansion is left untapped and on the table. Why does this paradox exist? Is domination of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) real, given the level of competition brands face? If so, how does one get to it?
Search, whether it’s paid or organic, is an increasingly crowded marketplace where brands fight to be visible in order to drive traffic to their sites. What makes it even more intense, is that the traditional definition of competition does not apply here – any business, whether or not they are in the same industry as the advertiser, can bid on the same query terms, making the breadth of competition much higher.
It is therefore imperative for advertisers to identify not only who the relevant players are, and what their level of search visibility is, but also to account for this business impact in their own campaigns. This starts with understanding what the rank, coverage and dayparting picture on search looks like.
It’s certainly complicated, but there are practical ways of expanding all search tactics profitably, using the levers that an analytics tool like BenchTools provides.
Benchtools is a competitive analytics tool developed by Performics, to provide a holistic view of the entire search landscape, such as which competitors are active in search, which search engines do they appear in, how often they appear and in which dayparts. It shows what position they occupy on the page, what message or ad copy they use and cumulatively, what is required for an advertiser to profitably bridge the gap between itself and the competitors at the keyword level, and move towards SERP domination while profitably generating revenue.
Most search engines limit competitive information within their platforms for various reasons. BenchTools collects and collates this information across multiple different search engines and locales. This collected data is then translated into rank and coverage – rank being defined as the average position on which the advertiser appeared in the results (organic, paid, shopping, commerce) for any given period of time for any given query, and coverage defined as the proportion of time that advertiser appeared, compared to the rest of the competition, over the same period of time, for the same query. This combination is available for every keyword, by region, by engine and by daypart. This allows the advertiser to understand exactly where they sit in comparison to the competition. These metrics are completely independent of the impact of changes introduced by search engines, such as Google’s recent announcement to eliminate Average Position, and are standardized across engines. This continuous data collection also provides BenchTools users with the ability to monitor trademark infringements as well as apply governance for overlap of query terms between campaigns.
SERP Dominance for Maximizing Revenue:
Recognizing that competitor-level data can only be as tangible as the actions that one can take on that data to drive end business outcomes. One large technology company began integrating Benchtools data to bridge the gap between reported competitor rank and coverage, and how this data correlated to revenue growth.
As with any war for dominance, it was critical for this advertiser to first classify who were their closest friends, their partners, their competitors, and perhaps most importantly, those who helped and hurt search efficiencies at the same time. The process began with this classification, followed by a determination of priority keywords across SEM, SEO and Shopping campaigns based on their strength to correlate to revenue growth. Then, using BenchTool’s visualization layer, a real-time assessment of the advertiser’s digital shelf space was created, allowing for a quantification of the impact of winning or losing the digital shelf, thereby helping understand the impact of this competitive pressure on the advertiser’s revenue. This led to insightful optimization of the campaign in real time.
Product Ownership on Launch Day:
As with any large-scale product launch, advertisers are under tight pressures to maintain top visibility and message ownership on launch day, and the short period following the launch, to generate momentum.
This was the case for a large telecommunications client who needed to ensure that they maintained full ownership of messaging, ad placement and search results on launch day. By leveraging Benchtools’ Live Monitor feature, the advertiser was able to monitor every competitors’ rank and coverage by keyword, down to the minute. This equipped the advertiser with an opportunity to do real-time optimization to adjust bids and daily budgets, as well as messaging from the competitors. Rogue ads, trademark infringements and messaging that was misaligned, were caught, reported and eliminated from search results.
This video provides a summary overview of Benchtools. If you are looking for ways to increase your search presence efficiently, while accounting for strategies to catch-up to or exceed the search presence of your competitor, we recommend looking at BenchTools.
You can contact the BenchTools team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ram Singh serves as the EVP of Analytics and Technology at Performics, leading analytics consulting, solution, and product development functions. Dr. Singh is an accomplished marketing leader with extensive experience serving Fortune 500 brands across industries such as consumer products, technology, communication, education, and e-commerce.
John Kim is the Director of Product Management at Performics, leading the product management practice. John is a highly seasoned expert in Digital Media optimization, working to develop best-in-class SaaS products that sit at the intersection of driving incremental performance lift and operational efficiency at scale, while simultaneously solving for the advertiser’s end business objective.
Brian Newell is the BenchTools Product Manager at Performics, with extensive experience bringing MarTech and Business Technology products to market. Brian is directly responsible for all feature development and enhancements for BenchTools.