Google Adwords PPC - How to uncover what the competitors are actually paying and keyword list?

by FredJones 9 replies
I've a question around Google Adwords PPC.

Along with a partner of mine, I am launching a new high-ticket physical product item site. Google Adwords PPC will be one of the primary drivers of traffic.

Given that, it will naturally be of interest to uncover (or approximate) the set of keywords each of our competitors are bidding for, and the actual amount that they are paying (and putting to ceiling) for each.

I perfectly understand that Adwords will list out its suggested bids, but the reality is that not all keywords will convert well. We know the depths of the turnovers for other sellers in this space, except for their exact PPC strategy (we know the PPC that they do only to an extent).

I can find out over time and experiment, but that will cost time.

However, since money to buy a tool or two is not a problem in this situation but time is (cannot afford to go wrong in the PPC - we are expecting much more than a million dollars in turnover (not actual profits, just the pre-profit income) every year), we would want to short-cut the hit-and-miss and start with the right keywords ASAP.

What are some suggested tools that will help uncover (a) what keywords a given competitor is bidding for and (b) at what price?
#search engine optimization #adwords #competitors #google #keyword #list #paying #ppc #uncover
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  • Profile picture of the author koubain
    you can try this one if it's still available
    Google Cash Detective
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  • Profile picture of the author calbears09
    I use SEMrush for this kind of analysis, although the dollar estimates are way off.
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    • Profile picture of the author FredJones
      Originally Posted by koubain View Post

      you can try this one if it's still available
      Google Cash Detective
      Originally Posted by calbears09 View Post

      I use SEMrush for this kind of analysis, although the dollar estimates are way off.
      Thanks a lot, koubain and calbears09. Shall look at both.

      Also, any idea how good Brad Callen's PPC Web Spy is?
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  • Profile picture of the author veekay31
    Spyfu.com
    keywordspy.com
    ispionage.com
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    • Profile picture of the author FredJones
      Originally Posted by veekay31 View Post

      Spyfu.com
      keywordspy.com
      ispionage.com
      Thanks a lot for this!

      Any more suggestion, friends?
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      • Profile picture of the author FredJones
        Bumping this thread once and probably the only time in foreseeable future - as I am planning to start the advertising in the coming week.

        Thanks again, Warriors, in anticipation of any further suggestion.

        Otherwise, I have my list in this thread (and hope it will help others also in future, as it effectively creates a tiny list of resources for the related topic).
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Hi FredJones,

          Those tools are great a finding some interesting keywords that you may have not thought of, or that didn't turn up in your initial keyword research. However, as derekwong28 pointed out, that data is incomplete, and the estimates on prices and budgets tend to be way off. Take what you find with a grain of salt.

          I operate an ad agency and have compared the data from those tools, and others, with the millions of keywords we manage and they are never close and always miss the bulk of the keywords that I have loaded into campaigns. It best to think of them as keyword ideal generators, as well as competitive ad text gatherers.

          It's not like the early days when we could amass huge keyword lists where we throw in any keyword that had a remote chance of generating a click. Back then (2005), we could simply write very pointed ad text to filter out un-targeted traffic, while gaining a positive branding effect from all of the impressions that failed to generate a click. Today, only the highly targeted traffic from extremely relevant keywords will do, anything less will have a disastrous effect on your campaigns profitability.

          The bottom line is that you can use tools like that to give you clues, or hints for what might work. Do not trust, or try to use all of the keywords from the tool in your campaigns, you must be very selective. Nothing will replace common sense and good judgement. Look at every keyword and evaluate for relevancy as well as commercial intent, those are crucial elements in your keyword selection process.
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          • Profile picture of the author FredJones
            Originally Posted by derekwong28 View Post

            The best well known are the three listed by veekay31. However, my experience is that most of the keywords are missed and that the actual bids are greatly overestimated. I don't blame them because even Google's adwords tools grossly overestimate the traffic and the bids required.
            Thanks! Shall definitely explore those.

            Originally Posted by dburk View Post

            Hi FredJones,

            Those tools are great a finding some interesting keywords that you may have not thought of, or that didn't turn up in your initial keyword research. However, as derekwong28 pointed out, that data is incomplete, and the estimates on prices and budgets tend to be way off. Take what you find with a grain of salt.

            I operate an ad agency and have compared the data from those tools, and others, with the millions of keywords we manage and they are never close and always miss the bulk of the keywords that I have loaded into campaigns. It best to think of them as keyword ideal generators, as well as competitive ad text gatherers.

            It's not like the early days when we could amass huge keyword lists where we throw in any keyword that had a remote chance of generating a click. Back then (2005), we could simply write very pointed ad text to filter out un-targeted traffic, while gaining a positive branding effect from all of the impressions that failed to generate a click. Today, only the highly targeted traffic from extremely relevant keywords will do, anything less will have a disastrous effect on your campaigns profitability.

            The bottom line is that you can use tools like that to give you clues, or hints for what might work. Do not trust, or try to use all of the keywords from the tool in your campaigns, you must be very selective. Nothing will replace common sense and good judgement. Look at every keyword and evaluate for relevancy as well as commercial intent, those are crucial elements in your keyword selection process.
            Thanks, and WOW, that's a LOT of experience over a very long period - extremely insightful indeed. Thanks a ton for sharing the info!!

            In general also, my best thanks to everyone who contributed, and it is a pleasure to learn from experts experienced in their own areas!
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    The best well known are the three listed by veekay31. However, my experience is that most of the keywords are missed and that the actual bids are greatly overestimated. I don't blame them because even Google's adwords tools grossly overestimate the traffic and the bids required.
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