An Introduction—How to Gain Actionable Insights with iSpionage Competitive Keyword Research

As you get started using iSpionage, you may be wondering, “What exactly does this competitive keyword research tool offer, and how can I gain valuable insights from the data?”

This tutorial will walk you through a quick introduction to iSpionage and provides an overview on how to get started and how to gain valuable, actionable insights from the data.

Introducing iSpionage

iSpionage is a competitive analysis tool that enables you to research your competitors’ PPC campaigns.

In short, our computers are constantly crawling the web to compile helpful data you can use to improve your PPC campaigns. We compile information related to the number of PPC ads websites are running, how long those ads have been running, which keywords they’re bidding on, and more.

This data helps you to jump start your PPC keyword research and saves time when creating and optimizing campaigns. Instead of starting from scratch, iSpionage enables you to learn from what your competitors are doing in order to set up optimized campaigns right from the beginning, which means you don’t have to spend as much time experimenting with campaigns to find the right variations, wasting time and money in the process.

That’s a quick introduction to how iSpionage works. Here are some additional benefits of using competitive keyword research for your PPC campaigns:

  1. Uncover the most effective keywords within your market
  2. Discover which ads are the most effective in your industry
  3. Learn how to group keywords in the best way
  4. Get optimization ideas for landing page designs
  5. Receive alerts when your competitors make changes to their campaigns

These five points summarize the primary benefits offered by competitive keyword research with iSpionage.

Now that you know more about how iSpionage works and the benefits it offers, let’s take a look at the dashboard to see specifically what you can learn about your competition and how the data helps you to get a nearly unfair advantage over your competitors.

Getting Started with iSpionage Keyword Research

After logging in to iSpionage, you’ll have the option to search for a keyword or a domain name. We’re going to use for a sample keyword research project.

Competitive Search


After clicking “search,” you’re taken to the summary page where you see an overview of last month’s stats, the top keywords, the tops ads, and a list of the top competitors. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Last Month’s Stats

The first thing we see when researching more about GoDaddy is an estimate of their stats for last month. This provides a quick snapshot of approximately how much they spent on PPC ads, the number of clicks they received, the average position of their ads, and the number of Google/Bing/Yahoo keywords that were bid on. You can see this information in the chart provided below (which is exactly what you’d see if you were logged in to iSpionage).

Last Months PPC Stats


To the right of the snapshot with last month’s stats is a chart that includes the monthly ad budget estimate per month for the past twelve months. By looking at the chart, we see that GoDaddybid between $536,312 and $6,891,120 million over the past twelve months for their PPC ad campaigns.

This gives a competitor an idea about how much they would need to spend to keep with with GoDaddy’s monthly PPC advertising budget and also gives ad agencies data they can show their prospective clients about approximately how much they’ll need to spend in order to keep up with their competitors.

Monthly PPC Budget Estimate


It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this number is just an estimate and can be higher or lower depending on the actual cost per click (CPC) GoDaddy ends up paying and the click-through rate (CTR)  they’re getting for their ads. The projected monthly budget is based on estimates for GoDaddy’s CPC and CTR and is not based on real-life data. However, this chart does provide a realistic projection that can be compared with a competitor’s budget to see how close they are to one another.

Both the overall monthly summary and the monthly ad budget estimate give GoDaddy’s competitors a better idea about how GoDaddy is using PPC ads to generate traffic and what they may need to do to keep up with GoDaddy’s campaigns.

Top Keywords

Moving on to the next section we come to GoDaddy’s top keywords. One through ten are listed on the summary page, and the rest can be found by clicking “VIEW MORE.”

Top PPC Keywords


Interestingly, 9 out of GoDaddy’s top 10 keywords are related to how to build a website. This is something they’ve probably found to be effective after a long period of ad experimentation and likely is information a new competitor can use (or at least experiment with) to optimize their initial campaigns.

Top Ads

The next section provides an overview of GoDaddy’s top 5 ads. Interestingly, three are related to website building and two are related to domain names.

Top GoDaddy PPC Ads

Not only do the top 5 ads give you a preview of which ads are working the best for GoDaddy, but they also show the ad effectiveness index (AEI) score for each ad, along with the destination URL, the keyword being used, other keywords using the ad, the average search volume and ad rank, the estimated CPC, the number of days the ad has been seen, when it was first seen, and when it was last seen. All of these data points provide extremely beneficial insights for PPC advertisers.

The AEI score, for example, provides an indication about how effective an ad is (we’ll talk about this score in more detail in an upcoming tutorial). Ads with a 70 or higher score indicate ads that work well and are worth studying in more detail.

The destination URL can be used to see which landing pages your competition is using in order to glean ideas for your own landing pages. You may pick up some wording that would work for your ads or find some design and layout ideas worth implementing.

The keyword associated with each ad shows you which keyword your competition is tying to the ad copy and landing page offering insight into how tight their sales funnel is (we’ll talk about this in more detail later). Additionally, the other keywords show you which keywords are grouped together for which ads to give an idea about how you might group your own related keywords.

Search volume shows you how much opportunity there is for a particular keyword and average rank and estimated CPC gives you an idea about how competitive a term is. Ideally, you’d like to find keywords with a high search volume and a low CPC that are a good fit for your offering.

Finally, days seen, first seen, and last seen give you an idea about how long an ad has been running and whether or not it’s currently being used. This is an indication of how successful an ad is and is part of iSpionage’s unique algorithm on which we base the AEI score for ads. The higher the AEI, the greater the likelihood that an ad is a high performing ad.

All of these data points help businesses make smarter decisions about their PPC campaigns based on keywords and ads that are working well for other businesses.

Top Competitors in Google

The final section on the summary page lists GoDaddy’s top competitors in Google.

Top PPC Competitors

This list includes GoDaddy’s top 10 competitors, approximately how much they spend per month on Google ads, and how many keywords overlap with GoDaddy.

The competitor snapshot provides a list of the top website’s bidding for the same keywords as GoDaddy, giving them a better idea of who they’re competing with and how much their competition is spending per month on PPC ad campaigns.

Wrapping It Up

As you can see, the competitor insights offered through iSpionage help companies get a jump start on optimizing PPC ad campaigns. The data can be used by agencies to quickly build out new campaigns and by businesses looking to improve their current campaigns.

Using iSpionage competitive keyword insights helps businesses to:

  • Shorten the time it takes to build out new campaigns
  • Start with the most effective ads and keywords first
  • Optimize current campaigns based on what’s working well for other companies in the same industry

Now that you have a better idea about how iSpionage works and what kinds of valuable insights you can get from conducting competitive keyword analysis, we’re going to dig a bit deeper and show you how to get even more out of your iSpionage account. Click below to move on to the next tutorial.

Up Next: Using iSpionage to Identify Profitable but Easy-to-Miss Keyword Opportunities


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