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What Is Digital Advertising? Types, Benefits & Examples (+Pro Tips!)

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What Is Digital Advertising? Types, Benefits & Examples (+Pro Tips!)

Digital advertising is one of the most effective ways for businesses of all sizes to expand their reach, find new customers, and diversify their revenue streams.

That is, if you know how to navigate it right. Each ad network has its own unique strengths that you need to play to if you want to actually get a return on your investment.

And that’s why I’ve written this guide! In it, I’m going to distill the complex world of digital advertising down into its four core channels and show you how to harness the power of each one to grow your business.

Let’s get started.

Table of contents

What is digital advertising?

Digital advertising refers to any and all digital means of what many people call “paying to play.” You pay to get your business to appear on popular online channels, including search engines, social media platforms, websites, apps‚ and more.

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Types of digital advertising

There are four core channels of digital advertising: search, display, social, and video.

Search advertising

Search advertising is also known as paid search, PPC, search engine marketing, search ads, or text ads.

Search ads are the text-based ads you see on the search engine results page (SERP). They appear based on what a user has searched and can be seen at the top of results, at the bottom, and sometimes on the side. You can run search ads on Google or Bing, but Google is the go-to.

Search ads also include Shopping ads, as there is a Shopping tab on Google, and Shopping ads can also appear on the regular Search tab:

google shopping ads on the SERP

Display advertising

Display ads, also known as banner ads, are the ads you see on websites and apps. Unlike search ads that are text-based, these are image based and they come in all different shapes and sizes. There are tons of networks you can run display ads on—the Google Display Network, of course, being one of the most popular.

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digital advertising examples - display ad examples

Social media advertising

Social media advertising refers to ads on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and more. Like display ads, they come in many formats and placements and support a range of creative, from images and video to immersive mobile experiences. Facebook is the most versatile platform for businesses, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this guide.

1677264652 602 What Is Digital Advertising Types Benefits Examples Pro Tips

 

Video advertising

Social and display networks support video ads, but we’re talking about video as a channel here rather than a format. The world of video streaming and OTT can be complex, but what is *the* video channel? YouTube of course. YouTube ads include both video ads that play before, after, and during videos; as well as non-video ads that appear over videos and in search results.

digital advertising examples - youtube ad examples

Benefits of digital advertising

First and foremost, digital advertising is very cost-effective, first because it’s pay-per-click (or depending on what platform you’re using, it could be pay per impression, pay per video view, etc.)—you only pay when someone takes the desired action of your campaign. Even better, the targeting capabilities that come with digital advertising make it such that you’ll get the most qualified people to take these desired actions.

And to top it off, each digital advertising channel has its own set of benefits. Let’s take a look.

Benefits of search ads

Intent to buy is highest on search engines, and since you’re targeting keywords, your ads can appear for people searching for exactly what you have to offer. In fact, 89% of buying journeys begin with a search engine, and for commercial intent queries, 65% of the clicks go to paid ads. No wonder the ROI is 200%!

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benefits of digital advertising - search ad stats

Benefits of display ads

Display ads build brand awareness, which is a top goal for 89% of marketers. Why? Because it feeds into the success of every marketing campaign you run—including your search ads. In fact, one study found that 27% of consumers conducted a search for a business after seeing its display ad, and that there was a 59% lift in conversions when users conducted a search related to a display ad. And we haven’t even talked about retargeting yet! 92% of marketing professionals say that retargeting display ads perform at the same level or better than search marketing.

benefits of digital advertising - display ad stats

Benefits of social ads

While intent to buy is highest on search engines, you shouldn’t only be targeting people in your audience with purchase intent. Enter: social, where there is intent to engage and discover.

Similar to display ads, social media ads build brand awareness due to the reach of social networks and their creative design capabilities. They’re also minimally disruptive, since they blend in well with users’ feeds and can be liked, shared, and commented on.

The cherry on top is that because users share detailed information about themselves on the platforms, social media ads allow for granular targeting. This makes social ads the perfect impulse enablers. They allow you to get in front of users when they’re open to taking action.

benefits of digital advertising - social media ad stats

  • An average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month.
  • 78% of U.S. consumers have made purchases through discoveries on Facebook.
  • Social media is the second-most popular channel for online brand research.

Benefits of video ads

We all know that video content holds power. It can inspire need through creative storytelling, make someone aware of their candidacy for a product or service, simplify complicated offerings, and build positive sentiment toward your brand.

While you can run video ads on Facebook and other display placements, they are often played with the sound off, and this is not the primary reason people turn to social media or websites. On YouTube, however, users are looking for visual, audible experiences—not to mention the fact that it is the second largest search engine in the world—making it the perfect place to reach your audience with education, entertainment, and emotion.

benefits of digital advertising - video ad stats

88% of people say they’v been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

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YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world.

70% of consumers have purchased from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.

Digital advertising examples

We have tons of digital advertising examples for you to browse.

google ads examples - bluevine search ad

facebook ad examples - shopify

instagram ad copy example - halos

skippable youtube ad example

types of google ads - example of types of display ads on a news web page

Digital advertising tips

Each digital advertising platform is a little different, so here are our best digital advertising tips, broken down by channel.

Search advertising tips

If you’re new to search ads or want to brush up on the fundamentals, these are the core things you need to nail down.

digital advertising - responsive search ad cheat sheet

If you’re a little further along in your search ad strategy, here are some more advanced tips:

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1. Understand the nuances of Quality Score

Maintaining a high Quality Score is important because Google rewards high-quality ads with higher positions and lower CPCs (hence why it’s our #1 in starter tip). You can do this by keeping your click-through rate up; tightly aligning your ads, landing pages, and keywords; and optimizing the landing page user experience.

digital advertising - ad rank vs cost per click

But a healthy Google Ads account has a mix of campaigns, and a Quality Score of 10 is just not realistic for some keyword types. Here’s what’s considered a good Quality Score for different types of keywords:

  • Branded keywords: 8-10
  • High commercial intent keywords: 7-9
  • Low commercial intent keywords: 7
  • Competitor keywords: 3+

Keep these in mind when creating your campaigns!

2. Theme out your ad groups

The way you organize your campaigns and ad groups impacts how easy it is for you to manage your account and how effective your ads are, which impacts how much they’ll cost.

You can organize your campaigns according to what works best for you—such as by types of products or services you’re advertising, or by geographic location. What’s more important is that the ad groups within those campaigns are grouped by theme.

This is because you can only have one landing page per ad group, so this will ensure your ads and landing pages are super relevant to the keywords you’re targeting (to keep your Quality Score high).

digital advertising - google ads account structure

3. Get feisty

What makes search advertising so effective is also what makes it so competitive, so you need to be in it to win it! For starters, you’ll want to bid on your competitors’ brand terms—chances are they’re already bidding on yours.

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digital advertising examples - ppc ad copy

Also, use competitor keyword research tools to find out the other keywords they’re bidding on. Some keywords you’ll be able to target head-on with better offers. For others where your offer isn’t as strong, use extensions and exceptional ad copy to improve your click appeal. Appearance, enthusiasm, and words sell!

And don’t forget the weak spots—keywords they’re not focused on that you can capture clicks for.

4. Be a keyword connoisseur

At the heart of a successful Google Ads campaign are the right keywords. But it’s not enough to just do your keyword research, input the list into your ad group, and call it a day. You need to regularly maintain keyword lists and seek out new keywords to target. Here’s how:

  • Use the search terms report: to find cheaper, higher-converting keywords that have less competition; new keywords to add to your ads; and negative keywords to block that are wasting spend.
  • Isolate low Quality Score keywords: Remove the ones with low Quality Scores and put them in their own ad group with hyper-focused ads and landing pages. If you can’t get a lift in performance there, you may want to pause or delete them if they’re not valuable enough for your business.

digital advertising - keyword quality score

5. Adequately fund your campaigns

All too often, we see accounts that fall into this scenario: Average CPCs are $10+, they have many high-quality, well-focused keywords, but the daily budget is spread across 5-10 campaigns, each getting only $5/day—not even enough to cover one click.

digital advertising - keyword research example

This is why keyword research (starter tip #2) is so important! Luckily we have a Free Keyword Tool for that!

Google Ads adjusts and optimizes the delivery of your ads based on real-time performance data. If you underfund your campaigns, your ads won’t serve frequently enough to give Google the data it needs to make those optimizations and give you a return on your investment.

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If you’re so tightly strapped for cash that you have very low budgets, there are plenty of ways to save money in Google Ads while sticking to your guns. If you’ve covered all those bases, prioritize your account. Pick the campaign or keyword set you think is going to perform best, turn off all others, and divert all of your budget to that group. Let it run for a while and evaluate performance. If you’re seeing results, keep going. If not, pause that group and move on to the next.

    Display advertising tips

    Here are some basic tips to help you turn your display ads into audience- and awareness-building all-stars.

    • Get savvy on sizes, specs, and setup. Our cheatsheet to display ads covers everything you need on this front.
    • Arm yourself with design best practice and creative ideas: You’re not dealing with just blue text like in search ads. These display ad examples will give you inspo, intel, and best practices around creative design.
    • Make friends with audience targeting. While search ads are keyword-based, display ads are audience based. You need to know all the audience options available to you!

    Those are just the basics. If you are looking to really optimize your display campaigns, follow these tips:

    1. Carefully curate your audiences

    The main goal with display advertising is that of gaining impressions and brand awareness. But if you want that volume to have a true impact on your other campaigns, you need to carefully curate your audiences. Here are some sources to explore:

    • Referral traffic report (Google Analytics): Go to Acquisition > Referral traffic to see which websites are linking to yours the most. This can help you understand which websites cater to people that could benefit from your product or service.
    • Audience report (Google Analytics): Head over to the Audience > Interests > Overview to see which affinity and in-market audiences your current website visitors fall into.

    Audience Insights (Google Ads): Head to Tools>Shared Library>Audience Manager and look at affinity and in-market characteristics for any list or segment—all users, all converters, blog subscribers, and users who logged in on the site, for example. You’ll see that these qualities change based on which segment you’re looking at.

    digital advertising - display ad targeting

    2. Strategically retarget your engagers

    With retargeting campaigns, you can serve ads to people based on their previous engagement with your business, such as products they’ve viewed but not yet purchased, content they’ve downloaded, solutions they’ve viewed, and other ads they’ve engaged with.

    Why might you do this? Well, the average click-through rate for retargeting display ads is 0.7%, which is 10 times higher than that of regular display ads. And a website visitor who’s been retargeted with a display ad is 70% more likely to convert.

    If you want to run all-star display ads, remarketing campaigns must be in your mix (just avoid these remarketing mistakes!).

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    3. Conduct placement audits

    A good advertiser will choose their audience targeting parameters and then call it a day. A great advertiser will look at how the placements within those audiences are performing and refine further with exclusions.

    For example, mobile app and game placements tend to be a waste of budget—too many accidental taps. You’ll also find among your successful placements that some are the cream of the crop. So conduct placement audits to see which ones are offering the most value.

    digital advertising - display ad placement examples

    Image source

    4. Know how to measure their success

    As we’ve touched on, most industries don’t see a ton of direct conversions from their display campaigns. With the bulk of their magic going on behind the scenes, how do you measure their success?

    The all-star advertiser knows how.

    The simplest way is through view-through conversions. A view-through conversion happens when a user sees your display ad, does NOT click on it, but then later returns to your site (whether by organic search or direct) and completes a conversion then.

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    That being said, customize your Google Ads settings to include view-through conversions and use a short lookback window (the amount of time that elapses between impression and conversion).

    digital advertising - view through conversions

    This metric will never be as certain as click-through conversions, but we have reason to believe we can trust it. We also have some more advanced strategies for measuring the impact of your display ads on search campaigns here.

      Social advertising tips

      To succeed with Facebook advertising, here are some tips that will get you on the right track:

      • Learn account and campaign setup: Our Facebook ad tutorial will walk you through creating your first campaign.
      • Take on Aggregated Event Measurement: This is an additional part of setup that has to do with privacy changes. Use our AEM tips to understand what they are and how to prioritize your events.
      • Nail down how Facebook targeting works: Targeting has long been Facebook’s bread and butter, but it has changed a bit due to privacy policies. Our Facebook Ad Targeting guide will get you up to speed.

      And now, some more Facebook advertising tips to help you take things to the next level:

      1. Build a full Facebook ads funnel

      When you’re paying to play, it’s tempting to only promote bottom-funnel offers that will bring in direct profit. But this can actually backfire on you. Remember, not everyone in your audience is going to be ready to purchase right away—and it’s not about what’s highest value to you, but what’s highest value to your prospects at each stage in their buying journey.

      So use a variety of campaign objectives within Facebook ads to promote offers that range across your funnel. With a full-funnel strategy, you can capture leads, nurture them, and retarget them with higher value offers—and as you can see, this can make a world of difference in your conversion rates and ROI.

      digital advertising - facebook full funnel

      2. Organize your campaigns by objective

      Too many times, advertisers break out their campaigns according to who their targeting rather than what their objective is. So let’s say you have an SEO ebook for small businesses. You have three different variations of the ebook—one for physical therapists, one for interior designers, and one for lawyers.

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      Instead of creating three separate campaigns for each audience, the better way to go is to create one campaign for the ebook and then within the campaign create three ad sets for each audience. This is how Facebook campaigns and ad sets are meant to be used.

      With this proper Facebook ad account structure, you can more efficiently manage and optimize your ads as well as scale your efforts and offers.

      digital advertising - facebook ad account structure

      3. Consolidate your conversions

      Once your pixel is set up, you can then tell Facebook which conversion events you want to track. Back to our SEO ebook example, you could set up a separate conversion event for each ebook download, but if you do, this is what you’ll see when you’re at the campaign-level view:

      digital advertising - facebook ad conversion count

      There’s no way to see conversion counts at a glance. You’ll have to dig into each ad set’s data to look at how many total conversions you’re getting from the campaign.

      But if you create one ebook download conversion event, you can then get a total conversion count quickly from the campaign view. It’s a small detail that can save you time and help you make decisions faster.

      Plus, with Aggregated Event Measurement, you’ll want to consolidate your conversions as much as possible. Events outside of your eight priority choices will not be reported on if they’re taken by iOS 14+ users who have opted out of Facebook tracking.

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      4. Learn how to get creative

      Understanding who your people are and how to inspire their desire is key to winning at paid social. While this used to be child’s play in years past with all the native targeting, privacy changes have thrown a wrench into things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. And we have lots of clever workarounds for you to try. For example:

      digital advertising - facebook page targeting

      • Aggravated with Aggregated Event Measurement? Capture leads on Facebook directly with lead form ads or click-to-messenger ads.
      • Bummed out by the restrictions on targeting based on employment, real estate, and finance targeting? Use in-market audiences on Google, which still offer this kind of targeting, to get traffic to your site that you can use as a source audience for a Facebook lookalike campaign.

      5. Be more strategic with interest targeting

      Despite privacy restrictions, Facebook still offers detailed targeting on a number of different interests. But instead of targeting an interest identical to the product or service you’re advertising, think outside the box a bit. Consider the following:

      • Competitors: Even if you’re not getting clicks, you’re generating brand awareness among their audiences.
      • Parallel interests: If you’re advertising toys, you might target children’s clothing. Or if you’re advertising workout equipment, you might try people interested in electronic music or healthy recipes.
      • Adjacent audiences: Look at influencers and institutions in your industry that have pages with large followings. There you’ll also find related pages, pages liked by that page, and top fans. You can then go to their profiles, add “/likes” at the end of the URL and then see what they have liked.

      digital advertising - social media audience targeting

      YouTube advertising tips

          Here’s your starter kit for advertising on YouTube.

          And here are some more advanced YouTube advertising tips to consider:

          1. Prioritize the first 5 seconds

          The best video ads understand that users likely won’t see past the first five seconds. While some lean into the six-second bumper ad format (equal part art and science), others attempt to persuade the user to stick around for the full ad.

          Pragmatically, make sure you have your business name and a call to action and/or contact method in the first five seconds.

          digital advertising - video ad examples

          2. Use YouTube Studio analytics

          There is a lot of data you can get in YouTube Studio that you can’t get with regular Google Ads reports. For example, you can look at device reporting in Google Ads, but if you look in Studio, you can add additional metrics like card clicks.

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          This is important because when looking at devices only, it appears as though TV, tablet, and game console devices bring in a decent number of views.

          digital advertising - youtube studio analytics

          But when you add in card clicks and average percentage viewed, we can see that while average view duration is longer for TV and Game console, these devices have zero clicks.

          digital advertising - youtube studio analytics

          This is because TV and Game console devices will not show cards, so if you’re running a TrueView discovery campaign, you’ll be paying for those video views even though they’re not converting.

          Unless you’re also striving for awareness or video engagement, the metrics in this view suggest that you only run your campaigns on Computer or Mobile phones. View more YouTube Studio report tips here.

          3. Be aware of fine-print settings

          There are some fine print settings when setting up video campaigns in Google Ads that you should be aware of. For example, Video Action campaigns support call-to-action extensions, sitelink extensions, and more to encourage users to visit your website.

          digital advertising tips - video ad fine print example

          Image source

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          But according to Google, “The call-to-action button on TVs is only available for Video campaigns that use the “Brand awareness and reach” and “Product and brand consideration” goals. In other words, these extensions won’t show up on most TV devices. So if you’re running a Video Action campaign, turn off this placement.

          digital advertising - youtube ad example with CTA

          TV device targeting isn’t worthless—many people watch TV with their phones in their hands and after seeing your ad they could easily look up what your brand or product is. But if you want to capitalize on TV devices, split it out into its own campaign. You’ll have better control of the budget and get better insight on how your Action campaigns perform both on and off TV devices.

          4. Set a frequency cap

          Aside from creative, it’s important to remember video ads interrupt content a user actively chose to engage in. If you serve the same ad (or ads in the same series) to people too frequently, they will eventually tune you out or develop bad brand sentiment.

          Be sure you set a frequency cap for daily/weekly views. A good place to start is five views per week and adjust from there.

          digital advertising - frequency cap

          Digital advertising 101: Wrapup

          Whether it’s search, display, social, or video, all ad channels have a place on your digital advertising team—as long as you know how to play to each one’s strengths. Hopefully, this guide has given you an understanding of those strengths so you can assemble each ad into a lead-, sale-, and ROI-generating machine for your business.

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A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads: Revolutionizing Digital Advertising & Marketing Since 2000

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A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads: Revolutionizing Digital Advertising & Marketing Since 2000

What started in 2000 as Google AdWords with just 350 advertisers has burgeoned into a comprehensive digital advertising platform, indispensable to digital marketing strategies worldwide. Now re-branded as Google Ads, it stands as a colossus, shaping the way businesses reach their target audience online.

If you’re your looking for a guide on how to use Google Adwords to advertise your business you might enjoy our Ultimate Guide to PPC.

The Conceptual Foundation of Google Ads

Before Google Adwords was launched, the online advertising landscape was vastly different. Traditional models dominated, and the concept of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising was still in its infancy. Google Ads introduced a game-changing model that allowed advertisers to pay only when a user clicked on their ad, offering a more performance-driven approach than ever before. This innovation not only maximized the efficiency of advertising budgets but also laid the groundwork for a more interactive and targeted advertising ecosystem.

But Google Adwords was not technically the first pay per click advertising platform. There was another PPC paid search platform known as Overture which launched before Adwords.

The Early Days of Online PPC Search Advertising

Before Google AdWords became synonymous with search advertising, there was Overture. Founded in 1998 as GoTo.com, Overture was the pioneer of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model. In February of that year, Jeffrey Brewer of Goto.com presented a pay per click search engine proof-of-concept to the TED conference in California.

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This model was revolutionary, allowing advertisers to bid for placement in search results based on specific keywords, with the cost determined by the bid amount. This approach enabled advertisers to directly connect with potential customers actively searching for related information, products, or services online.

When Google introduced AdWords in 2000, the digital advertising landscape was ripe for innovation. Google’s entry with AdWords brought a new player into the field, initially offering a cost-per-impression model before shifting to Overture’s PPC model in 2002. This shift was a clear acknowledgment of the effectiveness of PPC advertising in connecting businesses with their target audiences in a measurable and cost-effective way.

Mutual Influence and Evolution

Overture felt Google’s approach was too similar to their’s and ended up filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, claiming that Google’s AdWords service violated its patents on PPC and bidding systems. The lawsuit was settled in 2004, with Google agreeing to issue 2.7 million shares to Yahoo (which had acquired Overture in 2003) in exchange for a perpetual license to the patents in question. This legal battle underscored the high stakes in the online advertising arena and the importance of intellectual property.

For the broader industry the relationship between Overture and Google AdWords is a classic example of competitive innovation, where the presence of each spurred the other to evolve and improve.

Google’s innovation wasn’t just in adopting the PPC model but also in enhancing it with a focus on ad relevance and targeting. Google introduced the Quality Score, a metric that determined ad placement not just on the bid amount but also on the relevance of the ad to the search query. This move forced Overture to refine its own algorithms and offerings to stay competitive, emphasizing the importance of ad quality and relevance.

Both companies played crucial roles in expanding and enriching the digital advertising ecosystem. Overture’s model laid the groundwork for keyword-based advertising, while Google AdWords introduced innovations that improved ad relevance and efficiency. These advancements helped attract more advertisers to online platforms, increasing the diversity and quality of ads presented to users.

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The competition and innovations brought forth by Overture and Google laid the foundation for subsequent advancements in digital advertising. It influenced the development of advertising platforms on social media and other online channels, highlighting the importance of targeted advertising, relevance, and the user experience.

1712832962 546 A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads Revolutionizing Digital

Early Challenges and Evolution of Google Adwords

The journey was not without its hurdles. As internet usage surged and Google’s popularity soared, the platform faced significant technical and scaling challenges. This period also saw the expansion of Adwords beyond search to include display advertising, marking the beginning of the Google Display Network.

Its rise to prominence in digital advertising can be attributed to several key factors:

1. Integration with Google Search

  • Vast Reach: Google’s dominance as a search engine provided a vast audience for AdWords ads, offering advertisers unparalleled access to potential customers.
  • Intent-Based Targeting: Ads on Google are shown based on user search queries, meaning that AdWords could deliver highly targeted advertising based on real-time intent, a significant advantage over traditional advertising mediums.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Model

  • Cost-Effectiveness: AdWords popularized the PPC model, where advertisers only pay when a user clicks on their ad. This efficiency made it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes, ensuring budget spend was tied directly to tangible results.
  • Accessibility to Small Businesses: The PPC model leveled the playing field, allowing small businesses to compete with larger companies for ad space, as long as their ads were relevant and of high quality.

3. Continuous Innovation

  • Quality Score and Ad Rank: Google introduced the Quality Score, a metric that assesses the relevance and quality of ads and their landing pages. This innovation ensured users saw more relevant ads, improving the user experience and increasing the likelihood of ad clicks, benefitting both advertisers and users. Ad Rank built on quality score and improved the quality of adverts for search users.
  • Advanced Targeting Options: Over time, Google introduced sophisticated targeting options, including location targeting, demographic targeting, and later, remarketing. These features allowed advertisers to refine their audience with precision, improving the effectiveness of their campaigns.

4. Comprehensive Analytics and Tools

  • Google Analytics Integration: AdWords’ seamless integration with Google Analytics provided advertisers with detailed insights into their ad performance and website traffic, enabling data-driven decision-making.
  • Robust Toolset: Tools like AdWords Editor and later, Google Ads Manager, allowed advertisers to manage and optimize their campaigns efficiently, saving time and enhancing campaign performance.

5. Expanding Beyond Search

  • Google Display Network: AdWords expanded beyond search ads to include the Google Display Network, offering visual ads across millions of websites. This expansion allowed advertisers to reach users across different stages of the buying cycle, not just when they were searching for specific terms.
  • YouTube and Mobile Advertising: The acquisition of YouTube and the growth of mobile advertising opened new channels for AdWords advertisers, tapping into video and the increasing use of smartphones for internet access.

6. A User-Centric Approach

  • Enhancing User Experience: Google has consistently prioritized the user experience, refining its algorithms to display the most relevant ads and penalizing low-quality content. This focus on user satisfaction has kept users engaged and trusting in the Google ecosystem, indirectly benefiting advertisers by maintaining a high user base.

7. Global Reach and Local Relevance

  • Language and Localization: AdWords supported multiple languages and localized advertising, making it a powerful tool for businesses targeting global markets or aiming for hyper-local advertising.

1712832962 66 A History of Google AdWords and Google Ads Revolutionizing Digital

Key points in history and Milestones for Google Adwords

1. Launch and PPC Model Introduction (2000-2002)

  • 2000: Google AdWords launches with a cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions model.
  • 2002: The introduction of the pay-per-click (PPC) model, significantly altering the online advertising landscape. This shift made advertising more accessible to businesses of all sizes, offering a more performance-oriented advertising solution.

2. Quality Score and Ad Rank Introduction (2005-2006)

  • 2005: Google introduces the Quality Score, a critical component that would determine the cost and placement of ads based on relevance, landing page quality, and click-through rate (CTR).
  • 2006: The Ad Rank formula, which decides the position of an ad on the search results page, now includes Quality Score along with the bid amount. This emphasized the importance of relevant, high-quality ads.

3. Expansion Beyond Search (2005-2008)

  • 2005: Launch of the Google Display Network (GDN), allowing advertisers to place ads on a wide network of websites beyond Google’s search results.
  • 2006: Introduction of local search ads, enabling businesses to target ads based on the geographical location of users.
  • 2007: Acquisition of DoubleClick, enhancing ad serving and providing advertisers with sophisticated tools for managing display ads.
  • 2008: Google introduces AdWords for Video, later integrated into YouTube, allowing for video-based advertising.

4. Mobile Advertising and Enhanced Campaigns (2010-2013)

  • 2010: With the rise of smartphones, Google focuses on mobile advertising, introducing features that allow advertisers to target mobile device users.
  • 2013: The launch of Enhanced Campaigns, making it easier for advertisers to target users across devices with the right ad type, size, and message based on user context, time of day, and device type.

5. Introduction of Machine Learning and Automation (2015-Present)

  • 2015: Google starts incorporating machine learning into AdWords to improve ad targeting and bidding.
  • 2016: Introduction of Smart Bidding, using machine learning to optimize bids for conversions.
  • 2017: Launch of Google Ads Data Hub, offering advanced analysis and reporting features.

6. Rebranding to Google Ads (2018)

  • 2018: Google AdWords is rebranded as Google Ads. This change reflects the platform’s growth beyond search to encompass a variety of advertising formats across Google’s vast array of services, including the Display Network, YouTube, and Google Maps.

7. Introduction of New Advertising Solutions and Platforms (2019-Present)

  • 2019 and beyond: Continuous introduction of new ad types and formats, such as Discovery Ads and Gallery Ads, aimed at providing more engaging and visually appealing advertising options. Expansion of automation and AI-driven tools to optimize campaign performance.

These milestones highlight Google Ads’ evolution from a simple text-based advertising system to a comprehensive digital advertising platform. By continually integrating new technologies and adapting to changes in user behavior and advertiser needs, Google Ads has maintained its position as a leading platform in the digital advertising space.

Impact on Digital Marketing and Economy

Google Ads has undeniably shaped modern digital marketing strategies, enabling businesses to reach their audience with unprecedented precision and efficiency. Its impact extends beyond marketing, contributing significantly to economic growth by providing businesses of all sizes with accessible and effective advertising tools.

Challenges and Controversies

However, the platform has not been without its challenges and controversies, particularly concerning privacy and regulatory issues. Balancing advertising effectiveness with user privacy remains an ongoing challenge for Google Ads.

The Future of Google Ads

Looking ahead, Google Ads is expected to continue its trajectory of innovation, with automation, personalization, and integration with emerging digital platforms at the forefront. Its role in the digital marketing ecosystem remains as vital as ever, adapting to the changing needs of businesses and consumers alike.

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31 Ready-to-Go Mother’s Day Messages for Social Media, Email, & More

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31 Ready-to-Go Mother's Day Messages for Social Media, Email, & More

Mothers and mother figures are the unsung heroes of our lives. They work hard, provide for their families, and often put their own needs aside for the sake of their loved ones. They deserve to be celebrated.

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to help your customers express gratitude for the coolest “mom” in their life.

Whether you’re a small business or a large company, these tips and examples will help you create Happy Mother’s Day messages that will make your brand shine.

Contents

Tips for writing Mother’s Day messages

Are you looking to make the most of Mother’s Day and reach your target audience? Here are some tips for writing marketing messages.

  • Keep it concise. You don’t need a lengthy message to convey the spirit of Mother’s Day. Be sure to include a call-to-action that encourages people to visit your site, learn more about your offering, or make a purchase.
  • Be genuine and add some humor. A little humor goes a long way toward making your message stand out. Run your message by a few mothers in your organization to ensure it resonates.
  • Use personal stories and anecdotes. Tell unique Mother’s Day stories inspired by your employees or customers. These stories will help your customers relate to your brand and make them feel more connected.
  • Remember the kids. If you have kids of your own, they might love writing Mother’s Day cards or making gifts for Mom this year. Encourage them (and even let them help!) by ensuring that all of your marketing materials include something fun for children, too.
  • Make it shareable. Create a message that people will want to share with their friends and family. Use catchy phrases, humorous quips, or inspiring quotes to encourage people to share your message on social media—and don’t make your brand the focus.

inclusive mothers day social post on instagram

This business shared an inclusive Mother’s Day message on Instagram.

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Overall, center your message on feelings of love, gratitude, and appreciation. Use words that will evoke these emotions in your audience, and they won’t be quick to forget your brand.

⚡️ Want marketing ideas for every month of the year? Free guide >> The Mega Must-Have Marketing Calendar

Mother’s Day messages for sales

Mother’s Day is a great time to show your appreciation for moms. It’s also an opportunity for you to promote your business. You can use these Mother’s Day messages for sales in email marketing campaigns, on social media, and more.

  • Celebrate Mother’s Day in style with our exclusive sale! Get up to 50% off on all women’s fashion items, and give your mom a gift she’ll love. Hurry, the sale ends soon.
  • Mom deserves the best, and we’re here to help you give it to her! Enjoy our Mother’s Day sale and save big on all our products. We’ve got everything you need to make her day special.
  • Make your mom feel like a celebrity this Mother’s Day. We’re giving away a VIP experience for two at a popular event in town. Simply purchase $50 or more and stand a chance to win. Let’s make this day extra special for our moms!
  • Make Mother’s Day unforgettable with our exclusive sale. From personalized mugs to custom-made accessories, we have everything you need to make your mom feel special. Shop now and save up to 30% on all our products.
  • Looking for the perfect gift for your mom? Look no further than our Mother’s Day sale! We’ve got a wide range of gifts to make her day, and they’re all available at discounted prices. Shop now and show your mom how much she means to you.
  • Celebrate your superhero this Mother’s Day with our amazing collection of gifts. Get 20% off on all our products with code MOTHER20. Shop now and make this day extra special for your mom.
  • For all the moms out there, we’ve got gifts that will make you feel closer than ever before.
  • First Mother’s Day? No problem. We’ve got you covered with gifts and products that will make this day the most memorable one yet.

mothers day sale email examplemothers day sale email example

👀 Looking for sales promotion ideas? We’ve got you covered! Free guide >> 15 Insanely Effective Sales Promotion Examples to Win More Customers

Mother’s Day messages for social media

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you can use social media to promote your products and connect with your customers meaningfully.

Here are some Mother’s Day marketing messages to use as inspiration for your social media campaigns.

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  • Celebrate Mother’s Day with us and show your mom some love. Share your favorite memory with your amazing mother in the comments and stand a chance to win a gift from us.
  • Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Surprise your mom with a gift she’ll cherish forever. Visit our website and get a discount of 15% on all purchases.
  • Thank your mom for always being there for you. Let’s show our gratitude this Mother’s Day with a special message. Use our Mother’s Day filter and share it with your mom.
  • It’s Mother’s Day, and we want to make it special for your mom. Like and share this post and get a chance to win a gift basket for your mom.
  • Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there! This day is all about celebrating you. Use our hashtag #MothersDayWith[YourBrandName] and show us how you’re celebrating.
  • You always look up to your mother, no matter how tall you grow. Happy Mother’s Day to the moms who inspire us to be our best selves.
  • We may not say it often, but we’re grateful for all you do, Mom. This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate with a special gift. Use the code THANKSMOM at checkout and get a discount on all purchases.
  • Mom, you’re our hero, and we’re forever grateful for you. Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day with a special gift. Share a picture of you and your mom and stand a chance to win a gift card from us.
  • This Mother’s Day, take your mom on a road trip, cook her favorite meal, or go on an adventure together. It’s not always about the gift but the memories you make together. Share your special moments with us using #MomAndMe and stand a chance to win an exclusive Mother’s Day gift!

mothers day event post on instagrammothers day event post on instagram

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🚨 Get copy-and-paste social media posts ready for the whole year in our free social media template!

Mother’s Day messages for SMS

Use these short and sweet Mother’s Day messages for your SMS promotions.

  • Savings for mom? Yes, please. Use the code SUPERMOM at checkout and get an exclusive 15% discount on all beauty essentials.
  • It’s time to raise a toast to the ultimate superwoman! Get a discount of 25% on all our top-notch wines and spirits this Mother’s Day. Cheers, Mom.
  • For all the superhero moms out there, we’re offering a discount of 20% on our latest collection of graphic tees. Get ready to show off your superpowers.
  • Happy Mother’s Day! Stop in today for a special surprise.

Mother’s Day quotes

Quotes make an excellent social media caption, email addition, and more. Here are some Mother’s Day quotes you can use.

  • “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” — Princess Diana
  • “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” — Unknown
  • “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” — Jill Churchill
  • “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” — Sophia Loren
  • “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” –Maya Angelou

canva template with maya angelou mothers day quotecanva template with maya angelou mothers day quote

We curated some Canva templates for you, including one for quotes like the above image! Access them here.

Simple Mother’s Day messages for any business

In need of a simple Mother’s Day greeting for your audience. We’ve got you covered.

  • Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom and mother figures out there. Thank you for all you do!
  • If Mother’s Day is a difficult day for you, just know that you’re loved. We’re thinking of you.
  • Wishing everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at [business name]!
  • Moms, you’re the best! Enjoy your day 💐

mindful mothers day message in emailmindful mothers day message in email

Make Your Mother’s Day messages stand out

Crafting great Mother’s Day quotes and messages is necessary for any brand looking to make a lasting impression on this special day.

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Whether celebrating a new mother’s role as her best friend, showing appreciation for a wonderful mother-in-law, or simply sending warm Mother’s Day wishes, your messaging can help strengthen customer relationships and boost sales.

Don’t underestimate the power of an inspirational Mother’s Day message to make this day even more meaningful for the special mother figure in your customers’ lives.



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Competitor Monitoring: 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

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Competitor Monitoring: 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

George Prodanov is the Head of Paid Media at Love Energy Savings – the UK’s leading utilities marketplace.

Competitor monitoring is a key ingredient of marketing. An understanding of how your rivals go about customer acquisition and retention can inform your own marketing strategy, as well as help you navigate the business landscape more effectively.

Digital marketing offers a wide variety of innovative ways to monitor your competitors’ marketing operations at little to no cost.

Here are seven smart competitor tracking tactics to hone your competitive edge:

1. Track Your Competitors using Google Auction Insights

When it comes to competitor analysis in paid search, Google’s Auction Insights is one of the most valuable first-party data sources available. This report can be a good way to benchmark your relative performance across a specific keyword (or keyword set) against that of other advertisers.

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Auction Insights offers six primary metrics: impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, top of page rate, absolute top of page rate, and outranking share. Additionally, you can segment the report by time, device, and campaign type.

Keep in mind that you will only be able to see insights for keywords for which you have accumulated sufficient historical data. During periods of inactivity, you will also lose sight of competitor data. Furthermore, the Auction Insights report won’t include any data for keywords that aren’t in your account but may be in the accounts of your competitors.

Inside the Google Auction insights report

Competitor Monitoring 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

Tracking Auction Movements Over Time

To track advertiser activity, first select the keyword or keyword set you wish to monitor. Then click ‘Auction insights’ which will open the report. Specify the date range you wish to cover and press ‘Download’.  To break down the report by units of time, select ‘More options’ and under ‘Segments’ pick one or more of the following: Day, Week, Month, Quarter, Year, or Day of the Week. Lastly, choose your preferred file format and hit ‘Download’.

You can pivot the data and plot advertiser activity over time, allowing you to gauge who’s in the auction and when, as well as how aggressively they may be bidding. Additionally, you can reverse-engineer your competitors’ ad schedules based on their activity by Day of the Week and Time of Day. Regularly casting an eye on auction movements can help you spot trends and patterns that can inform your marketing strategy.

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If you plan to track competitors on an ongoing basis, labelling your chosen keyword set can be a good way to streamline the report for future use. Alternatively, you can schedule a recurring report to be delivered via email.

Mapping Your Competitors’ Keyword Presence

In addition to tracking auction movements, you can use this report to help you plot your competitors’ keyword coverage and ad frequency.

Consider a scenario where you’re marketing multiple products and wish to analyze how your competitors allocate their budgets across these products. You could create keyword segments corresponding to each product and use Action Insights to analyze your competitors’ presence across the different segments.

To effectively compare these segments, you’d have to convert Auction Insights metrics from percentages to absolute values. To do this, make note of the total impressions for each keyword segment prior to opening Auction Insights. Then open the report separately for each segment and multiply total impressions by your competitor’s impression share to convert percentages into actual numbers. For instance, if a keyword segment has 1,000 impressions and a competitor has 75% impression share, this means your competitor received 750 impressions (1,000 * 75%).

Now you’ve derived the impression counts for each competitor, you can also calculate the number of top of page and absolute top of page impressions. To do this, multiply total impressions by the Top of Page and Absolute Top of Page rates respectively. For example, if an advertiser has a 60% Top of Page rate and a 30% Absolute Top of Page rate, that means they’ve received 450 Top of Page impressions (750 * 60%) and 225 Absolute Top of Page impressions (750 * 30%).

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By calculating absolute values, you’re able to see how many impressions, impressions (top of page) and impressions (abs. top of page) each of your competitors has received across each of your product segments.

Mapping impression distribution by keyword segment

1712773573 432 Competitor Monitoring 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

To take this analysis a step further, you could extrapolate competitor impression data in order to estimate clicks, spend, sales, revenue, gross profit and even customer lifetime value (CLV).

2. Generate Keyword Ideas from Competitor Websites with Google Keyword Planner

While the default way to discover new keywords is by inputting seed keywords into Google Keyword Planner, you can also use it to generate keyword ideas based on your competitors’ websites.

Google Keyword Planner will scan their website and generate a list of keyword ideas based on the site’s content. The resulting report will show you insightful metrics, including average monthly searches, three-month change, YoY change, and top of page bids. To further refine your search, use filters such as language, location, network, and date range. To download the report, click on the download icon located at the top right.

Repeating the process for multiple competitors and consolidating the reports can be a quick and easy way to maximize your keyword coverage.

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Fast-Track Your Negative Keyword Research

Google Keyword Planner can also be a good way of learning what not to do without having to spend any money in the first place. Use this report to anticipate low-intent search queries and fast-track your negative keyword research.

To do this, click on the ‘Keyword (by relevance)’ column header to sort the report by how relevant each keyword is to your business. Then download the data and work your way up from the bottom of the report to identify irrelevant searches and expand your negative keyword lists.

3. Perform Keyword Gap Analysis Using Third-Party Software

Because Google has direct access to real-time search data from its platform, it’s better placed to provide accurate reporting than any external party.

However, Google Ads only discloses competitor data on keywords for which you have accumulated historical data, and the insights are limited to a handful of performance metrics. Moreover, even if you’re actively in the auction, you won’t be able to see competitor data for keywords that aren’t in your account.

To further your keyword expansion you can overlay Keyword Planner data with reports from third-party SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, SpyFu, or Moz Pro.

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Using Ahrefs’ Paid Report

The report will show you keywords your competitors are bidding on including keyword difficulty score, associated ad copy and landing page, estimated average CPC (cost-per-click) and traffic volume. One particularly useful feature is the ad history, which uses Gantt charts to neatly visualize which advertisers have been bidding on each keyword and when.

You can filter your report by date range, country, position, volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, traffic volume, and more. Combining filters such as CPC and keyword difficulty score could be a quick way to identify untapped opportunities. For example, a high CPC may indicate higher commercial value, which, coupled with a low keyword difficulty score, may point to low-hanging fruit on organic search.

1712773573 18 Competitor Monitoring 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

Ahrefs and other such tools rely on web crawling and clickstream data to approximate the metrics included in their reports. These are neither exhaustive lists nor an accurate reflection of the true numbers which remain hidden inside the Google black box. 

Therefore, third-party reports should be used as a guide rather than as an absolute source of truth. Still, using insights from third-party software in conjunction with first-party data from Google can make for a more comprehensive competitor analysis.

4. Explore Your Competitors’ Google Search, Display, and YouTube Ads

Google announced the launch of the Ads Transparency Center in March 2023 in an effort to enhance transparency around the digital advertising ecosystem.

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The Google Ads Transparency Center provides visibility into advertisers and their ads across Google Search, Google Display Network, as well as YouTube. 

To see your competitors’ ads, navigate to Google Ads Transparency Center, select the date range, location, and ad format, and search by advertiser or website.

Competitor ads in Google Ads Transparency Center

1712773573 23 Competitor Monitoring 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

Downloading Google Ads:

You may wish to download your competitors’ ads for further analysis or to include in your swipe file for future reference. Unfortunately, while Google allows you to view the ads, it doesn’t provide a direct download feature. This means you will require a workaround.

One way of downloading the ads is using a screen capture browser plugin such as GoFullPage to download the page as an image or a PDF. Then upload the file into ChatGPT and convert into text format. Alternatively, for long-form PDFs, use a free Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool such as OCR Space. You can use ChatGPT to perform semantic analysis to unpick the underlying messages or organize the data to your liking.

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To download video ads, click on the ad you wish to download. Next, right-click on the embedded YouTube video and select ‘Copy video URL’. Then paste the URL into a free YouTube video downloader such as yt1s.ltd. Choose the video quality you would like and download the file(s).

5. Explore Your Competitors’ Facebook and Instagram Ads

Meta, formerly Facebook, launched its Ad Library in March 2019. The Meta Ad Library, similar to the Google Ads Transparency Center, is a searchable database which provides visibility of the ads run by advertisers across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network or Messenger.  

In contrast to the Google Ads Transparency Centre, the Meta Ad Library offers more comprehensive insight into each advertiser. It allows you to filter ads by date range, language, platform, media type and active status.

Furthermore, the library includes metrics such as launch date, ad status, platform placement as well as the different ad versions. Clicking on each ad takes you to the landing page associated with that ad along with the campaign UTM still intact. 

In addition, some ads may show estimated audience size, amount spent and number of impressions. Drilling down into individual ads could provide a breakdown of ad delivery metrics including impressions by location, age, and gender.

To view your competitors’ ads, navigate to Meta Ads Library and select a country and ad category, then search by keyword or advertiser.

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Competitor ads in Meta Ads Library

1712773573 37 Competitor Monitoring 7 ways to keep watch on the competition

Downloading Meta Ads:

Unlike Google’s Ads Transparency Center, all ads in the Meta Ad Library are clickable and the ad text is copiable. You can bulk copy the ad text, by pressing ‘Ctrl + A’ to select all content on the page, then copy-paste your selection into Chat GPT and ask it to organize the text in a format of your choosing.

To download image and video ads, simply right-click each ad and select ‘Save image as’ or ‘Save video as’ respectively. 

6. Unveil Your Competitor’s Tech Stack

Knowing what technology powers your competitors and how they deploy it can be a competitive advantage in itself. Competitive intelligence tools such as Wappalyzer, SimilarTech, BuiltWith, or WhatRuns are designed to reveal the technology profile of any website in seconds. This allows you to take a sneak peek under the hood of your competitors’ digital framework and draw meaningful insights.

Such insights can help you spot opportunities, be it adopting a more cost-effective A/B testing tool or smarter analytics software. Furthermore, tracking changes over time can give away your competitors’ strategic direction. For example, the consistent reliance on specific software might suggest its effectiveness and potential return on investment.

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Conversely, a pattern of trial and error with certain technologies can signal their ineffectiveness or failure to deliver the intended result. This knowledge enables you to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid incurring unnecessary costs.

Analyze Your Competitors’ Digital Systems with Wappalyzer

Simply add the Wappalyzer extension from the Chrome Web Store. Then, navigate to your competitor’s website and click on the extension icon.

Wappalyzer will generate a comprehensive list of the technologies associated with that website, from analytics and marketing software to CMS, payment systems, web frameworks, server technologies, and many more.

Inside the Wappalyzer Chrome extension

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7. Build Your Own Competitor Monitoring System for Free

While there are various “all-in-one” competitor intel solutions out there, you can easily build a fully automated surveillance system yourself. Here are three ways to do so without spending any money:

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Set up a Competitor Monitoring Inbox

Create a new email inbox solely dedicated to tracking your competitors and subscribe to each of their newsletters. This is a simple, yet effective way to automatically collect competitor marketing communications all in one place. This way you can be the first to see your competitors’ latest eCRM campaigns and draw inspiration from a steady stream of new ideas with minimal time and effort.

Set up Social Listening Accounts

In a similar vein to a monitoring inbox, you can set up social media accounts solely dedicated to following the competition. Choose the social media platform(s) that are most relevant to your industry and follow your main competitors. This will enable you to monitor their social media content and observe how they engage their customers in the public domain.

Track Landing Page Changes

Visualping is a website monitoring tool designed to track changes on specific web pages. All you need to do is specify the URLs of the pages you wish to track and the tracking frequency. When a change is detected, you will receive an email alert accompanied by a snapshot of the old and new versions. This can be an effective way to track competitor landing page optimizations, pricing changes, job posts and new content. Currently, the free version allows you to monitor the changes on up to five pages for free. 

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Closing Thoughts

The main challenge of competitive analysis lies not in the collection of data, but in its accurate interpretation. Just because you know a competitor is doing something doesn’t mean you can infer its commercial impact. Moreover, even if you successfully gauge the cause and effect of your competitor’s actions, replicating them doesn’t guarantee you the same business outcome. 

The more pieces of the puzzle you put together, however, the more likely you are to accurately identify the missing components. Of course, knowledge for the sake of knowledge is not the end goal. Competitor intelligence can only become a strategic asset when acted upon. Ultimately, the purpose of competitor analysis is to convert insights into actions that advance your business objectives.



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