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TPE #24: how we ethically stole €63.579,92 of revenue from competitors

Jan 02, 2023

Read time: 4 minutes

In this issue of The PPC Edge, we’ll show you how we ethically stole €63.579,92 of revenue from competitors between Black Friday and Christmas.

Did you know there is a simple and powerful way to hijack your competitor’s traffic with Google Ads?

We’re not talking about competitor keyword targeting on Search.

We’re talking about a different strategy that works like this:

  1. Target a custom audience based on your competitor’s URL
  2. Create ads that show why your brand is better
  3. Write comparison ad copy on your landing page

 

You target your competitors’ traffic and show them why your brand is better.

It’s that simple.

We did that with a client between Black Friday and Christmas…

And it’s exactly how we ethically stole €63.579,92 of revenue from direct competitors:

More revenue for us, less revenue for the competitors (sorry, not sorry).

Let’s walk through the entire strategy, step-by-step (with real-life examples).

 

Step 1: create a custom audience based on your competitors’ URL

The first step is to create a custom audience based on your competitors’ URL:

  • Take your competitor’s URL
  • Create a custom audience
  • Insert the competitor’s URL

 

You can now directly target people who have shown interest in websites similar to your competitors’.

Here’s how to create your custom audience:

Go to tools & settings > audience manager > custom segements > hit the ‘+’:

Click ‘people who browse types of websites’:

A new menu appears. Enter your competitors’ URL. You can choose to add one, or multiple.

We recommend testing both variants.

You can now target users who have shown interest in your competitors’ URL.

An important note from the official Google documentation:

“Your ads will reach people who browse websites similar to the URLs you enter. Note: This doesn't mean your ads will show on those URLs.”

Your ads could also show to users who browse similar websites to the ones you’ve entered.

Much like audience signals in pMax, Google can go beyond the targeting you’ve provided.

Therefore, it’s important to keep testing different audiences (with single competitors, or multiple).

With the audience you’ve just created, you can target your competitors’ traffic with YouTube, Display, and Discovery campaigns.

The next step is to optimize your ads and landing page copy by highlighting what makes your brand better.

 

Step 2: create ads that show why your brand is better

Just targeting your competitors’ audience isn’t enough. You need to actively show them why your brand is better.

A great example from Bounty (2X more power than leading brands):


And another one from Dove, tapping in on an emotional angle:

 

 

The comparison doesn’t always have to be in the “us vs. them” format. Here’s a great example of a YouTube ad from Dr. Squatch. They roast ‘regular’ soap bars and offer their brand as the ultimate alternative.

This ad has gotten more than 119 MILLION views.

Their hook is extremely catchy: “Listen up, the soap you shower with, is sh*t!”

Watch it here:



These are some basic examples to get your creative juices flowing. Directly showing a comparison between your and your competitor’s brand can work well, or you can just show why your brand is the best alternative to a general product.

Let’s move on to the final step: how to convert the hijacked traffic.

 

Step 3: write comparison ad copy on your landing page

The last step is to add comparison ad copy on your landing page. You don’t HAVE to do this, but you can boost your conversion rates by directly comparing your brand to competitors or the industry standard.

Let’s look at how LearnWorlds has an entire landing page dedicated to comparing their product to Podia.

They immediately show you why LearnWorlds is better than Podia (from their biased perspective, of course):

 

And as you scroll down, there are side-by-side comparisons as well on key features:

You often see this with SaaS brands, but not as much in ecom. There is a huge opportunity to compare your products to those of competitors or the industry standard.

It’s not always about directly roasting your competitor. It’s more so about identifying the main challenges and pain points of your customers, and then painting a clear picture of why your brand is the best solution.

 

In conclusion

And that’s how you ethically steal revenue from your competitors:

  1. Target a custom audience based on your competitor’s URL
  2. Create ads that show why your brand is better
  3. Write comparison ad copy on your landing page

 

Best of luck hijacking your competitors’ traffic and revenue!

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