Search Intelligence 101 and your ultimate Paid Search Glossary

Competitive intelligence is a relatively recent concept in the search market, becoming more of an absolute necessity as competition heats up and the rules continually change in search marketing platforms, such as Google Ads. But what exactly is competitive intelligence for search (or search intelligence for short), why is it important for marketers and how do you use it? 

Here’s a quick primer to get you started.

What is search intelligence?

Search intelligence is the ability to understand your competitors’ Google Ads strategies on a granular and continual basis. It makes the patterns, pricing and bidding strategies of your market competition transparent. This includes ad copy, imagery and other tactical elements of a campaign.

Converting data into insights

For this information to be valuable, it must be captured into meaningful and actionable data. Search marketers focused on day-to-day optimization need insights in a clear format that shows what competitors are doing. They also need insights to know what works and what doesn’t in order to surface opportunities and make good decisions. Find out more about how the Adthena platform can help you convert data into insights.

Use cases 

Ultimately, search intelligence enables search marketers to better optimize campaign performance, target their audiences and drive conversions. For example:

  • In an aggressive landscape, marketers can easily fall into bidding wars that consume time and budget without necessarily delivering ROI. Search intelligence can help you triage the impact of competitor moves and tailor your response. It can reveal that perhaps dropping certain parts of the auction and moving your dollars elsewhere will reap greater rewards than a full-out battle. 
  • Granular search intelligence can uncover search term opportunities, revealing areas where your competitors are not appearing and which are open for exploitation.
  • If your competitors’ campaigns are converting better than yours, search intelligence can reveal why. By running an ad copy analysis, marketers can identify what makes people click and then use that information to improve their own campaigns.

The ultimate paid search glossary


Get our search marketing glossary for clear definitions of the key concepts you need to know in paid search.

Visit the Resources Hub

For more insights to help you boost performance, visit our Resource Hub.