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GrowthSupermarket compares:

PPC Competitor Research Tools

PPC bidding strategies can change at any time. Staying on top of what your direct competitors are doing can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that underperforms. These tools will help you inspect what updates they make.

?Our page editors are carefully selected for their expertise and knowledge for this product.
Page Editor
Last Updated November 25, 2018
Photo of byron-tassoni-resch
Byron Tassoni-Resch

Byron Tassoni-Resch is the Search Engine Marketing Manager for Deliveroo in Europe. With over 12 years in the digital marketing industry, his main focus is on paid search, video and display campaigns. He has worked both in-house and agency side, managing multiple millions of pounds in the span of his career.

GrowthSupermarket adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. We spent over 135 hours researching PPC Competitor Research tools. And in order to help you find the best our Page Editors highlight their pros, cons and if they have any current offers.
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
4.5
Price
5
Customer Support
4.5
Features
4
4.5 out of 5
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SpyFu

IN A NUTSHELL

Search for any domain and see every place your competitors have shown up on Google: every keyword they've bought on Google Ads, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 11 years.

PRICING

Accounts start from $33 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • Search any domain and see where your competitors have shown up on Google
  • Monitor your competitors PPC keyword rankings
  • Monitor your competitors and receive a notification when they bid on a new keyword

Great for

  • Track every keyword your competitors have ever bid on
  • No download limit on for competitor keywords
  • Instantly find keywords your competitors bid on but you don't
  • Track organic keyword listings for your competitors
  • View every ad variation your competitors have launched in the last 11 years
  • Every account has access to unlimited data downloads and competitor searches

Be aware that

  • They only provide UK and US data
  • PPC Ad Rank data updates weekly
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
4
Price
3.5
Customer Support
5
Features
5
4.4 out of 5
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SEMrush

IN A NUTSHELL

SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, from SEO and PPC to social media and video advertising research.

PRICING

Accounts start from $99 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • One of the worlds largest PPC tools
  • Analysis your competitors keywords, ad copy and display ads

Great for

  • Uncover your competitors largest keywords
  • Discover new competitor keywords in Google Ads and Bing
  • Get a bird's-eye view of your competitors' online presence
  • Analyze their performance on desktop and mobile devices
  • Explore organic and paid keywords, backlinks and ads
  • Identify your competitors' main traffic sources
  • Uncover your competitors top referring websites
  • Compare up to 5 competitors against each other

Be aware that

  • Only 1 user per account. Additional users can be added at a cost
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
5
Customer Support
4
Features
3.5
4 out of 5
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SE Ranking

IN A NUTSHELL

The website ranking software for business, agencies and PPC specialists. Online PPC tool for competitor analysis.

PRICING

Accounts start from $4 per month (billed annually)

KEY FEATURES

  • Discover your competitors keywords and ads for paid and organic search
  • Get full list of all competitors for certain search query
  • Get list of all historical advertisers per certain query. Discover most popular and effective ads

Great for

  • Discover new paid and organic competitors
  • Get similar meaning keywords and expand your research
  • Full power SEO/PPC research tools is included in all paid plans
  • Get ranking data segmented by periods

Be aware that

  • The competitor data is limited to the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
2
Customer Support
5
Features
4
3.6 out of 5
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Quanticmind

IN A NUTSHELL

With our Search and Social products enterprise marketers can see a 30-40% uptick in performance over other bid management tools

PRICING

Contact Quanticmind in order to get a quote

KEY FEATURES

  • Designed to manage search and shopping campaigns
  • Create forecasting models based on past performance

Great for

  • Use machine learning technology to optimize your search and shopping campaigns
  • Import offline conversion data to attribute to online campaigns
  • Optimize long-tail bidding through natural language processing and semantic distance modeling to clearly predict keyword value
  • Create ad and landing page tests within the Quanticmind platform
  • Create and share performance reports
  • Maximize your shopping campaigns by filtering out broken links, improper product titles, or poorly performing products

Be aware that

  • Doesn't include social campaign management
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
4
Price
4
Customer Support
3.5
Features
3.5
3.8 out of 5
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SerpStat

IN A NUTSHELL

Growth hacking tool for SEO, PPC and content marketing.

PRICING

Accounts start from $19 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • Serpstat's database includes more than 100 million keywords
  • Low cost plan option designed for bloggers
  • Used by more than 30,000 online marketers

Great for

  • Provides data for 10 Google regions: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Lithuania, South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria
  • Receive data on your competitors keyword strategy and ad copy
  • They have a low cost basic plan which starts at $19.00 per month
  • Enter your domain and automatically identify your top competitors
  • View side-by-side comparisons of a domain’s position in both organic and paid search results for each common keyword

Be aware that

  • Doesn't offer display or video ad analysis
  • Platform speed can sometimes be slow
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3
Price
1.5
Customer Support
5
Features
4.5
3.5 out of 5
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The Search Monitor

IN A NUTSHELL

Get full visibility into the SEM activity of competitors, partners & industry leaders

PRICING

Accounts start from $599 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • Monitor 9+ engines globally
  • Including PLAs and mobile tracking
  • Get competitor landing pages, ad copy, spend and clicks

Great for

  • See KPIs such as market share, rank, ad spend, clicks, CTR, & CPC across all search engines, including remarketing
  • Hourly Crawling means you will receive data faster
  • Automatic alerts are sent to you
  • For shopping campaigns; view competitors, seller ratings & reviews, keywords, prices, page rank, and SOV, for both PLAs and shopping engines
  • Get benchmarking stats to gauge your competitive performance

Be aware that

  • The Search Monitor was designed for organizations with large PPC budgets
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Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
4.5
Customer Support
3
Features
3
3.5 out of 5
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iSpionage

IN A NUTSHELL

Adwords, SEO Keyword, Ad Copy and Landing Page Competitor Research Tool

PRICING

Accounts start from $29 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • Identify your top AdWords competitors and reveal their keywords
  • Find new keywords for your based on competitor bidding

Great for

  • Get access to 7 years worth of keyword data
  • Benchmarking tools to track your SEM campaigns against your competitors
  • Monitor your competitors ad copy tests
  • Discover new landings pages from various industries
  • Discover competitor data across Google, Yahoo and Bing

Be aware that

  • They only provide data for US, UK, Canada and Australia
MORE
Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
2
Customer Support
5
Features
4.5
3.8 out of 5
Visit Site
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Adthena

IN A NUTSHELL

Adthena is your secret weapon for search, giving your business unrivaled competitor insight.

PRICING

Contact Athena in order to receive a quote

KEY FEATURES

  • Find out what is working for your competitors and what your campaigns are missing
  • Compare the effectiveness of your ad copy, CTAs and promotions
  • Analyze keyword groups, campaigns and PLAs across mobile, desktop, paid and organic

Great for

  • Benchmark your ad performance vs. your competitors
  • Identify themes which are over or under-utilised by your competition
  • Monitor competitor promotions and discounts
  • Receive instant notification when competitors or affiliates are bidding on your brand terms
  • Use Adthena's Whole Market View to find search term opportunities and uncover new potential keywords
  • Set monitoring rules and get reports delivered straight to your inbox

Be aware that

  • Anthena was designed for organizations with large PPC campaigns and budgets
MORE
Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
2.5
Customer Support
4
Features
4
3.5 out of 5
Visit Site
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Campaign Watch

IN A NUTSHELL

View competitor landing pages and variations. Finding out what worked for them and what didn't makes your own marketing plan that much more efficient.

PRICING

Contact Campaign Watch in order to receive a quote

KEY FEATURES

  • View competitors landing page tests
  • Monitor your top competitors’ seasonal spend, clicks, position, number of keywords and market share

Great for

  • Track your competitors clicks, impressions and spend data
  • See competitor landing page test results on a timeline
  • Drill in to analyze what was tested and which offer won
  • Identify the keywords you and your competition are buying to make sure you have the most compelling conversion funnel

Be aware that

  • It is a specialised platform which doesn't offer many features beyond competitor analysis
MORE
Editors Rating
?
Ease of Use
3.5
Price
3
Customer Support
3.5
Features
4.5
3.6 out of 5
Visit Site
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Follow

IN A NUTSHELL

See competitive intelligence information on any website and follow their activities with Follow. Traffic Estimate, SEO, SEM, Display and Advertising Data.

PRICING

Free tier available. Paid accounts start from $37 per month

KEY FEATURES

  • View competitor text ads
  • Get traffic estimates for your competitors

Great for

  • Receive notifications when a new competitor ad is identified
  • They have an extension for Chrome and Firefox
  • The basic tier is free

Be aware that

  • The number of domain lookups is capped at 50 for the basic tier.
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Why should you conduct PPC competitor research?  

 

Every time someone types a search query, there are three parties involved:

  1. The Searcher – they’re looking for an answer.
  2. The Advertiser – they’re looking for a customer.
  3. The Search Engine – they’re making sure that the searcher and the advertiser both find what they’re looking for.

 

Or at least that’s what most people believe. In actual fact, every search query actually looks more like this:

  1. The Searcher – still looking for an answer.
  2. A Dozen Different Advertisers – all competing for the same customer.
  3. The Search Engine – playing the middleman between all the parties above.

 

The reality is that there are hundreds of companies all fighting to get in front of the right customer, and the competition is very clear. You either get the visitor or you don’t; you acquire that customer, or someone else does.

The very fact that Google Ads employs an auction-based system means that companies are in competition every single time a query is made. So the question is: do you know who you are competing with? Better yet: what are they doing, and how can you do it better?

 

Top reasons to conduct PPC competitor research

  1. The more you gather about your competitors, the more ability you have to place better bids, write more attention-grabbing ad copy, and target the most effective keywords.
  2. You can discover new keyword opportunities that you hadn’t considered previously.
  3. You can find out where your competitors aren’t bidding. Keywords that have fewer competitors means you can bring your CPC down with fewer bids in the auction.

 

What should you focus on when doing competitor research?

Competitive Landscape: Find out who your competitors are, what their business is and why they are bidding on the same keywords as you.

Keywords: Discover what keywords your competitors are bidding on, and which competitors are going after specific keywords.

Ad Copy: Review the ad copy your competitors are using, what offers they are running, and how they address their target audience. You can use this information to create ads that stands out from your competitors.

Landing pages: Where are your competitors sending the traffic they acquire? What kind of CTAs do they use? How is the page laid out? What kind of visual assets and messaging do they employ? Examine the incentives they use to acquire leads – are they offering free ebooks, discount codes, trial accounts?

 

 

What metrics should you look at?

Google Ads and Bing Ads have an Auction Insight tool. In Google Ads – this can be accessed via Keywords. The Auction Insights tab can be found at the top of the page.

From here, you will be able to investigate:

Impression Share: This measures how often the other advertiser received an impression, as a proportion of the auctions in which you were also competing.

Overlap Rate: This shows how often the other advertiser’s ad received an impression when your ad also received an impression. Essentially, how often you both showed ads at the same time.

Position Above Rate: How often the other advertiser’s ad was shown in a higher position than yours when both of your ads were shown in a single result.

Top of Page Rate: How often the other advertiser’s ad was shown at the top of the page, above the organic results.

Outranking Share: How often your ad ranked higher in the auction compared to the other advertiser, or if your ad was displayed when your competitor’s was not.

 

 

What PPC Competitor tools are available?

There’s a lot of information to review here, and thankfully, you are not in this alone. There is an enormous range of tools available to help you derive meaningful insights about who your competitors are, what keywords they’re bidding on, and what ads they’re running. The majority of the tools listed on this page can also help you with identifying who your organic and display competitors are as well – so there’s a tool here for every marketing team.

Our top-rated tools include:

SpyFu. Search for any domain and see their full history on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on Google Ads, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 11 years.

SEMrush. SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, from SEO and PPC to social media and video advertising research and review.

SE Ranking. The website ranking software for business, agencies and PPC specialists. Online PPC tool for competitor analysis.

SerpStat. Growth hacking tool for SEO, PPC and content marketing. Serpstat’s database includes more than 100 million keywords

Adthena. Discover your competitors SEO and PPC keywords. Adthena has a database of over 200 million keywords.

 

How should you you use this information?

As with any type of data, you should use your competitor information and insights to create an action plan. Use this data to see where you can optimize your bidding or ad copy, where your competitors might be failing their potential customers, and how you can improve your performance.

This goes without saying… but you should learn and improve, not just copy and paste! You want to stand apart from your competitors, not just duplicate their campaigns.

 

Additional non-PPC competitor tracking tools

In addition to these PPC competitor tracking tools, business can also investigate their competitor’s social media strategy, their display campaigns and track their landing pages.

You can also track what tags and tracking platforms your competitors are using on their site – Ghostery does this with just a few clicks.

 

What should be your next steps?

Gathering the right data is only one part of the equation – the next part is making sure you put this data to use. What works for your competitors might not work for you, and sometimes it might not even be working for them. Take this information with a pinch of salt – and be sure to always sense-check your assumptions.

Having information on your competitors is vital to making sure your paid media accounts are performing as efficiently as they can. Review these learnings and use them to improve. Then improve some more. In PPC, not knowing your competitive landscape can be a very costly mistake – and normally results in sub-standard campaigns. Never stop learning, improving, and spying!