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.
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.
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.
Accounts start from $33 per month
SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, from SEO and PPC to social media and video advertising research.
Accounts start from $99 per month
The website ranking software for business, agencies and PPC specialists. Online PPC tool for competitor analysis.
Accounts start from $4 per month (billed annually)
With our Search and Social products enterprise marketers can see a 30-40% uptick in performance over other bid management tools
Contact Quanticmind in order to get a quote
Growth hacking tool for SEO, PPC and content marketing.
Accounts start from $19 per month
Get full visibility into the SEM activity of competitors, partners & industry leaders
Accounts start from $599 per month
Adwords, SEO Keyword, Ad Copy and Landing Page Competitor Research Tool
Accounts start from $29 per month
Adthena is your secret weapon for search, giving your business unrivaled competitor insight.
Contact Athena in order to receive a quote
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.
Contact Campaign Watch in order to receive a quote
See competitive intelligence information on any website and follow their activities with Follow. Traffic Estimate, SEO, SEM, Display and Advertising Data.
Free tier available. Paid accounts start from $37 per month
Every time someone types a search query, there are three parties involved:
Or at least that’s what most people believe. In actual fact, every search query actually looks more like this:
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
You can also track what tags and tracking platforms your competitors are using on their site – Ghostery does this with just a few clicks.
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!