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Competitor paid search: A Simple Guide to Analysing Competitors and Tools

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Competitors Paid Search

Why is PPC competitor analysis so important?

Your organisation’s strategy should include competitor analysis as a key component. After all, you need to weigh strengths and weaknesses and identify your clients’ unique selling proposition if you want to help them outperform their competitors.

That’s because competitor analysis is important.

  1. Competitors reveal the keywords followed and the amount spent. Ultimately, finding holes in your clients’ PPC campaigns helps them save money.
  2. Helps your firm revise marketing benchmarks to identify opportunities to improve your clients’ strategies.
  3. Explains how to set up your client’s business to attract and retain customers by incorporating ideas, innovations and new trends.
  4. Gives your clients a competitive edge by being aware of the ad copy used by their competitors.

Your client can’t afford to ignore what their competitors are doing when it comes to allocating their budget for paid search advertising or any other form of paid marketing.

So where do you start? From doing competitor analysis for PPC to identifying your client’s competitors first, we can provide you with all the information you need.

What PPC tools are available for competitor spying?

First things first: What resources are accessible to complete a competitor analysis for your client?

Competitor analysis tools help your agency in monitoring, evaluating and taking notes on the strategies used by their competitors. Use this information to strengthen your current marketing strategies, to help them win big!

PPC management Strategies

There are many tools available, and it can be difficult to determine which will be most effective for your client’s target demographic. For this reason, we have selected only the best options that will save you time and help you find important PPC data that you might otherwise overlook.

1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the most popular tools for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It works well for keyword and backlink research. But it also has respectable PPC and Paid Search competitor analysis features, which provide more benefits to SEO experts in addition to PPC-friendly keyword research.

Ahrefs’ dashboard has an extensive toolbar with unique capabilities and an option for “Paid Search” at the bottom of the toolbar.

When you use Ahrefs for competitor analysis in paid search, you can investigate:

  • PPC search terms
  • Top Ads
  • Top Landing Pages
  • Advertisement of the past

Ahrefs offers precise research data and includes powerful SEO features for tracking backlinks, keyword data analysis, and organic search engine rankings. Its sponsored search and PPC features are equally excellent but secondary.

Ahrefs is a paid tool that requires a monthly subscription.

2. SEMRush

Ahrefs and SEMRush are comparable in certain ways. It is an all-inclusive tool for digital marketing. In competitive analysis, it is widely used for several reasons. Not only does this site offer unmatched SEO features, it also facilitates PPC and paid search analytics. As a result, several of its useful features are useful for performing competitive analysis using paid searches.

Marketers can analyse their paid searches using SEMRush’s “Ad Research” tool. This tool allows you to check the following features of competitors:

  • Ad copy
  • History of advertising
  • Variation of space and location

For SEO and paid search, SEMRush can provide substantial research results; After all, SEO is its primary use case. However, if you need information on your competitors’ PPC campaigns, PPC competitor analysis tools are quite helpful.

SEMRush is a paid product that requires a monthly subscription to use.

3. SpyFu

Concrete and almost complete PPC and paid search competitor analysis features are included with SpyFu. Besides finding your competitors, keywords, keyword groups, PPC keywords and more, it allows you to investigate any domain.

Key features of SpyFu include:

  • History of most profitable ads and 
  • keywords in Kombat (shared paid keywords)
  • Google AdWords Consultant

It is widely used worldwide to create robust marketing plans for PPC and paid search competitive analysis.

One of SpyFu’s most important features, “Google Ads Advisor”, suggests the most profitable positions based on information gathered from your competitors. Additionally, it allows marketers to view split test results and explore their competitors’ Google ad campaigns.

Marketers can get SpyFu for a premium of $39 per month with the option to upgrade to $299 per month for additional services including multiple user accounts and API access.

4. Google Ads Auction Insights

Effective use of this technology is limited to live campaigns that you conduct for your clients. But as long as you monitor the Auction Insights tab consistently, it can still give you useful insights.

Basically, this tool allows you to evaluate how well your client is performing against other advertisers participating in the same auction as you.

5. Search Monitor

You can track ads across devices and locations using Search Monitor. Materials provide two main services:

  • Brand protection
  • Competitive perception

You can quickly track your competitors bids, content, landing pages, FTC compliance, PPC benchmarks, Product Listing Ads (PLA) and more as it is designed with competitor analysis in mind.

The gadget has a $599 monthly premium and is paid for Although a free trial is not available, you can request a demo by contacting their sales team.

6. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is an excellent tool for analysing competition related to PPC and paid search. You can use it to access any competitor’s domain and search their content. Using this tool, you can quickly confirm:

  • Content they share the most
  • Elements that have been format-filtered
  • Networks that are generating the most shares and traffic
  • Who is promoting content from your competitors?
  • List of Exportable Partners

Most people would rather take advantage of their alerting capabilities, which allow you to create alerts. These alerts will notify marketers of updates related to both their own brand and PPC competitors.

7. Facebook Ad Library

It is also important to monitor PPC mentions on social media. To find ads across meta products, whether they’re active or not, use tools like the Facebook Ad Library (also known as the Meta Ad Library). Find out who created the ad, how it was displayed, and when it ran.

Analyse your competitors’ successful ads to increase the effectiveness of your client’s ads.


How to identify your PPC competitors

Competitor paid search Analysis

Possibly, this is the most important stage of your PPC competitor analysis. How can you get started if you don’t know your client’s competitors? The following are important searches to identify yourself with:

  • Who else is following the same keywords as your customer?
  • Who is outranking your customers in search engine rankings and stealing clicks?

Without looking at the keywords they are looking to drive web traffic to, you must determine the answers to both of these questions. After all, you don’t want to encourage your client’s competitors!

It’s time to use a PPC competitor analysis tool, such as the ones listed above, to learn more about the main threats your customers face.

Regarding your client’s competing companies, you should think about the following questions:

Who competes with your clients?

You must go into your client’s specific business information to ascertain who their competitors are. Consider the clients they serve, their location, and the products or services they provide. While it’s possible that your clients are aware of who their competitors are, remember that there can be many differences between offline and online competitors.

Discover data like impression share, top page rate, outranking share and more with Google AdWords. Check these indicators and create an action plan for areas where your customer needs to improve.

What kind of competitors are they?

It is also important to understand the nature of their competition. It is not a good idea to compare with your client who has a much smaller budget.

Here are some examples of common PPC competitor types:

  • Direct Competitors: People who offer the same goods or service as your client.
  • Indirect competition: A product or service that addresses a specific need in an alternative manner is considered indirect competition.
  • Affiliates and Marketing Partners: People who endorse the brands of your customers or their competitors. Often in exchange for a commission.
  • Comparison Shopping Engines: Comparison shopping engines are Internet resources that aggregate many products in a single location so that users can quickly compare features and prices.
  • Search arbitrages: Bidding on a keyword only to direct people to a different search engine in an attempt to increase traffic is called search arbitrage.
  • Resellers: Various companies that can resell your client’s products or services.

For additional information, monitor top branded PPC keyword trends or compare the direct channel activity of your client’s domains to their competitors.

Where are they facing you?

It is not possible to monitor every single online platform where every competitor advertises. The following should be considered when doing your competitor analysis to determine where to spend your time.


  • Do they mostly use Facebook Ads or Google Ads for their advertising?
  • Do they run campaigns for retargeting?


  • Where are they competing—locally, nationally, or globally?


  • Do they stop running their ads on weekends?
  • Do their ads run on holidays or during special promotions?


  • What devices are they using most—desktop, mobile, or a combination of both?

Agency Tip: To monitor any changes in your client’s top-performing keywords, use labels found in third-party or publisher bidding tools. Consider configuring email-based automated alerts to receive bidding suggestions.

What makes them competitive?

The purpose of keyword targeting can vary depending on the type of competitor in the PPC mix. The purest form of direct competition, for example, is to try and achieve the same goal as your clients—that is, to increase revenue.

You can usually bid faster by placing an affiliate or search arbitrageur out of top placement, however, they may compete with your client’s ads for a small commission or click fee. Considering their margins are usually considerably lower than your client’s, they can often spend as much as they can to get those clicks.

It is possible that some are trying to sway customers from one brand—like Nike—to another brand—like Adidas.

Alternatively, competitors can use defensive bidding on your client’s keywords to knock you out of the race.

It’s important to remember that bidding alone may not put you ahead of your client’s competitors. Use competitive analysis tools to look beyond pricing and discover what else the data is telling you, as they may have the same goals as you. After that, you will be able to modify your plan as needed.

This can force bids to be adjusted, or it can help your firm hone in on some of the other factors that affect the Google ad algorithm, such as increasing click-through rates and decreasing bounce rates.


How to conduct research and analysis on PPC competitors


Completing a PPC competitor study will help your marketing plan and demonstrate your firm’s value to your clients.

Once your client has completed compiling their initial list of competitors, you should search the following four areas to learn more about their PPC competitors:

  1. Look at the PPC keywords used by competitors

Determine search volume by using a keyword research tool to estimate the potential audience for your client’s Google search ads. It will also help you understand the cost per click (CPC) that your client will have to spend as well as how difficult it is to rank high in the SERPs.

  1. Perform an analysis of PPC landing pages

When monitoring competitors’ landing sites, be careful not to mimic their strategies identically. Watch for keywords and ways to use the same terms in their CTA and ad content Make a note of specific design elements as well as other user experience features to see what your client could do better.

  1. Check website quality

It’s about how well your client’s website performs and how it stacks up against the competition. Think about aspects like competitor’s website loading speed. How consistent is their branding? Do they use a range of CTAs like a “make an appointment” button to attract more leads? How easy is their website navigation to use? Find their reviews current and easy?

  1. Monitor ads displayed by competitors

Look at your competitors’ websites. They will almost always make remarketing efforts, so you can learn a lot about their remarketing methods. Be careful to check CTAs, ad language, and images used and incorporate them into your client’s campaign.

Systematic approach

Competitor Paid Search Analytics

Engaging in paid search enables you to be strategic when needed. Common strategic situations you may find yourself in include the following:

  • Protecting specific brand-name keywords.
  • Promote initiatives to relevant audiences.
  • Focusing on competing brands, search ads, and high-ranking phrases.

All of these will help to attract new customers, protect the strategy of a particular brand or weaken the strategic position of a rival.

With a paid search overview tool, you can learn about the keywords, budgets, product ads and searches that are driving their competitors’ paid search campaigns.

This gives them the opportunity to more thoroughly design their own paid search campaigns and provide evidence for their strategic spending choices. With a few clicks, users can now quickly and thoroughly evaluate their competitors’ short-term promotion methods or long-term strategies.

See how your competitors stack up and start contextualising your paid performance by downloading our Marketing Channel Conversion Benchmark report, which provides the most accurate benchmark.

How much are they spending?

Our new PPC cost estimation statistics, which complement our existing robust traffic and engagement metrics, are included on the Paid Search Overview page. It offers a unique perspective:

  • When competing businesses finance PPC advertising.
  • How well they are able to generate traffic with that campaign.
  • Which sponsored channels do they use for their promotional campaigns?
  • plus extra.

Competitors Spending in PPC

You can increase your return on ad spend (ROAS) by focusing on a plethora of variables, but understanding how much your competitors are spending on PPC will help you:

  • Their level of investment in paid channels.
  • How much money they consistently spend on sponsored search ads.
  • How important PPC is to search traffic generation in their digital marketing strategy.

View from above

A comprehensive analysis of a website’s paid search activity over time is quite beneficial.

By comparing key traffic and bounce rates, visit duration, search traffic and more, you can determine whether you or your competitors are winning or losing the PPC strategy battle.

The paid search overview page can help you identify what has been successful elsewhere and provide opportunities to improve your own strategies for success. This is especially useful if you decide that your overall paid search strategy is based on targeting pre-interested leads or customers, or campaigns focused on nurturing prospects into the sales funnel with more personalised messages or ads.

Campaign tactics used by rivals are open

You might be wondering, taking PPC analysis a step further, which landing pages and campaigns work best for your competitors.

If users are using this full amount on keywords and ads, where exactly are they sending?

In addition to reviewing the landing pages that receive the highest percentage of traffic to the target website, you’ll be able to drill down and see the top keywords and ads driving that traffic.

Plus, you’ll get an estimate of URL spend, which lets you monitor which competitor campaigns are high-risk bets and where to focus their actual ad spend to drive traffic and conversions.

You have all the information you need to make sure your own campaigns stand out from the competition and appeal to your target market by monitoring the advertising, messaging and keywords competitors use to establish their PPC strategies.

You can start budgeting wisely and build a case for investing in your PPC strategy by looking at the competition’s campaign spend statistics. This will help you compete successfully. Even before a campaign is launched, you can establish a consistent return on investment for it.

Now’s your chance to learn what kind of paid search campaign messaging works—consistent, logical, timely, and precisely targeted to the right audience.

It enhances brand perception among target audience and customers, increases brand trust and improves and drives quality interactions.

A well thought out, organised, and executed paid search campaign will have the following beneficial side effects: more sales, customer support, and—most importantly—customer loyalty and retention.

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