Extensive competitive analysis is one of the key steps to a successful advertising campaign. This will provide valuable information enabling you to target and bid on certain keywords better. You may take time to delve into the PPC strategies used by your top competitors, learn about what terms they are targeting, check out how well their ads are performing, analyze all of their strengths and weaknesses then create an even more effective advertising strategy for your company.
Although getting started with competitor analysis for PPC may seem daunting, it is not so when you have helpful tools and software solutions at your disposal to collect data automatically. There are various competitor analysis programs that can help you find your competitors’ information in minutes and save you time and energy. Not every competition analysis program is made exclusively for competitive research on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising; some offer other digital marketing benefits.
If you want to choose the best tools for PPC competitor analysis, we suggest you look for the following features in them:
Knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting allows you to stay ahead of them – but knowing what they aren’t gives you a chance at outsmarting them. You also need to know which ones have been tested unsuccessfully and what are the overlapping and unique keywords so you can adjust for these in your own campaign setup.
Ad Copy Insights
You need to be able to track changes made to advertising content, both for the historical and current context. Advertising content is the most challenging thing to get right, which means reviewing how other advertisers attract people’s attention gives you a valuable database of good and bad ad copies.
Ad Group Insights
Analyzing how your competitor’s ad account is structured will give you a clear perspective of how to kickstart your paid search campaigns.
Landing Page Insights
A critical aspect of PPC competition analysis involves analyzing landing pages for success. In order to do this effectively, it is imperative to understand how your competitor’s landing pages are performing so you can use the appropriate copywriting and design skills in your own strategy.
Clear User Interface
Functionality should always be at the core of any successful paid search competitor analysis tool. It’s essential for software providers to present data intuitively and keep things from getting too cluttered so that you can easily find what you’re looking for.
In this post, we have handpicked the five best PPC competitor analysis tools for 2022. So let’s take a look at them below.
Pricing: Basic Monthly Plan at $39/month | Professional Monthly Plan at $79/month
SpyFu is a powerful keyword research and competitive intelligence tool that helps businesses excel in their pay-per-click advertising campaigns. When using SpyFu, you can type in any competitor’s domain to find out how much they are investing each month with Google Adwords, how many keywords they are advertising for, as well as the number of clicks they receive each month from those ads.
SpyFu’s Competitors dashboard shows you the fluctuations in the number of paid keywords, paid clicks and estimated budget of your competitors. The data below this graph gives you information about the common keywords you share with your competitors and an Overlap score, indicating the number of PPC keywords each competitor has in common with the domain you are analyzing.
This tool also has a feature called Kombat, which allows you to compare three domains simultaneously. The Keyword Universe feature will show the keywords that any of those three domains are buying and Core Niches point out keywords that are bought by all three domains. The Keyword Group feature of SpyFu shows you how a competitor is structuring its PPC campaigns and which group triggers which keywords.
In the PPC Keyword Dashboard, you will find information about what keywords your competitors are bidding on. The Tab for Ad History details all of their past ad copies, showing each month in order. It also has statistics for how well different ad copies have done over time and which ones have been consistent throughout this history.
The AdWord Advisor recommends specific keywords you can bid on. You can utilize this information to decide which keywords to test in your upcoming ad campaigns. Overall, SpyFu is an intelligent PPC competitor analysis tool to try out.
Pricing: Pro Plan at $119.95/month | Guru Plan at $229.95/month | Business Plan at $449.95/month
SEMrush is a multi-functional tool meant for both SEO and PPC keyword research. SEMrush has a vast database of display ads worldwide that you can access and find what ads your competitors have promoted through the Google Display Network.
The Advertising Research feature allows you to enter a competitor’s domain to see what keywords they are targeting, how much they are spending on them, the ad copies they’re using and even their bidding strategies! It allows you to look at your own keyword profile and compare it to theirs to discover the keyword gap in your current PPC strategy.
The Positions tab allows you to filter Paid Search Trends graph to view trends in keywords, estimated traffic and traffic cost. Below this graph, you get information about keywords, cost per click (CPC), traffic, destination URL, etc. The Position Changes graph shows the improved, declined, new or lost keywords in a competitor’s top eight Google ad placements.
SEMrush’s Competitor dashboard gives you an extensive overview of the PPC competitive landscape, such as the strength of the competition, paid keywords, volume of the paid keywords, common keywords, cost of competitors’ paid traffic and other vital data.
The Ad Copies report shows you actual ads run by your competitors. You can check their headlines and descriptions and analyze their positioning. You can also filter ad copies by specific keywords or phrases.
The Ads History report will show you the keyword and ad ranking of your competitor’s ad campaigns over the past 12 months. Overall, SEMrush is a powerful tool to analyze competitor data and use it to your advantage to create profitable PPC campaigns.
Pricing: Starter Plan at $59/month | Professional Plan at $99/month | Advanced Plan at $299/month | Enterprise Plan at Custom Pricing
Ispionage is a digital marketing software focusing on competitor analysis for SEO and PPC. The tool boasts unique features that help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategy closely. This tool provides detailed data about keyword bidding, paid search traffic volume, and other vital metrics.
ISpionage has two key parts of the tool: Competitor Research and Campaign Watch. In addition, the tool also has its own performance measurement indicators like Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) and Ad Effectiveness Index (AEI) to measure your PPC ad campaigns against your competitors.
The PPC Keyword feature of this tool gives you a complete overview of the keywords your competitors are bidding on, the CPC of each keyword, search volume, average position and the number of competitor ads targeting each of these keywords.
You can also sort your competitor keyword list with iSpoinage’s Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) to find the most profitable and high search volume keywords to target for your ad campaigns. The KEI indicator saves you from the expensive testing process of finding profitable keywords for your PPC campaigns.
With the Ads tab of this tool’s keyword research and domain research feature, you can see what ad copy your competitors are using to pull prospective customers in. You can track down individual competitor ads from Google, Bing and Yahoo and see how successful they are based on their ad copies, destination URLs, monthly traffic and more. Additionally, with this tool’s Ad Effectiveness Index (AEI) algorithm, you can identify your competitors’ most profitable ads, so you know where to put yours when building campaigns. You can download all competitive analysis data from this tool to brainstorm for new PPC campaigns.
The Landing Page report of iSpionage shows you the entire user journey, from keyword targeting to ad copy and landing page offers to help you discover where their conversions are happening. You also get to access a PPC Landing Page Gallery- a unique feature of this tool, where you can get inspired by landing page designs by top advertisers from different niches.
The Competitors tab lets you see competitors listed based on the number of overlapped keywords. The Compare tab allows you to compare three domains against each other and filter them on parameters like PPC budget, average position, number of Google keywords and more. Overall, this software will give you an eye-opening amount of insight into your competitors’ online presence, perfect for anyone who wants to dig deep when analyzing pay-per-click advertising strategies.
Pricing: Lite Plan at $69/month | Standard Plan at $149/month | Advanced Plan at $299/month | Enterprise Plan at $499/month
SerpStat is a helpful all-in-one SEO tool with advanced competitor analysis features. With this tool, you can run a complete competitor keyword analysis and find common keywords you and your competitors are targeting, the keywords that your competitors are targeting but you are not and check domain visibility by keyphrase and a lot of other useful information related to competitor PPC analysis.
The Keywords dashboard of this tool sorts competitor ads and keywords based on search volume. If you enter a keyword in its search bar, the tool will return a list of competitors targeting that keyword and associated keywords. You can filter the results by different countries to know your active top competitors for each location.
The Competitor Dashboard gives you an overview of every keyword you are analyzing. It displays how many ads your competitors have running as well as how many keywords they share in common with yours. The Ad Examples Dashboard showcases the ad copy, group suggestions and background data related to your competitors. Lastly, the Ad Research feature lists the landing pages associated with a particular PPC keyword that has been used for search queries.
Pricing: Lite Plan at $99/month | Standard Plan at $199/month | Advanced Plan at $399/month | Advanced Plan at $999/month
Ahrefs is mainly an SEO tool but has pretty impressive PPC analysis functionality. Towards the bottom of the AHrefs toolbar is the Paid Search section, which has four main areas to explore.:
- PPC keyword feature
- Top Ads feature
- Landing Page feature, and
- Ads History feature
The PPC keyword feature by Ahrefs gives you insight into competitor keyword data and target URLs sorted based on the highest paid search traffic each generates. The tool’s Keyword Explorer feature shows each keyword’s organic and paid keyword information in a single place. Although the focus is more on organic keywords, you could use the CPC and search volume data to your advantage.
The Top Ads feature of Ahrefs shows you a list of Google ads based on the percentage of paid traffic generated by each. You can also sort the list based on other criteria such as CPC, traffic, volume or the number of keywords an ad is seen for.
The Top Landing Pages report shows a list of PPC landing pages along with the keywords that drive the most traffic to these pages. The Ad History feature shows you the history of who is bidding on your chosen keywords, when they were bidding and how many ads they’ve made live in total using them. You can click to expand the entire list of ad copies from each domain for each of your selected keywords. Overall, Ahrefs is a decent PPC analysis tool for beginning and intermediate level paid search marketers.
Remember that keyword research is a continuous, never-ending process and it’s important to make sure you choose the right keywords when setting up your campaigns. Hopefully, these useful tools will help get you closer to the success of your PPC campaigns.