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How To Perform Google Ads Competitor Analysis?

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May 06, 2024

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4 mins read
How To Perform Google Ads Competitor Analysis?

Are you looking for ways to drive more traffic to your website or business? Perhaps your current Google ads aren’t delivering the expected results, and you notice your competitors pulling ahead. Or maybe you're just starting out with Google ads? There’s a technique known as Google Ads competitor analysis that could be the answer.

Don’t stress! In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Google Ads Competitor Analysis. You'll learn how to refine your strategies based on what you discover. We'll guide you through the steps needed to conduct a thorough analysis and how to develop strategies based on your findings.

What is Competitor Analysis in Google Ads?

Competitor analysis in Google Ads is a strategic approach used to understand your rivals' actions within the Google Ads platform. This analysis involves identifying who your competitors are, understanding the strategies they use, and observing how they manage their ad spend and campaigns. By doing so, you can uncover valuable insights that help refine your advertising strategy, avoid direct bidding wars, and potentially discover untapped market opportunities.

Why Is Google Ads Competitor Analysis Important?

Why Is Google Ads Competitor Analysis Important?

Google Ads competitor analysis is essential because it provides deep insights into market dynamics and competitor strategies. By understanding what competitors are doing in Google Ads, businesses can make informed decisions, allocate budgets more effectively, and identify gaps in the market. This analysis helps in optimizing campaigns to outperform rivals and increase return on investment (ROI), making it a critical element of digital marketing strategies.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge about competitors’ Google Ads strategies enables businesses to anticipate market trends and adapt their strategies accordingly. This knowledge helps in identifying competitors' targeted keywords, ad spend, and ad copy strategies. By understanding these elements, companies can enhance their ad performance by refining their targeting and bidding strategies, leading to better campaign outcomes.

Ad Budget Efficiency

Efficient ad budget allocation is another significant advantage of conducting Google Ads competitor analysis. By knowing where competitors are investing their ad budgets, businesses can avoid costly bidding wars on highly competitive keywords and instead, focus on niche segments with higher potential returns. This strategic allocation of ad spend not only saves money but also maximizes campaign impact.

Discover New Ad Opportunities

Competitor analysis in Google Ads opens up new advertising opportunities by revealing the keywords and market segments that competitors might be overlooking. This insight allows businesses to target these under-served areas, gaining a competitive advantage and capturing new market segments before their competitors do. Tools integrated within the Google Ads competitor analysis system, such as keyword planners and market analysis features, are instrumental in identifying these new opportunities.

Refine Your Ad Copy

Analyzing competitors’ ad copy can provide businesses with the knowledge needed to refine their own advertisements. By understanding the messaging that resonates with the audience, as reflected in successful competitor ads, businesses can craft compelling ad copy that better engages potential customers. This not only improves click-through rates but also enhances the overall impact of the ad campaigns.

Improve Landing Page Experience

The effectiveness of a landing page directly influences the success of Google Ads campaigns. Through competitor analysis, businesses can review how competitors' landing pages are structured and how they convert traffic into sales. This analysis can lead to improvements in their own landing pages, optimizing user experience and conversion rates, which are crucial for maximizing the ROI of PPC campaigns.

Stay Competitive

Staying competitive in the Google Ads space requires a proactive approach to competitor analysis. Regularly employing Google Ads competitor analysis tools enables businesses to keep pace with the dynamic market conditions and adjust their strategies in real time. By monitoring competitors' ad changes, budget increases, or shifts in keyword focus, businesses can react swiftly to maintain or improve their market standing. This constant vigilance helps prevent market share loss to competitors and identifies emerging trends that can be capitalized on to attract new customers and grow revenue.

How to Spy on Competitors' Google Ads?

How to Spy on Competitors' Google Ads?

Spying on competitors’ Google Ads is a strategic approach that allows businesses to gain critical insights into competitors' ad strategies, helping them refine their own campaigns for better performance. By leveraging Google Ads competitor analysis tools and systems, businesses can uncover valuable data about ad spends, targeted keywords, and effective ad placements. This comprehensive understanding aids in crafting superior strategies that can potentially lead to a higher return on investment (ROI).

Find Your Competitor Ads on Google

The first step in conducting a Google Ads competitor analysis is to identify who your competitors are and what ads they are running. This can be done by searching for keywords that are relevant to your business on Google and observing which ads appear in the search results. Competitors may use branded keywords or broader industry-related terms to capture traffic. Observing these ads provides a baseline understanding of the competitive landscape and the messaging strategies employed by your rivals.

Use the Google Ads Transparency Center

The Google Ads Transparency Center is a valuable resource for gaining deeper insights into the ad campaigns of competitors. By entering a competitor's name in the Transparency Center, you can access a detailed view of the ads they have run across Google’s platforms, including variations and regional differences. This tool provides transparency into the ad copy, headlines, and call-to-actions that competitors are using, offering a direct look at their marketing angles and tactics.

Conduct Keyword Research to Forecast Your Google Ads Budget

Effective Google Ads competitor analysis involves thorough keyword research to better understand the competitive landscape and budget requirements. Utilizing tools like Google's Keyword Planner can help forecast the necessary budget to compete effectively. These tools provide insights into bid estimates and keyword competition levels, enabling you to make informed decisions about where to allocate your ad spend to maximize visibility and impact.

Use Google’s Internal Tools to Audit Performance

Google offers a suite of internal tools that can be used to audit the performance of your ads relative to your competitors. The Auction Insights report, for instance, shows how your ads compare to others in the same auctions, providing data on metrics such as impression share and position above rate. This information is crucial for understanding how well your ads are performing and what adjustments may be needed to improve visibility and effectiveness.


Google Ads competitor analysis is not a one-time task but a continuous process that needs to be repeated regularly to stay ahead of the competition. Market dynamics can change rapidly, with new competitors entering the field or existing competitors adjusting their strategies. Regularly revisiting your competitor analysis ensures that your strategies remain relevant and effective, keeping you one step ahead in the competitive digital advertising landscape.

Specific Techniques for Viewing Competitor Ads

To gain a competitive edge in the Google Ads space, understanding the specific techniques for viewing competitor ads is essential. Utilizing a robust Google Ads competitor analysis system allows marketers to uncover insights about competitor strategies, enhancing their ability to adapt and refine their own campaigns. These techniques include analyzing competitor ad copy, keyword strategies, and overall ad placements through various competitor analysis tools. The insights gained can lead directly to more strategic ad creation and budget allocation.

How to Spy on Your Competitors’ Google Ads Videos

Spying on competitors' Google Ads videos involves examining how they leverage video content within their advertising strategy. Platforms such as YouTube and other video-enabled ad placements offer a wealth of data about the types of messages and visuals competitors use to attract and engage their audience. Marketers can use tools like Google's Video Ad Insights or third-party software that provide analytics on video performance to understand better the engagement metrics and effectiveness of competitors' video ads.

See Competitors’ Google Ads Using the Google Search Results

One of the most straightforward methods for viewing competitors' Google Ads is by conducting searches on Google using keywords that are central to your industry. This allows you to see which competitors are bidding on the same keywords and how they position their ads. Pay attention to the ad copy, the call-to-action, and the overall design of these ads as they appear in the search results. This method provides a real-time snapshot of the competitive landscape and helps identify trends and tactics that are resonating with audiences.

Analyze Competitors' Live Ads and Landing Pages

Analyzing competitors' live ads and the landing pages they link to can provide critical insights into their marketing funnel and conversion strategy. By examining these elements, you can see not only what messaging and design elements are being used but also how they are structured to convert visitors into customers. Tools such as SEMrush and SpyFu allow marketers to view these ads and landing pages, offering a deep dive into the user experience provided by competitors and highlighting areas where your own campaigns might be improved.

Use the Google Ads Transparency Center Detailed Steps

The Google Ads Transparency Center is a powerful tool for detailed insights into the ad campaigns of competitors. Here are the steps to use this tool effectively:

  1. Access the Transparency Center: Navigate to the Google Ads Transparency Center.

  2. Search for a Competitor: Enter the name of the competitor you wish to research. The system will display all the ads that the competitor has run.

  3. Analyze the Ads: You can view various ad formats including text, display, and video ads. This tool allows you to see the ad content, the campaign duration, and variations of the ads across different regions.

  4. Use Insights for Strategy: Utilize the findings from the Transparency Center to inform your own ad strategy, identifying effective messaging and creative strategies used by competitors.

Find Competitors Using the Auction Insights Report

Find Competitors Using the Auction Insights Report

The Auction Insights report in Google Ads provides comprehensive data on how your ads stack up against your competitors. To use this report effectively:

  1. Select a Campaign or Keyword: Choose which parts of your campaigns or which keywords you want insights for.

  2. Access the Report: From your Google Ads dashboard, navigate to the "Reports" section, then select "Auction Insights."

  3. Analyze Competitor Performance: The report will show various metrics such as impression share, overlap rate, and position above rate, giving you a clear view of how often your ads compete against those of your competitors in the same auctions.

  4. Strategic Application: Use this data to adjust your bidding strategies, refine your keyword selection, and enhance your overall ad performance based on how directly you are competing against specific competitors.

Important Google Ads Metrics to Watch & How to Measure Success

Important Google Ads Metrics to Watch & How to Measure Success

It's crucial to understand and monitor key performance metrics. These metrics provide insights into how your ads are performing relative to the competition and can guide strategic decisions to enhance campaign success. By leveraging Google Ads competitor analysis tools, marketers can gain a detailed understanding of these metrics and optimize their strategies accordingly.

What is impression share in Google Ads?

Impression share is a fundamental metric in Google Ads that measures the percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions they were eligible to receive. This metric is critical for understanding the visibility of your ads on the Google Ads network. A high impression share indicates that your ads are being shown frequently, while a low impression share might suggest budget limitations, poor ad relevance, or competitive disadvantages. To improve impression share, consider increasing your ad budget, refining your targeting strategies, or optimizing your ad content to enhance relevance and quality score.

What is top of page rate in Google Ads?

Top of page rate in Google Ads measures how often your ad appears at the top of the search results page, above the organic search listings. This metric is crucial because ads that appear at the top of the page are more likely to be seen and clicked on by users. A high top of page rate is often indicative of effective keyword bidding and ad relevance. To enhance this rate, focus on optimizing your bids and improving the quality of your ads through better alignment with search intent and keyword relevance.

What is search absolute top impression share?

Search absolute top impression share in Google Ads is a metric that indicates the percentage of your ad impressions that appear in the very first ad position above all other ads on the search results page. This position is highly coveted as it typically garners the most visibility and potentially, the highest click-through rates. Increasing your search absolute top impression share can be achieved by optimizing your bid strategy, increasing your bids, and ensuring your ad and landing page quality are top-notch.

What is position above rate in Google Ads?

Position above rate is a competitive metric in Google Ads that shows how often your ad is positioned above another advertiser's ad in the search results when both of your ads are shown at the same time. This metric helps you understand how your ad ranks in comparison to specific competitors on key searches. Improving your position above rate may require increasing your bid amounts, enhancing the relevance of your ad keywords, and continuously optimizing your ad quality scores.

Helpful Tools for Evaluating Your Google Ads Competition 

To maintain a competitive edge in Google Ads campaigns, it is crucial to utilize a comprehensive set of tools that allow for in-depth Google Ads competitor analysis and research. These tools provide varied insights into competitors' strategies, helping you optimize your own ads for maximum efficiency and impact. Here’s an overview of several essential tools and how they can enhance your Google Ads competitor analysis system.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Google Ads Keyword Planner


Google Ads Keyword Planner is a fundamental tool integrated within the Google Ads platform, primarily designed to help advertisers find the right keywords to target for their digital advertising campaigns. This tool is instrumental in conducting effective Google Ads competitor analysis by providing insights into keyword trends, search volumes, cost estimates, and competitive data.

Key Features

  • Keyword Discovery: Generate keyword ideas based on initial seed words, phrases, or a URL related to your business.

  • Search Volume and Forecasts: Offers historical metrics and traffic forecasts for keywords to inform strategy planning.

  • Cost Estimates: Provides estimated bids and cost-per-click (CPC) for each keyword, helping to budget and bid more effectively.

  • Competition Level: Displays competition for keywords, giving insight into how many advertisers are bidding on specific terms.


  • Generalized Data: Some data may be too broad or averaged, which can be less useful for niche markets.

  • Lacks Real-Time Data: The information is not always updated in real-time, which can affect decision-making during high-fluctuation periods.

  • Integration Required: Best used within the Google Ads system, which may not provide comprehensive insights for multi-channel strategies.


  • Free

Google Ads Campaign Target ROAS Simulator


The Google Ads Campaign Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) Simulator is a tool designed to help advertisers understand potential outcomes of different target ROAS goals before implementing them in live campaigns. This predictive tool helps optimize bidding strategies based on historical data and projected performance.

Key Features

  • ROAS Forecasting: Simulates various ROAS targets to predict future performance and potential ad spend.

  • Budget Recommendations: Suggests budget adjustments needed to achieve desired ROAS.

  • Scenario Testing: Allows for testing different bidding strategies without affecting live campaigns.


  • Historical Data Dependency: Accuracy depends on the quality and quantity of historical data.

  • Complexity in Setup: Requires an understanding of Google Ads bidding strategies and settings.

  • May Not Reflect Sudden Market Changes: Predictions may not account for sudden shifts in market conditions or consumer behavior.


  • Free

Google Merchant Center’s Price Competitiveness


Google Merchant Center’s Price Competitiveness tool is part of the suite of tools offered by Google Merchant Center, providing insights into how the prices of your products stack up against competitors in the market. This tool is crucial for retailers using Google Shopping and helps in refining pricing strategies to enhance competitive edge.

Key Features

  • Price Comparison: Shows how your product prices compare to those of other retailers selling similar items.

  • Market Benchmarks: Provides benchmarks against average prices in the industry.

  • Alerts for Pricing Opportunities: Highlights products where pricing adjustments could increase competitiveness.


  • Limited to Google Shopping: Only useful for users actively using Google Shopping.

  • Requires GTINs: Products must have Global Trade Item Numbers to be compared.

  • May Not Account for Non-Price Factors: Does not consider other value-add factors like customer service or brand reputation.


  • Free

Google Merchant Center’s Best Sellers


Google Merchant Center’s Best Sellers report gives retailers insights into the most popular products within their categories across Google Shopping. This tool aids in identifying top-performing products and trends, allowing businesses to adjust their offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.

Key Features

  • Top-Performing Products: Identifies which products are currently the best sellers in their category.

  • Trend Insights: Tracks sales trends over time to help forecast future product demands.

  • Category Breakdown: Provides detailed breakdowns by product category for targeted analysis.


  • Focus on Google Shopping: Limited to data from Google Shopping; may not reflect broader market trends.

  • Potential Data Delays: There may be delays in data reporting, which could affect timely decision-making.

  • Dependent on Adequate Data Volume: Effectiveness depends on having sufficient data across the marketplace.


  • Free

Semrush’s PPC Toolkit

Semrush’s PPC Toolkit


Semrush’s PPC Toolkit is a comprehensive suite of tools designed for in-depth PPC campaign management and competitor analysis. It offers a broad range of features that help advertisers to monitor their competitors' strategies, optimize their own ad campaigns, and discover new opportunities in the PPC landscape.

Key Features

  • Competitor Ad Copies Insight: Analyzes competitors’ ad strategies, showing the keywords they target and the ad copies they use.

  • Historical Data Access: Provides access to historical ad data, allowing marketers to see trends and changes over time.

  • Keyword Gap Analysis: Identifies opportunities by comparing your keyword strategy against your competitors’.


  • Subscription Cost: Access to the full suite of tools can be expensive.

  • Complex Interface: Can be overwhelming for new users without training.

  • Primarily SEM-focused: While extremely powerful for search engine marketing, it might offer less for other forms of digital marketing.


  • Pro: $129.95/mo  

  • Guru:  $249.95/mo    

  • Business:  $499.95/mo

Ahrefs’ Site Explorer

Ahrefs’ Site Explorer


Ahrefs’ Site Explorer is an advanced SEO tool that offers detailed insights into the backlink profile, organic search traffic, and paid search activities of any website. For Google Ads users, it provides valuable data on competitors’ paid search strategies, including the PPC keywords they target and the landing pages they optimize.

Key Features

  • Paid Search Insights: Shows which keywords competitors are bidding on and the structure of their ad campaigns.

  • Comprehensive Backlink Data: Offers detailed backlink profiles that help understand competitors’ SEO strength.

  • Content Gap Analysis: Identifies content opportunities missed by competitors.


  • Premium Pricing: Access to Ahrefs comes at a significant cost, which might be prohibitive for smaller businesses.

  • Steep Learning Curve: Features are extensive and can be complex to navigate for beginners.

  • SEO-Heavy Focus: While it includes PPC data, the primary strength lies in SEO analysis.


  • Lite: $129/mo    

  • Standard: $249/mo   

  • Advanced:  $449/mo   

  • Enterprise: Custom

Spyfu’s PPC Research

Spyfu’s PPC Research


Spyfu’s PPC Research tool is targeted at digital marketers looking to gain deep insights into their competitors' PPC strategies. It offers detailed analyses of ad histories, keyword strategies, and overall ad spend, providing a clear view of what competitors are doing in the PPC space.

Key Features

  • Downloadable Competitor Keywords: Allows users to download lists of successful keywords used by their competitors.

  • Ad Variation Tracking: Tracks changes and variations in competitors' ads over time.

  • Competitive Analysis: Provides a detailed view of how competitors' campaigns are structured, including budget estimates and performance metrics.


  • Estimates, Not Actuals: Data, especially around budgets and bid amounts, are estimates and should be used as guidance, not fact.

  • Focus on Google Ads: Mainly focused on Google Ads; limited information on other PPC platforms.

  • Data Overload: The amount of data provided can be overwhelming and may require significant time to analyze effectively.


  • Basic:  $39/mo   

  • Limited Time Offer:

    • Basic Plan $9/mo  

    • Pro plan  $49/mo    

  • Professional: $79/mo




Wappalyzer is a technology profiler tool that uncovers the technologies used on websites, including e-commerce platforms, analytics tools, and marketing technologies. It is especially useful for marketers looking to understand the tech stack of their competitors, which can give insights into their digital marketing strategies and capabilities.

Key Features

  • Technology Detection: Identifies the software and technologies used on any website.

  • Tech Stack Insights: Provides insights into competitors' marketing and analytics tools.

  • User-Friendly Interface: Easy to use with straightforward results available through a browser extension or web interface.


  • Surface-Level Data: Provides what technologies are used but not how effectively they are being utilized.

  • No Performance Data: Does not provide insights into the performance of the detected technologies.

  • Best as Supplementary Tool: More effective when used in conjunction with other detailed analytics tools for a fuller picture.


  • Pro: $250/mo  

  • Business: $450/mo   

  • Enterprise: $850+/mo




iSpionage is a competitive intelligence tool that offers insights into competitors' PPC and SEO strategies. It provides detailed data on keywords, ad copy, and landing pages that competitors are using to attract and convert traffic.

Key Features

  • Keyword and Ad Monitoring: Tracks what keywords competitors are targeting and how they are performing.

  • Campaign Watch: Allows monitoring of competitors' campaign structures and strategies.

  • Conversion Intelligence: Provides insights into the landing pages and offers that are converting well for competitors.


  • Limited Free Features: The free version offers only basic features, with more comprehensive data locked behind a paywall.

  • Primarily PPC and SEO: While thorough in PPC and SEO, may not provide as broad insights into other marketing channels.

  • Data Delays: Some users report delays in data updates, which could impact the timeliness of the insights offered.


  • Starter: $59/mo   

  • Professional: $99/mo   

  • Advanced:   $299/mo        

  • Enterprise: Custom


Google Ads competitor analysis is not just about keeping up with rivals but about surpassing them by making informed, strategic decisions that enhance ad performance and drive greater returns on investment. By utilizing competitor analysis effectively, businesses can not only anticipate changes and adapt quickly but also identify and seize opportunities to lead in their market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should I conduct a Google Ads competitor analysis?

It's best to conduct a Google Ads competitor analysis at least once a quarter. However, if you operate in a highly competitive or rapidly changing industry, conducting this analysis monthly can help you stay more dynamically aligned with market trends and competitor moves.

Can Google Ads competitor analysis reveal the exact budget of my competitors?

No, Google Ads competitor analysis can provide insights into relative spend through metrics like impression share and visibility, but it does not disclose the exact ad spend of your competitors. It helps estimate their budget allocation based on their campaign activities.

What should I do if I find out my competitors are targeting the same keywords as me?

If competitors target the same keywords, consider optimizing your ad copy and landing pages to improve quality score and ad rank. Also, explore long-tail keywords that may have less competition but can still attract highly targeted traffic.


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