The 18 Best PPC Spy Tools to Dominate Your Competition

Today I’m going to go all 007 on you with an in-depth article on PPC spy tools.

By the time you’ve read this article your competitors are going to feel as uncomfortable as ben from meet the fockers with how much you know about their PPC campaigns.

It is no secret that keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing in business is important.

And that holds true for PPC too.

PPC spy tools allow you to see what your competitors ad look like, where they are being shown and how much they are spending.

Infact it allows you to see there exact strategy and give you huge insight into what is working for them.

Today I want to share with you 27 PPC spy tools that are going to allow you to dominate your competition.

Whatever platform they are running ads on, be it Google Search, The Google Display Network or even Facebook and Twitter.

Google Search

 

Want to know which adverts and keywords your competitors are using, so you can steal their winning strategy?

Look no further than these epic PPC spy tools.

1) Google Auction Insights

Although Auction insights is not what most people thing of when you say PPC Tools, it is one of the easiest ways to see who you are competing against is to look at auction insights within Adwords.

This is a completely free tool that allows you to see who you are competing against at

  • Ad group level
  • Keyword level
  • Campaign level

Here is what the report looks like.

You can see your competitors website, your impression share, average position and other more advanced metrics such as overlap rate and position above rate.

This is a great place to start your PPC spying as you now have a list of your competitors websites to enter into the next tools that will be discussed.

2) SEMrush

SEMrush in our opinion is top dog when it comes to PPC spying as it allows you to see what your competitors are doing on

  • Google Search
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Display Network
  • Youtube ads

The tools allows you to see exactly what ad copies your competitors are running and has an incredibly comprehensive data base that is updated regularly.

Check out Amazons latest ads.

You can also exactly what keywords that their ads are appearing for.

Here you can see that Amazons top keyword is “Game of Thrones”.

This literally gives you your competitors PPC strategy on a plate for you to analyse and copy.

You can try this tool for free for 7 days by signing up to their free trial here.

Pricing Starts at $99.95/month and goes up to $399.95/month.

3) Spyfu

Spyfu is another big player when it comes to PPC spy tools.

It allows you to see your competitors keyword groups, overlapping keyword that are shared by different competitors which usually yields some great keyword opportunities and your competitors ad history.

The main tool that is exclusive to Spyfu is called Kombat, which as I mention above allows you to see which keywords overlap.

Here is what it looks like for Amazon.

By hovering over the different segments you are able to see how many keywords are shared between each competitor.

Once you select a segment the shared keywords are listed below which you can export.

Pricing starts from $49/month.

4) Ispionage

Ispionage is one of the big three along with SEMrush and Spyfu

It provides a detailed overview of the keywords your competitors are using, their ads and who you are competing against.

One other cool feature is that it allows you to spy on Bing / Yahoo ads too!

The tool is also useful too for advanced advert analysis. It gives you information on how often each ad is served (which gives you insight into which one is performing the best) and also how many different keywords trigger that ad so you can copy their keyword grouping.

The tool even has features to track your competitors landing pages, neat right?

Pricing start from $29/month for their most basic package and $299/month for their most advanced.

5) KeywordSpy

KeywordSpy is a useful but lesser known PPC spy tool.

It allows you to uncover your competitors ads and keywords along with a comprehensive list of advertisers who are competing with them.

Like SEMrush, Spyfu and iSpionage it provides a comprehensive overview of your competitors ads with data such as days seen and first / last seen that are not shown on the other tools

Pricing starts from $89.95/month.

6) Similarweb

Although Similarweb is mainly known for being a web traffic estimator tool, it is also very effective at spying on your PPC competitors.

The keywords tab allows you see monthly search volumes, the cost per click and the amount of traffic that it drove.

Like the other PPC spy tools it also has a feature to track your competitors landing pages.

Pricing is available on request

Google Display Network

 

The Adwords display network is a great place to use PPC spy tools, as it is much harder to find your competitors ads.

Advertisers can be much more creative with their ads, funnels and remarketing which gives you a lot of opportunity to uncover a few gems.

7) Whatrunswhere

Whatrunswhere has by far the most comprehensive overview of display network traffic and creatives.

It not only covers the Google Display Network but allows you to channels such as Mediabuy and Rubicon.

You can view your competitors banner ads and filter by ones that have been seen the most often as well as which ones have been seen for the longest period of time (which are likely to perform well)

You can view your competitors traffic sources and download a list of placements that you can then upload into your own campaigns.

For example here are the placements that Ford are displaying their ads on.

Pricing starts from $299/month.

8) Who Is Retargeting Me

This is a cool free tool that allows you to see who is displaying remarking ads to you.

Simply visit pages your competitors website then visit WhoIsRetargetingMe and you will be able to see their ads.

If you want to get really specific you can do so after visiting certain pages on their website to uncover their different campaigns.

This is a free tool.

9) Adbeat

Adbeat is a step up from Whatrunswhere and allows advertisers to spy outside of the Google Display network and see spending levels.

The tool allows you to see what networks the specific ads run on and how long their ads have been running for which is usually a good indicator of if they are successful or not.

Furthermore you can spy on your competitors split tests.

The tools also allows you to spy on over 90+ different networks outside the Google Display Network.

Pricing starts from $399 per month.

10) Mixrank

MixRank describe themselves as being “the most comprehensive database of mobile apps, developers, SDKs, technologies, services, and integrations”.

Mix rank provides you data on your competitors landing pages and campings. It allows you to tap into the app directory side of things and gather intel from the iOS and Android.

Pricing on request

11) Boxofads

Box of ads allows you to spy on both your competitors ad creatives and landing pages with ease across thousands of publishers.

Within the interface you can see display ads, mobile ad, contextual ads and native ads like the ones below.

Pricing starts at $147 per month for the basic package and goes up to $599 for the business edition.

12) Adclarity for Display ads

Ad clarity allows you to discover your competitors best display ads, allowing you to expand your display campaigns and improve their reach.

This is a very comprehensive PPC spy tool will allow you to get ahead of the competition and increase your ROI.

Pricing on request

13) MOAT

Moat allows you to see where your competitors banner ads were last shown.

Like What runs where it has a very comprehensive database of image ads. Here are some of the Ads that Amazon.co.uk are currently running.

Pricing on request.

Social Media Ads

 

Social media ad spend is growing year on year with Facebook reporting revenues of $28Bn up 57% from the previous year.

But before you get started with social media advertising, like with other forms of paid media its good to determine what is working for your competitors first and the following tools will help you do just that!

14) Simply measured

Simply measured allows you to benchmark your social media PPC performance against your competitors.

This PPC spy tool allows you to analyse your market share, get detailed analytics of about your competitors and analyse up to 10 of your competitors fan pages

Image source

Pricing on request

15) Adicted.io

Adicted is arguably the best social media PPC spy tool boasting the larges database of Facebook Ad examples.

There are 12 different filtering options that you can choose from such as:

  • How recently it was posted
  • If it was used to drive downloads or bookings
  • If it got more than 50 likes
  • If it got more than 50 comments

For example here are some of Amazon’s most popular ads that have the button “shop now”.

As you can see the library is very comprehensive, making it my favourite social media competitive research tool.

Adicted offers a free trial with packages up to $ 24.97 per month.

16) AdEspresso Ad Gallery

AdEspresso provides a comprehensive ad library that now has over 350,000 twitter and Facebook ads.

You can search and filter by:

  • Advertisers name
  • Placement (newsfeed dekstop, newsfeed mobile and right hand side)
  • Industry
  • Objective (lead generation, content promotion, etc)
  • Attributes (Photo, video, retargeting etc).

This is a free tool.

Landing Page

 

The simple truth is that even the best PPC campaigns will fail if they have poor landing pages.

When you are paying for every click you need to ensure that you have strong landing pages in pace to convert searchers into paying customers.

Landing page spy tools allow you to see what your competitors are doing and track their split tests to see what is working and what is not.

17) Snitcher

Snitcher is in essence an analytics tool, as opposed to a PPC spy tool, that integrates with your CRM system and Google Analytics, but one with a cool twist.

It allows you to discover how people found your and what pages that they visited before the visited your website.

Pricing starts from $24/month.

18) Stillio

Stillio allows you to track your competitors landing pages automatically, so you don’t have to spend hours a month crawling through your competitors PPC landing pages.

You tell Stillio what to track and when to and it will take a screenshot for your automatically of your competitors landing pages each day.

Pretty neat right?

Pricing starts from $3 per month.

Conclusion

One thing to think about is that what you competitors are doing, won’t always work for you, though it is always a great starting point.

Analyse what your competitors are doing and improve on it by playing to your own strengths.

Have I missed any PPC spy tools? Post them below in the comments section!

wesley parker
About wesley parker

Wesley is Founder and CEO at Clicteq. He currently manages a £6 Mil Adwords portfolio across a range of different sectors. He regulally features in leading search publications such as Search Engine Journal, Econsultancy and Certified Knowledge. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Linkedin

4 thoughts on “The 18 Best PPC Spy Tools to Dominate Your Competition

  • Hi Wesley,

    Thanks for sharing this list.

    The tool I actually use the most is Google Sheet + Google Adwords API & scripts.

    As Excel, Google sheets allow to follow exactly what matters on your accounts, and very specific metrics for some accounts. And as you choose what to monitor and how to show the result (graphic, table, colored cells, …), it’s really for my team and me to see in a glance what matter the most and where to start our day.

  • Hi Wesley,
    I am using Spyfu and SEMrush. But i don’t have idea on other tools. Sure it gives me a chance to see the betterment to monitor my PPC campaign comparing to my competitors. It’s really helpful. Thanks for sharing your bullet for a shot 🙂

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