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The ultimate guide to conducting PPC competitor analysis

The ultimate guide to conducting PPC competitor analysis

Knowing what your competitors are doing when it comes to paid ads can help to inform your own strategy and give you an idea of where you should be optimising your campaigns to make sure you appear above your competitors.

Pay-per-click advertising is a great way to generate leads and boost traffic to your website. Still, creating an effective PPC ad campaign can be challenging - especially if you’re new to marketing or in a highly competitive industry. 

Conducting a comprehensive PPC competitor analysis is one of the best ways to understand your competitors' tactics and strategies. You can then use that information to get ahead with your own PPC ad campaigns. 

In this blog, we’ll run through everything you need to know so that you can conduct an effective PPC competitor analysis. We’ll cover:

  • What a competitor PPC analysis is and why it’s important
  • How to conduct a PPC competitor analysis
  • The best tools to use

What is a PPC competitor analysis, and why is it important?

This process involves assessing and analysing your competitors’ paid ad campaigns to gain key insights to improve your own PPC efforts. This allows you to see what your biggest competitors are doing well, what areas they could improve on and any missed opportunities  - all this information will help you get ahead with your own PPC campaigns.

How to conduct a competitor PPC analysis 

An effective and comprehensive PPC competitor analysis involves four main steps:

  1. Identify competitors
  2. Analyse keyword gaps, ad placement and performance
  3. Examine landing pages and ad copy
  4. Analyse ad spend, budgets, performance, and ROI

Step 1: Identify competitors

The first step should always be to identify who your competitors are. Even if you already have a comprehensive list of your competitors, it’s essential to regularly conduct new research as new businesses appear in your industry or existing businesses expand. 

You can use a tool like SEMrush to identify your competitors - this paid tool will give you information on your site’s main competitors and the keywords they’re bidding on. Or you can use Google Ads Auction Insights to compare your campaign performance to your competitors. 

Step 2: Keyword gap and ad placement analysis 

After identifying your competitors, it’s time to analyse their PPC tactics and strategy. You’ll want to look at the keywords they’re bidding on and ad placement. 

Keyword research and gap analysis

You can use a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword gap analysis to identify which keywords your competitors are bidding on. This will allow you to identify which relevant keywords they’re bidding on that you haven’t considered before, and you can use this to inform your keyword strategy. 

Ad placement analysis

It’s just as important to look at where your competitors display their ads - are they mostly paid search ads, display ads or paid social ads? You can use a tool like Similarweb to do this, and the process will help identify potential placements for your own ads.

Step 3: Examine landing pages and ad copy

Analysing ad copy and landing pages shouldn’t be overlooked. You can look at your competitors' Google ads on the Ads Transparency Centre or their Facebook and Instagram ads on the Meta Ad Library. 

Analyse ad copy

Look at how your competitors position their products and services in their ads. You might want to look at how they use:

  • Keywords 
  • Unique selling points and features 
  • Tone
  • Calls to action
  • Headlines 
  • Special offers, sales or discounts
  • Pricing 
  • If they use imagery, video or other elements in their ads

Analyse landing pages 

It’s worth noting what landing pages your competitors drive their traffic to. You can use Google’s auction report to find your competitors’ best-performing landing pages. 

Consider whether their landing page is user-friendly with a clear call to action, and look at how they’ve detailed their key features and benefits. How do your landing pages compare with your competitors?

Step 4: Analyse ad budgets, performance and ROI

This step will help you understand how much money your competitors are spending on their ads and help inform your own campaign budget. 

You can use an ad intelligence tool like Spyfu to view the historical performance of your competitors’ ad campaigns, with information on their ad spend, conversion rates and click-through rates. 

It might also be useful to look at search advertising benchmarks for your industry to give you a place to start with setting realistic and achievable goals for your campaigns.

Best PPC competitor analysis tools 

There are loads of free and paid tools available that can help you conduct a PPC competitive analysis. Here’s a breakdown of some of our favourites.


This comprehensive platform consists of various paid tools to help with your competitor PPC analysis. You can conduct a paid keyword gap analysis to easily identify any missed opportunities and see your competitors’ top-performing keywords in the domain overview.


This paid software platform focuses on competitor analysis for SEO and PPC campaigns. Viewing your competitors’ Google Ads budget and monthly paid clicks is easy. You can also view any search or display ads that they’ve run in the past five months. 


This comprehensive paid tool helps you investigate your competitor’s content and ads. You can view your competitors’ top traffic sources (paid vs. organic) and see which of your keywords they’re bidding on.

Google Ads Auction Insights

This is a great free tool to see how your campaign performance compares to your competitors. You can see all the competitors who are bidding on the same keywords and ad placements as you. 

Facebook Ad Library

You can use this ad library to search for Facebook and Instagram ads that your competitors are running. This is a useful and free way to analyse your competitors' social ads and look at their ad copy and creative. 

Google Ads Transparency Center 

This is Google’s ad library, and you can search for your competitors and see all the Google ad campaigns they are running with information on their ad placement. This is a great way to conduct in-depth ad copy and landing page analysis. 

Key takeaways 

A PPC competitor analysis is one of the best ways to gain useful insights into your competitors' PPC strategy and use it to inform your own PPC campaigns. However, conducting a comprehensive competitor analysis can be tricky, especially with so many paid tools available.

If you’re struggling with your PPC strategy and not seeing results with your campaigns, the team at Logica Digital can help. We offer a free digital marketing audit to help you get started. Our team of PPC experts will analyse your current PPC campaigns, take a look at what your competitors are doing, and give you some suggestions about what you can do to improve your PPC performance and digital marketing strategy. 

Blog written by

Connor Young
Digital Marketing Executive

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