5 Tools to Keep Watch on PPC Competitor Keywords

Humans have been wired to keep a check on prevailing competition since the time of evolution. Whether it’s a life or a business, we need to do the SWOT & TOWS analysis to make things work. PPC or AdWords is no different and a successful advertiser ought to keep a check on what’s rolling in the minds of competitors in their niche. A robust AdWords strategy includes not only capitalizing on your core competencies but also keeping a check on what your immediate competitors is upto for better ROI.

Why Should You Keep a Watch On PPC Competitor Keywords?

A competitor is the best inspiration for growth in any business. Keeping a watch on the same is not going to do any harm but in turn will provide an edge when it comes to PPC advertising.  Here’re some of the reasons as to why keeping a watch on competitor keywords can be beneficial:

  • Competitor might be bidding on ones brand searches: Your brand is unique in it’s own ways and you don’t want to loose users to your immediate competitor. To keep a check if someone is bidding on your brand term, one must keep a close eye on the same.
  • Capitalizing on Impression Share: When it comes to mobile devices which comprise of 65% of overall web searches, the top search results are from AdWords. If you are not bidding on search terms which your immediate competitor is bidding upon, you might be loosing on impression share metrics, which is vital.
  • Discovering Opportunities: Underlying opportunities can be discovered through competitive keywords analysis. Ideas pertaining to classifying the existing campaign in more granular manner can help advertiser to achieve better overall quality score and performance.
  • Ad-Copy Creation Ideas: Some tools also help in keeping a watch on ad-copies being used by the competitors, which can help an advertiser to modify their ads for better click throughs in the search results.

Competitive keyword analysis is the essence of structuring a successful AdWords campaign. Getting more of eyeballs on your ad or reaching a wider audience requires a well-developed framework of account structuring in PPC. Here are some tools, which come handy in order to keep check on PPC competitor keywords:

  • Ispionage: This is an awesome tool which allows advertisers to set alert for keywords being targeted through AdWords campaigns. It offers an insight into their campaigns and approach, while giving advertisers a warning system if they’re about to try something new. iSpionage offers this as part of their $99/month package along with a bunch of other features. Certainly worth a look. It offers three sub-modules:
  1. Keyword and Domain Research: One can find the competitors spend on Ad channels and keywords they are                   bidding upon.
  2. Keyword Monitoring: Advertiser can set an alert for set of keywords. The tool would send alert for any changes a competitor makes while targeting them.
  3. Campaign Watch: It helps to keep a check on competitors ad copies and landing pages. This can be very vital to optimize for on-going promotions being done by the competitors in ones niche.

Ispoinage Tool

  • KeywordSpy: It adhered to its name meaning and spies on keywords which PPC competitors are bidding on along with ad copies being used by them. The free version gives only a list of 20 keywords and 10 Ad copies, while the paid version gives a good amount of information, which one can export and use it for better targeting in their PPC campaigns. It also has a unique feature called “Domain Spy”. This feature helps you to find existing PPC competitors of a particular domain.


  • SpyFu: A very handy tool when it comes to competitor threat in AdWords. It helps advertisers to find out all the keywords used by competitors and also identifies which one helps them to get most of traffic. This can really help in bidding for a set of search terms and outrank PPC competitors. Under paid plan, it also offers a monthly summary report, which is fully customizable. this comprehensive tool gives an elaborated report on estimated targeted keywords, clicks for organic and paid channels for a particular domain. SpyFu has a great keyword feature showing how many keywords your competitors rank for and how much their keyword focus overlaps with yours. It’s pretty remarkable how much data SpyFu can provide, even for basic or cursory searches. Data on everything from local and global monthly search volume, CTR, ad spend, advertisement history, ranking history, backlinks, and ad groups is readily available, offering invaluable insight into your competitors’ keyword strategies.Several features are available for free (with data limits), prices start from $33/month and there is a 30-day money back guarantee.

Spyfu Tool

  • AdWords Auction Insights: In order to understand the competitive metrics much better, one needs to view and capitalize on auction insights for keywords that are being targeted in PPC campaigns. Auction insights give a much-detailed analysis on Overlap Rates (how many impressions ones competitor received along with advertiser), Outranking Share (By what percentage the competitor outranked in an auction), and Position above rate (Percentage of impressions above the advertiser). These insights will help you dig deeper into the impression share and the areas to focus in order to improve the outranking share. One drawback of AdWords’ Auction Insights report is that it only displays data for advertisers that have participated in the same ad auctions that we have, not all competitors with the same account settings or targeting parameters. This means that, by default, we might miss some data regardless, as not every advertiser will compete in a given ad auction.
  • SEMrush: Perhaps the most robust tool in its niche. It gives a comprehensive report of keywords competitors are targeting. It also gives a list of ad-copies, which competitors are implementing in their ad campaigns. It not only gives a list of competitors for PPC and SEO, but also gives the number of keyword they are bidding upon. Keeping an eye on these can help an advertiser to get an edge. SEMrush is an industry standard tool which advertisers use to keep a check not only paid channel alerts but also gives a list of competitors for a particular domain on both organic and paid search front. It also enlists the keywords being targeted by competitor domains which can be exported as csv for usage.


These tools can help an advertiser to frame a better account structure. It will also help in iterating on an on-going Ad-campaign in order to achieve better returns on marketing investments. Keeping a close eye on these can help an advertiser to optimize under shoestring budget as well. A deep insight into marketing channels can help an advertiser to grab the existing opportunities and meet the underlying marketing threats in a robust manner. Achieving a marketing objective with such a deep insight can help to scale marketing ROI. Try these handy tools for crafting better PPC campaign structure today!

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