How to spy on your competitors' Google Ads?

In the digital world, if you want your e-commerce or dropshipping business to continue to grow, you have to constantly find new ways to stand out. Since everything is constantly evolving, if you don't do this, you will lose your place in the market very quickly. 

In the past, we have known several major brands that have been exploded by the competition over time. This is because, the competition is one of the things that almost never changes and that you must use to develop your business. 

In this article, we will talk about Google Ads. Apart from social networks, Google Ads is one of the best traffic acquisition means used by e-commerce brands to attract qualified visitors. 

You will discover how to spy on your competitors' Google ads, how to see the Google ads that a company is running and most importantly how you can use the information found during the spying to improve your marketing strategy. We'll also show you the best tools you can use to get the most information from your competitors' ads. 

Why spy on your competitors' Google ads?

Here are two basic reasons why it's important to find competitors' Google ads and spy on them.

Discover new competitors 

The first thing that spying will let you know is the presence of your competitors. By spying on ads, you will identify new competitors . The more you know about your competitors, the more you will spy on them and see what is needed. 

In e-commerce, it is better to consider your competitors as tools to use to improve your business. Competition indicates the presence of opportunities. Indeed, the more competition you have in a niche, the better it is for your sector. 

Spying allows you to identify them. Moreover, by spying on your competitors, you can find very interesting data about them. You can search for new keywords, sales statistics and all sorts of useful information.

All of this will help you to be better prepared. Once you know what you're dealing with, you can anticipate others and stand out.

Finding what works in the market

Whatever your industry, chances are you won't be the first.

Your competitors who are currently at the top of the list in your niche have probably "tried and failed" many times before reaching their current position. 

Indeed, being inspired by what they have already done and what they are doing can make all the difference. It can also help you avoid making the same mistakes they did. 

This can save you time, money and countless frustrations. Since you'll only have to replicate what they do well and adapt it to your business. Basically, spying allows you to find your competitors' Google ads and get inspiration from them. The collected data will be used as a basis to quickly set up and develop your e-commerce or dropshipping business .

Moreover, it is not enough to spy on competitors. You must have a fundamental reason to do so. This is the search for information. Here is the information you can collect and analyze when spying on your competitors. 

What information do you need to collect on your competitors' Google Ads?

The information gathered from spying on competitors is the data you will need to use to improve your marketing strategies. Here is some data that will give you an overall idea of the performance of your competitors' campaigns. 

The source of traffic

The traffic source represents the origin of the visitors of your competitor's site. For online stores, we generally have 2 sources of traffic. 

  • Organic traffic
  • Paid traffic

Organic traffic represents mainly the SEO of the website. That is to say free traffic. The website promoter does not pay to receive visitors who come to his site through this source while paid traffic is all the advertising on search engines and social networks that bring traffic to a website.

In the case of spying on a competitor's Google ads, what we are interested in is the paid traffic. Based on this data, we can know the number of people who visit the website. 

Target keywords

The target keywords are the expressions used by your competitors to position themselves on search engines. These words or expressions are nothing more than what your prospects are looking for to find you. In other words, the queries that your potential customers fill in on search engines to find your products or services. 

Google's algorithms are basically based on these words or expressions to put forward the ideal content to users. Indeed, if you don't use the right keywords, you won't get qualified traffic even if you use paid advertising. Spying on your competitors' keywords will allow you to identify their best keywords in order to position yourself on these same keywords. 

The conversion rate

The conversion rate represents the number of people who buy products out of the total number of visits. The conversion rate is a key indicator that tells you how your competitors' Google Ads are performing. The higher the conversion rate, the better the ad performance. 

Compare this data between your biggest competitors to identify those who convert their leads better. It is their strategies that you will try to copy. Here's how to spy on your competitors' Google ads.

Cost Per Click and Campaign Type

Most often, e-commerce brands run PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns. PPC or cost per click campaigns are Google campaigns where the advertiser is required to pay an amount each time a Google user clicks on the ad. Depending on the bids, this price can rise very quickly.

This is a very important data to take into account when you spy on the Google Ads of your competitors. You will be able to know according to the keywords, what your competitors pay for each visit. 

When it comes to the type of campaign, it is also important to know if your competitors are running an awareness campaign, a branding campaign or a conversion campaign. 

How to check the Google ads of competitors? That's what we'll see in the next chapter of this article. 

The best Google ad spy tools

Let's find out the best Google Ads spy tools here. 

Google Ads Account

The first tool we can recommend to spy on your competitors' Google ads is the tool set up by Google to track your ad campaigns. This is your Google Ads account.

Once in your account, you will find a tool called"Auction Insights". This is the tool you will use to spy on your competitors' ads. "Auction Insights" allows you to run a bidding report to see which competitors are participating in the same Google ad auctions and bidding on the same profitable keywords as your business.

In other words, you will be able to identify what your customers pay to be positioned on certain keywords, which will allow you to evaluate their conversion rate. You will also be able to identify the keywords on which they position themselves. 

If you want to go further on keywords and find opportunities to exploit, you can use the Google KeyWord Planner which is another tool offered by Google.

The Auction Insights report also provides essential data on your copywriting (ad copy) and compares it to the top performing Google ads.

However, by using only Google tools, you may miss some of your competitors that are not necessarily collected by Google tools since Google tools are, basically, intended for tracking and optimizing your campaigns. That's why we recommend you to use, in addition to Google tools, other spying tools that we will see in the rest of this article. 

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a tool specially designed for collecting data on e-commerce stores. You can for example use its chrome extension which allows you to have in a few clicks information on the origin of the traffic of a store or a site. 

This will allow you to know the main source of traffic of your competitors. You will be able to use this information to see if your competitors' store visitors come mostly from search engine ads or social networks. 

If the biggest source of traffic is search engines, it is because the website is doing Google ads. The goal here is to be able to rank on the same traffic source as your competitors. 

SpyFu

SpyFu is a pretty complete tool when it comes to spying on competitors' Google ads. However, this is not the only thing the tool offers. Here are the main features of SpyFu. 

  • Complete SEO analysis
  • Analysis and research of PPC campaigns
  • Research and monitoring of keyword positioning
  • Analysis and research of backlinks
  • Competitive analysis

SpyFy has a simple and easy-to-use interface Another interesting feature of SpyFu is its simple and effective dashboard that allows you to see in one place all the data related to the ads, keywords of your competitors. 

You will be able to follow the whole thing without getting lost in several pages. 

iSpionage

Being an e-tailer or dropshipper, we often wonder how to check the Google listings of competitors. The answer is that you can use iSpionage

iSpionage is one of the most popular tools for spying on competitors' Google ads. As we have seen above, Google ads are mainly based on keywords. Like the previous keyword spy tools, it allows you to research your competitors' ads, check their best keywords.  

In addition, iSpionage will also help you determine how much a competitor is spending on a PPC campaign so that you have an estimate of how much you need to budget if you want to take their place on search engines. 

Semrush

Semrush is another well-known tool in keyword spying. It is a very complete tool that allows you to see all the information related to the performance of a website from a traffic point of view. 

On its interface, you can directly see the number of organic visits of the platform and the number of visits in paid traffic. If you go down a little further, you will have an evolutionary and comparative curve of the different sources of traffic of the website. 

The tool also provides you with the best keywords and cost per click, so you can quickly find keyword opportunities that you will rank for. Another feature that differentiates Semrush from other tools is that you have the possibility to see the ads made by your competitors. 

You can see how they write their copy, which campaigns convert best and the costs per acquisition. All of this information will undoubtedly help you make the best decisions for your online sales business. 

Apart from search engine advertising, social networks are also a good way to showcase products for sale online. Especially if you are dropshipping, you need to make use of social networks. When it comes to spying on social networks, you can use Minea. 

Minea to Spy on Social Network Ads

Minea is an ads spy tool that allows you to spy on ads made by your competitors on all networks. It is the perfect complement to Google ad spy tools that you need to have a 360 view on your competitors. 

Minea is equipped with ultra-intelligent algorithms that collect ads whether on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok and store them in its database. So you can search this database for your competitors' ads by combining the many filters offered by the tool. Your results will depend on your objectives. 

Besides collecting ads on social networks, Minea also spies on e-commerce stores. In fact, if you want to have more information about an online store, you just have to enter the link of the store in Minea's store spy tool. In a few seconds, you will have relevant data such as the demographics of the store's visitors, the best products of the store and many other information that will allow you to better understand the marketing strategies of your competitors. 

Minea also offers an influencer marketing spy tool. This marketing system is currently one of the best on the market. It is used by the biggest e-commerce brands. If you aspire to build a community around your brand, influencer marketing is one of your best tools. By using Minea, you will be able to see what your influencers are doing and not repeat the same mistakes as them. 

Spy on Google Ads: What to remember?

In this article, we have seen how to find competitors' Google ads, the importance of spying on your competitors' Google ads, the information you need to collect when spying and most importantly the tools you can use to effectively spy on your competitors' Google ads. 

It is said that spying on competitors' advertisements allows you to have a better view of the market and a head start on your competitors. As a result, you will be able to anticipate the moves and improve your marketing. 

Frequently Asked Questions ?

How to spy on your competitors' Google ads?

In this article, we have provided some answers to the question how to spy on your competitors' Google ads. There are two main methods to spy on competitors' ads: the manual method and the use of ads spy tools

The manual method consists of searching for a keyword related to your niche on search engines. This search will allow you to see the competitors who advertise on this keyword. This method is very time consuming and does not allow you to have all the information you need about your competitors. 

The second method which consists in using ads spy tools is the most effective one to spy on your competitors' Google ads. By practicing the tips given in this article, you won't have any difficulties on how to spy on Google ads.

How to see your competitors' Google ads?

The best way to see your competitors' Google ads is to use an ad spy tool like Google's "Auction Insights" or Semrush. Just enter the name or website address of your competitors to get all relevant information about their Google ads

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