Last updated on November 14th, 2019 at 11:40 pm
In today’s capitalistic world, competition is rife. Firms are willing to go to any length if it means that they will triumph as the supreme controller of the market. Of the many gimmicks that they employ, PPC spy tools are some of the most diverse and effective methods used by firms worldwide.
What are PPC Spy Tools
In simple terms, PPC spy tools are integrated systems and software that help you learn about your competitors’ activities, including their spending habits. Now, there are several different spy tools and not all work with all platforms, and this is why when it comes to PPC, that is, Pay Per Click, we try to cover spy tools that work on both AdWords and Bing. From rankings to keywords to domains, the array of PPC spy tools out there equip you with a thorough brief on your competitor.
However, it is essential that you pick out the spy tool that best fits your purpose, and with so many to choose from this can prove somewhat daunting. Here’s what to look for in a useful PPC spy tool:
What makes a good PPC spy tool:
While there are no set criteria to determine what makes for a good PPC spy tool, there are a few given markers that those in the industry tend to go by. The spy tool should be able to work on several levels, collecting information at different layers to make for a more comprehensive report. It should also work well with a range of platforms, the greater its adaptability, the better.
Moreover, when it comes to PPC spy tools or virtually any kind of spy tool, subtlety is key. The device should ensure maximum security for the organization using it and should in no way indicate that such a service is being employed. It should be remembered that these are just a few basic guidelines for when it comes to selecting your PPC spy tool; every situation differs. The selection process entails knowing precisely what your spying goals are!
Know your Spying Goals
Gone are the days when getting on the bandwagon seemed like an intelligent choice. Nowadays, it is all about originality and getting your own methids to work for you. With that in mind, it is essential to think about what you hope to achieve through your various spying activities as this will largely dictate the process.
Your spying process would be entirely different if you were collecting data on keyword similarity compared to if you were, say, focusing on finding new opportunities in the market. Once you get involved in the world of PPC spy tools, what you will learn is that there is a lot more to gain from this than just competitor strategies and trending keywords. PPC spy tools open new avenues, including untapped channels and offers through which an organization can better their standing in the market. Once you have got your spying goals sorted, it is necessary to select the ones that will enable you to meet them effectively.
To help you make a more educated choice, we’ve outlined some of the top PPC spy tools of 2019:
SpyFu deals with one of the most widely used PPC spy tool techniques; keywords. With SpyFu, you can access any competitor’s keyword data for up to the past 13 years. However, it extends beyond just keyword purchases and also includes organic rankings and ad variations. Once, you run for your required competitor’s statistics, and you will be able to see their spending habits, including exactly how much they spend on specific keywords and channels.
SpyFu allows you to view the number of monthly keyword searches and the count of adverts created by an advertiser. Available as both an organic search and a paid search option, SpyFu allows access to everyone without disrupting budgets.
iSpionage helps you achieve three things: targeted traffic, lead generation, and increased conversion rates. With over 70,000 competitor PPC keyword lists, iSpionage enables quick searches for profitable keywords as well as displaying your competitor’s monthly AdWords budget. Some of its other features include grouping strategies, use of proprietary keyword effectiveness indexes, and indicating monthly traffic estimates garnered by each advert.
iSpionage’s most significant feature is its versatility. Its systems cover competitors in not only Google and Yahoo but also Bing helping you check all areas for potential clients and growth. But it does not end here, iSpionage also displays competitor’s original created ad copies and enables you to view different destination URLs since many organizations create separate landing pages for each group of keywords.
Follow is one of the most accessible PPC spy tool platforms to use out there. This is because it operates as a browser extension that inculcates a variety of spy tools into one that is effective. This makes it the best choice for any organization wanting to carry out an informative investigation of its competitors.
As a comprehensive all in one spy tool, Follow enables you to view all of the following (pun intended!):
- – Monthly site visits
- – Estimated PPC traffic figures
- – Text ad summaries, including the amount of traffic they attract individually
- – Country by country paid advertising numbers
- – The competitor’s choice of display ads
- – Performance statistics for each banner display
What is more, with its many pricing options, Follow is accessible for all. It starts out as a free of charge specialized keyword spy tool and goes on to increments of $37 and $97 a month for 500 and 5000 monthly lookups, respectively.
Follow’s selling point is its ability to integrate multiple sources to produce data that is thorough, comprehensive, and far-reaching to make for comparisons that are well-rounded.
With Serpstat, time is success. It runs all of its operations on minimal time runs, which is why it is the perfect tool if you are looking to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Whether you want to search keyword rankings, list websites or evaluate your competitor’s advertising budget distribution, Serpstat will do all, and that too in just a matter of minutes.
Serpstat’s unique feature is that it allows for parallel comparisons between yourself and your competitors. What this does is that it highlights areas that are not being fully utilized by other competitors in the market, making for openings that the firm can target. In this way, organizations can sway the market to achieve a maximum advantage through targeted advertisements.
Although Serpstat does offer free of charge services, its paid packages are on the expensive side, starting at $69 and going up to $499 a month, each with increased benefits.
SEMrush is genuinely an all-in-one marketing PPC spy tool. It lets you view your competitors’ information over a range of platforms, including Google Search, YouTube adverts, Google Shopping, and Google Display Network. This makes for a comprehensive report that enables you to push your firm ahead of your competitors, on every level.
With SEMrush, it is all about the figures. Packing in 800 million keywords, 100 geo databases and 130 million domains it leaves virtually no space untouched. SEMrush covers SEO, paid traffic, social media, market research, and content and PR, diversifying its operations to the extent where it has something to offer to everyone.
Price wise, however, SEMrush is comparatively less user-friendly. Although they do provide a free seven-day trial, that is as far as their free of charge services go. After that their monthly plans lie in a range of $99 to $400.
6. Google Auction Insights
Google Auction Insights is an embedded report within Google AdWords, which compares a firm’s standing to that of its competitors in the perimeter of the same auction. Since this PPC spy tool focuses solely on an organization’s Google AdWords performance, it details an elaborate report, helping the firm compete more effectively in the market.
Of the many components of this report, some of the most insightful are impression shares, the average ranking of adverts in auctions, overlap rates, top page rates, position above rates, and outranking shares. Such a wide range of areas to be covered is a rarity when it comes to the PPC spy tool world. We recommend Google Auction Insights to firms that are just starting out as this is the perfect tool to get you used to the PPC spy tool arena.
SimilarWeb provides an array of competitor information, but it focuses on web traffic and competitor activities. It displays search volumes and costs per click as well as the amounts of traffic generated by individual keywords.
SimilarWeb allows you to form a benchmark concerning your competitors and the economy as a whole. It also unveils competitor’s analytics and online strategies as well as highlighting where firms can venture for new opportunities such as partners, affiliates, and leads. Additionally, SimilarWeb enables firms to pick up on emerging trends that are likely to blow up, once again allowing for success ahead of competitors.
Despite its excellent reputation, SimilarWeb experiences a downfall when it comes to its pricing. Although it offers a free version, this is limited to five results, one month of mobile app data and three months of web traffic data, making for very restricted spying. To expand your operations, you will need to purchase their paid plan.
There is much more to PPC spy tools than meets the eye. A good spying ordeal will cover all the stops, including any backend strategies and tests that competitors may be running to further their platform. Ghostery is a PPC spying tool that does just that, and it operates as a smart browser by allowing firms to establish control over adverts and tracking technologies that help declutter, ensure maximum security when it comes to your data and to fasten up page loading times.
Additionally, Ghostery also allows users to view precisely what Java Scripts are embedded into a competitor’s site by displaying a list of running scripts. It does not just end there, by simply clicking on this list, users can see how each script can prove of benefit to them with a detailed outline of how it can be integrated into their own system; customization at its peak.
Oh, and all this is entirely free of charge through Ghostery’s platform!
Wordtracker is essentially a PPC spy tool that is focused on keywords but with an added extra. What it does is that it goes beyond keyword platforms such as AdWords by integrating data from YouTube and Amazon into the search, making for a more comprehensive spying process. Wordtracker allows you to categorize keyword listings, filter them, and view the amount competitors spend on them as well as considering the return that each individual keyword garners.
Wordtracker helps improve your outreach by identifying gaps in the market that can be targeted. This is done after analyzing a wide range of competitors and compiling the strategies employed by each to view in unison the sectors that have been left unattended.
However, if you are a firm that is operating on a budget, then Wordtracker may prove to be a downfall for you. With prices starting from $27 and going up to a maximum payment of $99 a month, the lack of any free services may prove a hindrance to some. Still, these prices are highly competitive when compared to other paid PPC spy tool platforms.
10. The Search Monitor
The Search Monitor is a highly advanced PPC spy tool and one that is not recommended for those that are just starting out (prices will indicate why!). Although it offers a range of spying services, what The Search Monitor focuses on is adverts. Their mode of operation is split up into two primary paths: brand protection and competitive insights.
Brand Protection covers the monitoring of the following:
- – Brand bidding
- – Offer content
- – Landing pages
- – FTC (Federal Trade Commission) compliance
- – OTA (Online Travel Agencies) pricing
Whereas Competitive Insights allow the user to gather information on the following areas:
- – Brand bidding
- – PPC benchmarks
- – PLA (Product Listing Ads) benchmarks
- – SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Additionally, the platform also allows users to pick up on any violations that competitors may be engaging in as well as monitoring affiliates and catching price differences amongst different sellers of the same products or services.
Since this is a PPC spy tool platform that is aimed at more advanced operations, it inculcates geo-monitoring over many prominent search engines, making it suitable for multinationals. However, the real downfall of The Search Monitor is realized when prices are taken into consideration. With no free of charge services, it automatically rules out those that cannot afford to spend on spy tools. But this is not the only category that is cut off from the platform as prices start at a staggering $599 a month, making this a purchase only for the lucrative buyer. The Search Monitor makes sure to maintain exclusivity in every way possible, and users are required to contact their sales department to request a free demonstration.
11. Campaign Watch
“Using Campaign Watch is like having your top competitors report their marketing strategy to you first thing in the morning,” said one loyal user, such is the power of this PPC spy tool platform. There is hardly any spy tool which is as comprehensive as Campaign Watch; it allows users to monitor competitor’s search viewings, their landing page traffic, their annual spends, keyword to spending ratio amongst a plethora of other statistics and strategies.
Their integrated Competitive Intelligence Dashboard makes spying a breeze what with its easy to use display and fast searches. Campaign Watch provides compiled lists of competitors rankings according to different criteria, including keywords, adverts, and landing pages.
This again is a spy tool platform that thrives on its exclusivity. Campaign Watch’s pricing plans are customized according to each organization’s requirements and are only released once a thorough discussion is carried out.
Ahrefs is a PPC spy tool that focuses on two aspects of the competitor spying process; search performance and landing page experience. It gives a full low down on your competitors, no matter how many, by displaying keyword rankings, traffic garnering statistics for individual web pages, and backlink counts. What is excellent about Ahrefs is that it works across locations and devices, making sure that all areas are covered.
Ahrefs is, perhaps, one of the most widely accessible PPC spy tool platforms due to its immensely diverse pricing range. Starting out as a seven-day demo for $7 only its packages range from $99 to $999 according to the services required. It is clear then that Ahrefs caters to a broad demographic of users, virtually from every background.
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to the top PPC spy tools of 2019. No matter what your requirements or the size of your firm, you are sure to find one that suits your needs. These tools are sure to give you all the goods on your competitors, helping you take one step forward in your business ventures.