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Where Are My Competitors Advertising Online?

Ever wonder how that one competitor does so well advertising? Are they working with a marketing agency? Have you considered where your competition is placing ads on the web? Admit it, these are questions that have popped into your head at least once or twice while blogging or brainstorming marketing strategies.

Believe it or not, you do not need to be a member of the Secret Service to discover the search optimization keywords and marketing tactics your competition is using. In fact, it is quite simple to unmask the secret behind utilizing SEO and monitoring mentions, social media and website traffic. Here it is folks, the cat’s out of the bag.

 Keyword Monitoring Tools

Why does SEO matter? This is how your website is discovered in searches through various search engines like Google. The effective use of SEO will create a more optimal SERP and in return, your website will appear more accurately and frequently through these searches.


This tool allows you to discover fresh data and easily uncover competitive keywords. In addition to an ROI indicator, there is an advanced search tool and the option to find out how much competitors are spending. Also, nab their secrets and figure out what keywords are working best for them.

Best used for:

  • Uncovering competitive keywords
  • Real-time tracking and monitoring of keyword performance
  • Advanced searching

Pricing: Free


Out-think your competition by entering a keyword or domain name into the iSpionage search bar. Get competitor data and discover your competitor’s strategy. There is also a social monitoring option for Twitter and Facebook.

Best used for:

  • How competitors are advertising with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search marketing tools
  • View ads and track spending
  • Tracking competitor’s marketing spend and quantify value of their SEO traffic

Pricing: Free for basic information, monthly plans such as $59/month for the Silver plan, $89/month Gold plan or $129/month for the Platinum plan, and 6 month plans such as $49.90/month for the Silver plan, $59.90/month for the Gold plan and $74.90/month for the Platinum plan

SEMrush (Recommended)

Created by the professionals, for the professionals. This site has compiled tons of SERP data and includes SEO tools for you to monitor competitor’s organic keyword positions and Ads texts. SEMrush has 349,229 users, 106,000,000+ keywords and 90,000,000+ domains.

Best used for:

  • Organic and Keyword Research
  • Advertising Research
  • Charts and comparing various SEO metrics

Pricing: Free for basic searches, $79.95 for one month, $69.95/month for the Pro plan (most popular) and $149.95/month for the Guru plan


Allows you to search through the last six years for any domain and see every single place that they have shown on Google. Not only can you search through keywords, but you will learn how to connect with the domains as well.

Best used for:

  • Increasing web traffic
  • Tracking your keyword rankings
  • Making better connections

Pricing: Free but limited, $79/month for unlimited use

The Search Monitor

Analyzes your own website against your competition and looks at both paid and organic search. This is a diverse tool that contains both competitive and compliance monitoring.

Best used for:

  • Filtering by keyword, competitor or vertical
  • Organic listings that appear in universal search results
  • Geo-targeting by country, region or city

Pricing: The Basic plan costs $249/month and the Pro plan costs $499/month.

Ad Monitoring Tools


Provides insightful information on paid and organic search that help advertisers to track the results of their campaigns and uncover competitors strategies. It helps to identify your top competitors on search engines and to benchmark your own efforts over time against others. It also has a useful SEM Insight tool that combines a bunch of items, such as traffic data and PPC and SEO tools.

Best used for:

  • Search marketing intelligence
  • Guide to Pay-Per-Click advertising
  • Increasing search traffic

Pricing: Option to request a demo


This tool is awesome because it shows you what works. Monitor which type of ads your competitors are using and see what strategies are working best for them. There is also an option for mobile advertising features.

Best used for:

  • Keeping track of competition
  • Boosting Ad Sales
  • ‘Wow-ing’ your clients

Pricing: There are free trials and various pricing based on the platform you plan on using-Advertising +Mobile, Ad Awareness and Mobile Awareness (refer to website)


The tagline for this site is “Slice your competitors,” and that is precisely what this ad monitoring tool will help you to do. Whether it is duplicating the most profitable PPC Campaigns or searching through over 400,000 advertisements, SocialAdNinja is a great outlet for monitoring global advertising on all mediums, such as Facebook.

Best used for:

  • Identifying ads targeting your key demographics
  • Fast search interface
  • International ads

Pricing: Premium membership, $147/month


Search for ads by brand and see what ads your competitors have shown recently. This tool allows you to collect and leverage the metrics that matter most for your business.

Best used for:

  • Real-time optimization
  • Benchmarking
  • Brand Effectiveness

Pricing: Free


Receive an advertiser dashboard view of your competitor’s strategy and an ad type breakdown. This tool gives you the ability to spy on ad copy split tests and see which ads win/lose when they are launched.

Best used for:

  • Discovering hot markets and business models
  • Learning which ads reach certain markets
  • Finding ads by typing in keywords

Pricing: 30-day free trial, $99/month for the Intro,$199/month for Professional and you must contact the team for the Professional plan

Website Traffic and Ranking

Alexa (Recommended)

This is a more advanced tool that provides you with an international reach. Regardless of whether you compete globally or locally, you have the ability to track all traffic metrics for your region. You can benchmark a site against its competitive set and get a sense of how it rates on key performance metrics over time. This tool truly does it all, from spying on your top competitors to discovering where various sites rank worldwide.

Best used for:

  • Competitive intelligence
  • Insight to advantage
  • Global reach

Pricing: Basic Plan where the first month is free and then it is $9.99/month, Insight is $49/month, Advanced is $149/month and Advanced High Traffic is $799/month


This tool uses online digital behavior to help you monitor your competition. When you type in a company website it provides you with statistics containing a data overview of the site, the option to find similar sites and the direction as to where the traffic comes from. It also compares the site to other ones so that you can contrast page views and time spent on the site.

Best used for:

  • Monitoring online competition
  • Benchmarking performance against your industry
  • Discovering new business opportunities

Pricing: Free Trial


Understand trends with a variety of website rankings by entering a domain into the search bar. SimilarWeb provides information pertaining to social mentions and top content. Not to mention, the fact that this tool gives you access to current trending searches is pretty snazzy.

Best used for:

  • Industry Analysis
  • Data breakdown by country
  • Social Mentions

Pricing: Free Trial, option to Go Pro for $99/month

Monitoring and Mentions

Google Alerts

This tool allows you to type in a keyword and then receive email updates of the latest relevant information and results pertaining to that word. You can customize the result type, language, region, how often you receive results, how many results are presented and who the alert is delivered to.

Best used for:

  • Staying up-to-date with latest trends, events, celebrities, sports teams, etc.
  • Monitoring a developing news story
  • Keeping current on a competitor or industry

Pricing: Free


Search for a competitors name, product, service, etc. with this monitoring and mentions tool. There are trending searches provided under the search bar on the home page. Once you type in a keyword, you are provided with the average seconds per mention, when the last mention was and a list of all of the mentions. It also provides the strength, sentiment, passion and reach of the mention.

Best used for:

  • Discovering top keywords
  • Real-time mentions
  • Bookmarking sites

Pricing: Free


Work as a smart and efficient team with this mentions tool. Monitor a copious amount of sources such as blogs, news sites, forums, etc., in 42 different languages in case you want to take a crack at Arabic. There is the option to connect each of your social accounts to your alerts so that you can stay updated without leaving the application.

Best used for:

  • Monitoring in real-time
  • Sharing statistics and reports
  • Analyzing your online presence

Pricing: Free, or upgrade for $6.99/month

Social Media and Engagement


This social media tool allows you to search, monitor and analyze twitter as well as look through social analytics and trends (as if you need to spend any more time trolling social media). You can customize your search to include everything, or limit it to just links, tweets, photos, videos or influencers.

Best used for:

  • Twitter search and analytics
  • Social analytics and trends
  • Tweets from 2006 forward

Pricing: Free


Helps you to explore and grow your social network. You have the option to sign in with your Twitter account and link your Moz account as well.

Best used for:

  • Connecting with new influencers in your niche
  • Twitter analytics
  • Options to share your reports via Twitter

Pricing: Free

Build an engaged community and create customized lists on your own Twitter account. You have the option to invite team members to your channel as well as follow top influencers and supporters. Copy and paste the URL of a competitor to see what its Twitter stats are like compared to your own.

Best used for:

  • Social insight campaigns
  • Managing Twitter lists
  • Influential Marketing

Pricing: Free

Fanpage Karma

This tool gives you the option to analyze your own profile as well as the profile of your competitor with KPIs and other reports. Check out the key performance indicators of specific pages so that you can make your own page that much better.

Best used for:

  • Up-to-date reports
  • Increasing social reach
  • Monitoring your success

Pricing: 14-day free trial, refer to website for package option

Backlink Tools: How Popular is Your Link?


The user-friendly interface as well as the huge index of links makes this a great tool to check backlinks. Data is updated every 15 minutes and can show links that are both new and internal. When you search a website it provides you with an overview, inbound links, outbound links and the option to export.

Best used for:

  • List of new and lost backlinks
  • Information on trillions of website connections
  • Referring pages

Pricing: Free registration or professional plan for $79/month, elite for $179/month, enterprise for $499/month


Majestic allows you explore a URL or domain in great detail. Search a keyword and then see the URL and page that links to it. The backlink history tool allows SEOs to analyze the number of backlinks for any given domain.

Best used for:

  • SEO professionals, Media Analysts, Entrepreneurs and Developers
  • Discovering backlink history
  • Getting Search Score for URL

Pricing: Free plan or Silver for $49.99/month, Gold for $149.99/month, Platinum for $399.99/month, The 500 for $799.98/month and The 1000 for $1599.96/month

Link Prospector

Use up-to-date technology to uncover links that will improve your overall rankings. Using this tool is simple, all you need to do is choose your report type, enter your key phrases and then review all of the link opportunities. Other possibilities range from guest posting, content promoters, links pages, etc.

Best used for:

  • Improving link building techniques
  • Finding link targets
  • Link Target Score

Pricing: Free trial, pay as you go option, Consultant plan for $27/month, Agency plan for $47/month and Enterprise plan for $97/month


This site allows you to quickly identify authors and publishers who link to your content. There are five easy steps to improve online content and link building. Step one includes creating a report name, step two is defining your prospecting phrases, step three is choosing your footprints template, step four is choosing the number of results to collect and step five is creating your list of link prospects.

Best used for:

  • Creating better content
  • Promoting content faster
  • Identifying link building opportunities

Pricing: Free Trial, Upgrade account (refer to website)

How do you track down your competition? Let us know in the comments below.

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