How to find where my competitors are advertising online [2024]?

If you are running a business then you know it’s important to know where your competitors are advertising online. This can help you identify the most effective advertising platforms and optimise your return on investment.

You can use tools and manual checks to analyse it properly. While anyone can perform these tasks, collaborating with a seasoned digital marketing expert or a reputable Google Ads agency could offer deeper insights.

Here’s a simple guide on how to find where your competitors are advertising online.

where my competitors are advertising online?

Table of contents:

  1. Make a list of your competition
  2. Visit your competition sites
  3. Best tools to analyse competition advertising
  4. Manually check major advertising platforms
  5. Check other channels [eCommerce]
  6. Do general online research

Make a list of your competition

Start by listing your main competitors.

Document digitally

Don’t just write in a piece of paper as you may lose them. Keep your findings in a Google or Excel sheet.

You can use this list as a master document to plan your advertising based on the data analysis & insights.

You can start with a very basic list and build it over time and update it as you find more updated information.

Here’s how you can make a basic list of your competitors to analyse them effectively.

Know your business first

Before you begin, know your business first. Many small businesses don’t know the landscape very well.

Start by clearly defining your industry and the specific segment you operate in, as this will guide your research. Whether it’s local services, e-commerce, or B2B, knowing your niche helps in locating relevant competitors.

Tools to find your competition

Use Google search

This is the most easy method to find your competitors.

Conduct searches for products or services you offer using keywords that potential customers might use. Note which companies appear in organic search results, and paid advertisements section.

With regular searches, you can also find your top competitor on Google.

Use third-party SEO tools

You can find your top competition easily using third-party tools like:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush

Social presence assessment

Explore social media platforms where industry-related content might be shared. Look at followers, who they follow, and hashtags related to your industry to find competitors you might not be aware of.

Use Facebook’s Ad Library to see who else is advertising on keywords relevant to your business or on similar themes.

Document the research data

Organise the information you gather into a structured format such as a Google Sheet or Excel document. You can include details like competitor names, website URLs, market niches, perceived strengths, approx ads budget, monthly organic traffic, and any other relevant notes.

Regularly update your list to include new entrants and remove companies that are no longer relevant or have gone out of business. Doing this helps you stay updated on the competitive landscape and their strategies in your target market.

Visit your competition websites

Now that you’ve prepared a list of your competition along with their websites, just go to those competition websites and browse the main category pages.

This not only gives you a feel for their site but might also trigger remarketing ads from platforms like Facebook or Google’s display network. Make notes in your Excel once you see their re-targeting ads.

Also, don’t just look at the design; keep an eye out for any promotions they’re running; these are often mirrored across their advertising channels.

Best tools to analyse competition advertising

Generally speaking, there is no one tool where you get everything. We have listed out some ideas and tools below but creativity is key to analysing it better.

Analyse competition tags [Important]

If you are a technical person then you can investigate their tags to find placements but there is a better way to do the analysis.

You can use “what website is running” tools and you will get a solid idea about different advertising tags they may have used.

While there are many tools available to find individual tags, you can use to find most of these details in one place.

Just enter the domain name and you will get tons of information but mainly look at

  • Analytics & tracking tags
  • Widgets
  • Advertising

Where competition is advertising

You can also review other technical details to get a better understanding of your competition.

SEO competition & ranking analysis

You can use Google Search to check your top competitors using different keyword searches but you may not get detailed analytics about difficulty level, approx. monthly traffic, backlink analysis, and top pages of your competitors.

You can use tools like Ahres, and Ubersuggest to gain these insights.

Google Ads Auction Insights

Along with Google search, if you are already using Google Ads then check Auction Insights under specific campaigns to find your top competitor from the Google Ads point of view.

You can get real data directly from Google here.

Learn more about auction insights and competitors’ Google Ads budget.

Facebook Ads Library

As shared above, if you have already visited your competitor’s websites then you may see their re-targeting ads in your Facebook feed.

Facebook’s Ad Library is one of the best places to see your top competitors based on keywords and your competition name research.

Manually check major advertising platforms

By now you will have some idea about your competition but the real test is when you check manually on different platforms. There are several major advertising platforms you can check for where your competitors are advertising online and how aggressive they are:

  • Google Ads: This is easy to check, just search on Google using different keywords at different times and you will see who may be advertising.
  • Facebook Ads: While it’s not as direct as the Google search, you can go to your personal Facebook profile and show interest in similar products and services to start seeing your competition’s ads.
  • Instagram: Instagram is not for everyone but for some, it works like magic. Check out your competition’s Instagram profile and you may notice re-targeting ads.
  • YouTube: YouTube is a great platform for many businesses to do brand awareness campaigns as well as to run well-targeted ads. Just show interest in similar products or services and also visit their website and most likely you will see their ads if they may be advertising on YouTube.
  • Microsoft Ads: You can follow the same process as Google Ads. Bing Ads can help you grab low-hanging fruits. Some advertisers just export their Google Ads to Bing Ads to see if it may work.

Check other channels [eCommerce]

Many businesses advertise on third-party eCommerce platforms like:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Other market places

While some consider it good to be listed there to gain additional market share others may consider as a reliable place to advertise on these platforms.

Start by checking if your competitors are listed on platforms like Amazon and eBay. This gives you a clear idea of what advertisements they run and how well they perform.

Do general online research

While tools are great there is nothing better than analysing by doing general competition research on Google. You may find some interesting information that is generally not available with tools.

You can find additional information like they may be advertising on local directories, placements etc.

A simple search can yield most of the information you require, but you can also expand your research horizon by doing a deep dive on Google’s search engine. Scroll through the first page of the search results to find less obvious content like guest articles, interviews, or secondary mentions.

Tip: Go to job sites or platforms and search whether your competitor has posted for any job position. This gives you an idea about a new project, technology focus, or market expansion.


Which is the best tool for tracking competitors?

No one tool can provide you with everything about your competition but you can use tools like Ahres, SEMRush, Google Search, Facebook Ads Library etc to get the details you may need.

How do I find my competitor’s ad spend?

To find your competitor’s ad spend, consider using SpyFu. It offers detailed estimations of their budgets and spending patterns specifically on Google Ads.

Need help with finding your competitor’s ad strategies?

Finding your competitor’s ad strategies can be a daunting task, so it is best to consult with our Google Ads experts in Melbourne and discuss your requirements.

We can help you with competition and market research and build better marketing strategies than your competition.

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