When it comes to paid-search, competitor research plays a very big part. It’s important for all businesses to utilise a variety of tools to keep track of what competitors are doing and how to go about it. Most importantly, finding out what your competitors are doing is half the battle.

To help, we’ve highlighted the best tools on the market that will help you slip into the competitive landscape and flatten the learning curve. They all offer similar functionality in providing keyword and competitor ad performance data – but all have individual ways of gathering, processing and arranging the information.

Without further ado, here are the top paid-search competitor research tools.

Top Paid-Search Competitor Research Tools To Try Out This Year

The tools below are not ranked in any specific order, they all other very similar features and functionality.

#1 iSpionage

Price of tool: from $59/month

Free trial? No, but offers 30 days money back guarantee

Key features:

  • Competitor keyword and ad research
  • Keyword and ad effectiveness indexes
  • Keyword competitor gap analysis
  • Scheduled competitor strategy reports

Description: iSpionage can identify your top paid-search competitors, revealing their monthly budgets, a complete list of their keywords, and has detailed filtering functionality. The tool can help improve your CTR by identifying competitors’ most profitable ad copy using the AEI (Ad Effectiveness Index) algorithm. iSpionage also uses a Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) that will help you add the most profitable keywords with the highest search volume to your campaign.

#2 Search Monitor


Price of tool: from $599 per month

Free trial? No

Key features:

  • Closely monitor specific keyword activity
  • Monitor competitor PPC spend
  • Trademark protection monitoring
  • Set geo-targets and evaluate the performance
  • See competitor pages, copy, spend, and clicks
  • Search marketing visibility score

Description: With Search Monitor, you can track competitor performance for individual keywords and keep a close eye on competitor ad copy for those given keywords. Trademark protection functionality will alert you to any use of your trademark terms in competitor campaigns. The Search Monitor is based on cutting-edge crawlers, which run hourly and provide near real-time data.

#3 SEMrush

Price of tool: From $99.95 per month

Free trial? No

Key features:

  • Analyse competitor ad budgets and keywords
  • Monitor ad copy and landing pages
  • Discover new competitors in AdWords and Bing Ads
  • Analyse keywords and copy from more than 20 languages.

Description: SEMrush allows you to review your competitors’ top-performing keywords and ads, with historical data reaching back to January 2012. Searching by keyword will find all advertisers active on that keyword, as well as related keywords and their CPCs. The platform also offers the Keyword Magic tool that will help you build a comprehensive keyword list for your paid-search campaigns.

#4 Spyfu


Price of tool: from $28 per month

Free trial? No

Key features:

  • Find competitors’ keywords
  • Competitor campaign ad test history
  • PPC ad rank tracker
  • PPC negative match recommendations

Description: Spyfu can search any competitor domain to see which keywords they’re bidding on and has records on up to 11 years of historical ad-copy. You can also see the results of their ad-copy split tests. The AdWords Advisor feature analyses competitor performance data and can identify their most profitable keywords – which makes Spyfu a formidable tool in highly competitive verticals.

#5 Campaign Watch

Campaign Watch

Price of tool: Custom pricing

Free trial? No

Key features:

  • Competitor metrics dashboard
  • See competitor landing page tests
  • User journey funnel comparison
  • Advertiser impression and position comparison
  • Competitor keyword overlap analysis

Description: According to Campaign Watch, using their tool is like having your top competitors report their marketing strategy to you first thing every morning. The tool gives you the ability to track competitors’ position, ad strategy, and landing page changes. You can monitor competitor spend, position, keyword pool, and market share across desktop and mobile.

#6 KeywordSpy


Price of tool: $995/month

Free trial? Yes

Key features:

  • Discover competitors and their keywords
  • See any site’s spending on keywords
  • Find profitable keyword+ad copy combinations
  • Real-time keyword tracking

Description: KeywordSpy allows you to get a detailed look into the competitive landscape and your rival advertisers paid-search strategies. Pinpoint the most profitable keywords and ad-copies without the hassle of testing everything yourself!

#7 Adbeat


Price of tool: $249/month

Free trial? No

Key features:

  • Reveal competitor strategies, creatives, landing pages, and spend
  • Compare advertisers, dive into campaigns, and publisher data
  • Filter Ads by Device, Date Range, and Ad Network
  • See Desktop & Mobile Ads from 26 Countries

Description: Adbeat reveals detailed intel on competing advertisers’ strategies and what’s working well for them. Get insights on competitor ad split testing and identify all their unique creatives. Adbeat claims to have the largest, most up-to-date repository of advertiser data and will help you discover the most profitable publishers, ad copy, and landing pages on the competitive landscape.

Before spending your money, it’ll be worth looking at all these tools, in detail, to find out what will work best for your needs and your budget. You’ll find some will offer better value and some will include expensive functionality that you may never use.


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