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20+ PPC Ads Spy Tools You Need to Steal Your Competitor’s Strategy

There are two ways to be at the top in search results.

First, create the most compelling content that people couldn’t resist.

Second, focus on what comes above the most compelling content- Offcourse the answer is ads.

You’ve probably done both.

But with ever-increasing searches, the competition is getting intense. Simply putting ads won’t get clicks, so what’s the next big catch?

Yes, you’re right. Spy on the competitors.

Today we will have a look at the top display PPC ads spy tools, to outrank your competitors’ techniques.

Why PPC Ads Spy tools:

You must be wondering why the heck do I need spy tools?

Well, spy tools not only help to understand what’s running in the competitor’s head but also help to analyze their future actions.

For example, I got these results for a particular search:

search results

The keywords ranking in these Google ads can be implemented in our own ads.

Moreover, we can create an article focusing on “Learn SEO online” and using these as the synonyms also known as the LSI keywords.

We can optimize our content with such a simple observation.

Imagine what level of optimization can be achieved if we get all the ranking keywords used in content, ads and the search volume they attract.

This is how Spy tools come into the picture. PPC Ad spy tools provide deep insights about what the competitors are doing and we can keep track of their activities.

Without wasting more time, let us have a look at the top PPC ads spy tools.

Adwords/Search spy tools:


semrush display ad spy tool

Founded in 2008 by Oleg Shchegolev as an SEO tool to check the domain visibility, SEMrush has then become the top SAAS tool for spying competitors’ paid and organic visibility.

Just enter the name of the website or any keyword and here are the amazing results:

search ad semrush

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spyfu tool for spying on keywords

Second, on the list of search ads spy tools is SpyFu.

Originally known as GoogleSpy, SpyFu shows data analytics of the keywords that websites buy on Google Adwords.

For example, here is the result when we searched for “”

udemy report by spyfu

We liked the way SpyFu displays the data in the form of a spherical Venn diagram that they call as Kombat.

kombat view paid keyword spy

SpyFu provides all the ad campaign screenshots run by the website. Here is the popular udemy search ad that you might have seen sometime:

adwords history by spyfu

It also shows the suggestion for buying new keywords for display ads as well as the many important factors like CPC for the ad keyword, the conversion rate, etc.

top keywords by spyfu

Spyfu is truly a goldmine for affiliate marketers and digital marketing people. It is a must have tool for you to find success in the digital world.

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isionage tool for spying ads

iSpionage is yet another tool for you to conduct a research on how competitors are planning their advertising and media buying strategies.

While it helps you find the right inspiration before starting out on a advertising campaign for your company, it reveals all the ad copies, keywords and targeting done by your competitors. Below screenshot says it all. Doesn’t it?

The tool is loaded with cool features such as

SEO Watch – to spy on competitor’s on page and off page efforts
SEM Watch – to Boost up your search engine marketing strategy with the right tools
Competitor Analysis and much more

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keyword spy tool preview

KeywordSpy is a free PPC keyword research tool that helps us keep a spy on the competitors’ paid keywords campaigns

Here is a screenshot that shows the PPC keywords targeted for this particular keyword.

target PPC keywords

The tool also displays the ad campaigns run by the website, targeted keyword for that ad, volume, CPC and the number of days the ad is running from.

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ahrefs dashboard preview

Last but not the least on the list is Ahref’s.

Ahref’s is a one-stop solution for getting all the valuable information about any website.

We personally have used Ahref’s spying on the competitors, their ranking keywords, top-ranked pages, and whatnot.

Using Ahrefs, we can track a websites’ each and every aspect of organic traffic like the number of keywords the website is ranking for, the position of keywords, anchor texts used, number of backlinks, the source of backlinks, broken links, content gap and so on.

Moreover, it provides insights for Paid ads if run by a website. You can check the keywords used, volume, traffic, and CPC for that keyword.

top ppc ads by ahrefs spy tool

This makes Ahref’s one of the most recommended tools by many SEO experts’, digital marketers and a go-to platform for many ad media companies.

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Display Ads Spy Tools:


Display Advertising spy SEMrush

You might be wondering why SEMrush here again?

Well, it offers many options so that we can keep a spy on search as well as the display activities.

You can even look for a few limited results for free. You’re just a search away.

display ads semrush - PPC ads spy
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adbeat website preview

Adbeat stands at the top of the table for spying the competitor’s display ad strategies.

Just enter the domain name and you’ll the advertiser’s complete profile information. Adbeat provides a bifurcation of the type of ads that website is using.

For example, here you can see that 84% of ads fall into standard ads category, 6% in native ads and so on.

adbeat ad intelligence

You also get to know where the adviser is focusing on by having a look at ads channels.

adbeat advertiser profile

We can continue boasting about Adbeat, but we got you some more trustable tools to rely on.

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whatrunsWhere spy tool

WhatRunsWhere is a marketing tool that helps you to keep an eye on the competitor’s ad ecosystem.

Running ads at places where you get tons of clicks with zero conversions is more daunting than getting no clicks.

WhatRunsWhere solves this problem by showing where your competitors are running ads, how the ads are working for them, which images they are using, their keywords, etc.

Using this information, you can remove the guesswork fro making ad copies and optimize the media buying process by saving time and money.

And doing these things, you actually increase the ad campaign ROI.

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AdClarity is another display media intelligence spy tool to check the ad activities of your competitors.

The tool has a lot to offer in the form of various products like:

  • AdClarity for Display
  • AdClarity Geosurf
  • AdClarity AppRank

AdClarity focuses on increasing ROI by offering insights on competitors’ ad characteristics like which publishers they are working with, the type of campaigns running, creatives being used like banners. etc.

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But how does this help you?

Well, knowing the competitor ad publisher sites, creatives and performance help us save our time. It eliminates the need for A/B testing, the time required for brainstorming ideas and money involved for creating multiple creatives.


Whether it is organic results or PPC advertisements, these top display and search ad spy tools will keep you up to date with the competitors’ strategies.

Using them you can easily modify your ads and test around how these changes work for you.

Of course, it is up to you how you want to gain user attention to your website but if you’re spending thousands of dollars on ads, spending a few dollars on these tools might save alot of your efforts and optimize your ad strategies.

So keep spying as an ad hunter, implement to your ads to get more clicks on your ads.