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Google Ads Library to Spy on Competitors

How to Use the Google Ads Library to Spy on Competitors

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for success. This is especially true when it comes to Search Engine Marketing. Keeping an eye on your competitors’ strategies can provide valuable insights and help you refine your own approach.  

One powerful tool for unravelling the mysteries of your competitors’ advertising tactics is the Google Ads Transparency Center (also known as the Google Ads Library). In this blog, we’ll explore how to use this tool effectively to gain a competitive edge.

What Is The Google Ads Library?

Google expanded the new Ads Transparency Center so that brands can find active ads published through Google.  This is an exciting and long overdue development for Google Ads practitioners, as we can now quickly find text, image, and video ad inspiration for our campaigns.

And spy on our competitors, of course.

How To Search For Ads On The Google Ads Transparency Center

Start by going to https://adstransparency.google.com/  Here, you can enter keywords, company names, URLs, or other relevant information to search for ads.

We have seen that  the website URL search to be more accurate than trying to weed through advertiser names, since many companies may be verified through a parent company or through their agency.

For example, if you try to find ads for the retailer, “Checkers”, you’ll find a whole range of companies with “Checkers” in their name, but not the Checkers we are looking for.

But adding “.co.za” makes it really easy to find the right brand, and see their current live ads.

How To Search For Ads On The Google Ads Transparency Center
How To Search For Ads On The Google Ads Transparency Center

How To Use The Google Ads Library To Review Your Competitors’ Ads

Once you’ve found the brand you want to audit, you can click “See all ads” and carefully analyse their creatives, asking yourself:

  1. What imagery are they using?
  2. What is their core message?
  3. What call-to-action elements are they using?
  4. Which ad accounts are the ads running off?  This will help you understand the level of resources invested into running the ads.  If off an agency account, you can see they are investing heavily to make Google Ads work for them.
  5. What ad formats are they using?  Based on the formats, you can guess which campaign types they are running, Search, Display, Performance Max, or Demand Generation.

Next, examine their landing pages.  Click on the ad to view the associated landing page. Analyse the user experience, layout, and messaging.  This can offer insights into your competitors’ conversion strategies and help you identify potential areas for improvement in your own landing pages.

Understanding what your competitors are doing can provide valuable insights for your own campaigns.

Another Way To Use The Google Ads Transparency Centre To Find Ad Information

While a searchable Google Ads library is a blessing, you can find out even more about a company’s ads when you are served those ads as a user.  This is a great way to sneak a peek not just at what ads are running, but how various businesses are targeting their ads.

Whenever you see an ad on Google, whether it’s on Search, YouTube, Discovery, etc., tap the three dots in the top right-hand corner to pull up My Ad Centre.

Another Way To Use The Google Ads Transparency Centre To Find Ad Information

Scroll down to “Why you’re seeing this ad” and take note of the targeting settings.

Another Way To Use The Google Ads Transparency Centre To Find Ad Information

Some options you may see include:

  • The time of day
  • Your age
  • Your current search terms
  • Your general location (like your country or city)
  • Google’s estimation of your approximate current location
  • Google’s estimation of your areas of interest, based on your activity
  • Information you gave to the advertiser, which the advertiser provided to Google
  • Your similarity to groups of people the advertiser is trying to reach, according to your activity while you were signed in to Google

Conclusion

google ads library

The Google Ads Library is a powerful tool for marketers looking to gain a competitive advantage. By using this resource to spy on competitors, you can uncover valuable insights into their advertising strategies, creative approaches, and audience targeting.  Remember, the key is not just to imitate but to learn and adapt these insights to enhance your own digital marketing efforts.  Stay vigilant, stay informed, and let the Google Ads Library be your secret weapon in the world of online advertising.

Reach out to Digital Squeak to discuss your marketing objectives and see if Competitor Tracking and Paid Search Advertising is right for your brand – pippa@digitalsqueak.co.za

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