Whether you’re planning your first campaign or want to improve your existing campaign strategy, understanding what is (and isn’t) working for your competitors can prove very useful.

In this article, you'll learn how to uncover your competitor's ad strategies to reveal the best-performing creatives and landing pages, and discover top ad networks and ad placements in your market.

Using Similarweb insights, you'll be ready to plan and execute an exemplary display ad campaign.

Identify your main competition for display ads

First, let’s see which of your competitors are investing in display traffic. Then, we’ll analyze the quality of their traffic before we decide to borrow some of their best practices.

To reveal your main competition in display traffic:

  1. In your workspace, create an arena with your main competitors. You can create multiple arenas with different sets of competitors.

  2. Scroll down to Marketing Channels Overview. The Display Ads gives a clear look into who is winning at display traffic among your competitors.

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The display ad graph reveals the traffic share distribution, but let's dive a bit deeper to see why the leaders are winning.

Understand your competitor's strategy:

1. Click Learn More to access the Marketing Channels page.

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2. On the Marketing Channels page, select Display Ads to access the Display Overview page.

The Display Overview reveals insights on the top publishers, top ad networks, and key insights on traffic and engagement.

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See which of your competitors is doing the best job at targeting the right users with their display ads using metrics and insights to analyze the quantity and, more importantly, quality of traffic.

Note: Average Visit Duration and Pages per Visit hint at how many of the visitors from Display Ads actually completed the website goal (i.e. complete a purchase, book a flight, sign up, etc..)

Reach your audience on other websites they visit

Find out where your audience spends their time online to optimize your placements and targeting.

To discover websites your audience visits:

Staying within the Website Analysis module, let's see how to discover websites that share the same target audience.

  1. Navigate to the Audience Interests page.

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  2. You’ll see a list of websites that the visitors of the analyzed website also visit within the same day.

    Key insights:
    Overlap shows the percentage of the audience that visited both websites
    Relevance Score ranks the list base on how significant the overlap is

    Note: Some of these websites won’t necessarily be a direct competitor, but just another website that your audience tends to visit often.

  3. Take note of the websites who have AdSense, so you can easily add these websites as new placements in your next campaign.

  4. Then, check out the Topics Distribution section as you can use these as inputs for your campaign’s Custom Affinity.

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Discover your competitors’ ad partners

Identify the publishers and ad networks your competitors are working with to acquire more traffic.

To reveal your competitors’ affiliate partners and ad networks:

  1. Stay in Website Analysis (under the Research).

  2. Navigate to "Display Traffic" → Publishers

  3. You’ll see a list of websites referring traffic to your competitor’s website including their traffic share.

  4. Next, in the left-side menu bar, click on User Acquisition Networks to view all the ad networks your competitors are using to drive users to their website.

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Implement best practices from your competitors’ best-performing campaigns

Find your competitors’ best-performing ad creatives, landing pages, and messaging to optimize your own campaigns. In addition, gain insight on how long they run the same ads to inform your own ad strategy.

  1. Stay in Website Analysis (under Research).

  2. Navigate to "Display Traffic" → Creatives

  3. Select your desired time range and target country on the top right of the page.

  4. Sort the result by "Active Days" and order by high to low. This way, you’ll see the longest-running campaigns first, which are usually best-performing ads.

    You’ll be able to see the ad creatives, the page each ad links to, and how long the ad is running (active days).

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  5. Next, go to the Videos page in the same section to view their video ads.

Notes:

  • Compare periods and take note of any major changes in the ad copy and positioning of your competitors.

  • Sorting by Active Days allows you to hone in on the most successful campaigns but also offers insight on your competitors’ ad strategy formula. For example, if they’re running seasonal campaigns or if they’re mostly invested in on-going campaigns, how often do they change their creatives etc.

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