Display Ads Optimization

In this guide, we’ll show you how to execute an exemplary display campaign with insights from the SimilarWeb platform.

Whether you’re planning your first campaign or want to improve your existing campaign strategies, understanding what is (and isn’t) working for your competitors can prove very useful to reduce cost per acquisition and maximize conversion rates.

We’ll show you how to uncover your competitors’ ad strategies and reveal the best-performing creatives, landing pages, ad networks and ad placements in your market.

Here are the steps we recommended taking in order to build and optimize your Display strategy: 

  • Identify your main competition for display ads
  • Reach your audience on other websites they visit
  • Discover your competitors’ ad partners
  • Implement best practices from your competitors’ best-performing campaigns

 

Identify your main competition for display ads

First, let’s see who 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 in a certain country. You can create multiple arenas with different sets of competitors.
  2. Scroll down to Marketing Channels Overview, and look at Display Ads to clearly see who is winning at display traffic amongst your competitors.

 

Understand your competitor's strategy:

1. Go to Learn More to drill down to the quality of traffic coming from display ads.

 

2. On the Marketing Channels page, the Channel Analysis widget allows you to select a given marketing channel and view the engagement metrics. Select Display Ads from the dropdown and you will then see who of your competitors is doing the best job at targeting the right users with their display ads by looking at the amount of traffic they generate.

INSIGHT

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:

  1. Stay in Website Analysis, and analyze your website or any other website that has the same target audience.
  2. Navigate to the Audience Interests page.

     

     

  3. You’ll see a list of websites that the visitors of the analyzed website also visit within the same day. The Overlap metric shows the percentage of the audience that visited both websites and the Relevance score ranks the table based on how significant this overlap is, compared to the rest of the websites in the table.
    Some of these websites won’t necessarily be a direct competitor, but just another website that your audience tends to visit often.
  4. Take note of the websites who have AdSense, so you can easily add these websites as new placements in your next campaign.
  5. Then check out the Topics Distribution section as you can use these as inputs for your campaign’s Custom Affinity.

 

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.

 

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

PRO TIP

  • 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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