Scenario... I Know My Competitors

If you already know who your competitors are, you can easily use WhatRunsWhere to take advantage of all the money and time they've spent already doing your work for you. By entering the URL of a competitor’s domain you can see all the ads they used, where they bought the ads and where they actually placed these banners. Using this information you can create profiles that detail the key components of creatives that are working, what types of websites are best for placements, and who you should be buying ad inventory from. You can use all this information to start your own campaign or boost the performance of an existing media buying campaign.

To access this information, we’ll use the “By Advertiser” tab in WhatRunsWhere. By entering the landing page URL of the advertiser you’re looking for, you can quickly find all the places they've purchased ads, the domains they own, the serving mechanisms they use and what text and banner creatives they’re using as well. If you know the names of competitors but are unsure of their domain URL, the auto-complete feature will display a list of domains containing the company name when it is entered into the search bar. Below is a screenshot of the “By Advertiser” tab.

Let’s break down what we've seen here and how we can start using this feature. After the search is complete, the first thing we should look at is the traffic sources section. This will tell us all the domains the landing page has been seen on, in what countries it was displayed, the traffic sources the ads were purchased through, how long it’s been running and a measure of the ad's prevalence (see below).

Another useful section of the search results is the suggested placements tab (example shown below). This tab suggests other placements that the advertiser may want to purchase ad space based on an affinity score to the types of websites they’re already advertising on. This proprietary actionable insight allows to suggest other places to expand a media buying campaign - places your competitors may not have even thought of!

What can you take away from this information?

With our tool you will discover the type of websites you may want to test your advertising on and the demographics your competitors are catering to (you can research demographic information site by site by using free tools like and By spotting trends in the ad networks and site types, you can figure out what type of website you should be buying on without tedious and costly diagnostics. You will be able to build or supplement a media buying campaign with a higher chance of success right out of the gates. Simply cloning the results is not a recommended strategy, however, taking what you've seen and improving on it will always yield a better result.

Other very important sections in the search results are the “ads” tabs. Clicking on this section will bring up a collection of creatives that we have compiled owned by the advertiser. By analyzing the ads found by the advertiser you can quickly spot trends among the ads. By pulling out important words or themes you can create your own ads that incorporate the information your competition has already spent vast amounts of money testing and working on. Hint: filtering by Ad Strength will display the ads we think are doing best for your competitors.

The end result of applying this information is a campaign with lowered risks and significantly higher chances of success. Remember, you can repeat this process across as many competitors as you want. Data separates good advertisers from the pack: the more you know about your competitors and the current advertising landscape, the greater your chance of success.

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