SEMrush Advertising Research Tool Tutorial

SEMrush Advertising Research Tool

Advertising Research Tool

So this is just a quick tutorial on the advertising research reports, which I did previously with Samantha Noble. We went through an hour-long webinar, what you should be able to see at the bottom of this post, which will give you the full insights from an expert like Samantha, but this is a shortened down version of how the tool works, where the buttons are and everything else.

So, where do you find the tool first and foremost? It’s under advertising toolkit and it’s the second one down on the left-hand side, advertising research. Now, if I take a step back, or if I just click on it again, it’s because it’s got my domain in there. It asks you to put in a domain name.

Now, first things first, make sure you select the right database, so you can select a whole bunch of different databases there. The device, desktop or mobile, currency, and everything else. Not hugely important to worry too much about the currency. But what the advertising research tool does is gives you an idea of what’s working, what’s not, on the paid search positions.

Advertising research tool 2

I do a very small amount of pay-per-click, so it’s just some local stuff that I do, and you’ll be able to see the costs, the positions I’ve got, and the little graph going up there. The only reason that this little graph only starts in July is I recently migrated from the version of my website to the .com. So my website is probably not the best example, but it’s good enough to show you what works and what doesn’t.

Advertising Research tool 3

If you are struggling to understand how to use the tool, we also do have a user manual here on the top right-hand side, which will show you everything about the advertising research tool and the traffic graph, keyword list, advanced filters, mobile report, and so on. So it’s a good tool to give you an overview of what you or the competition are doing.

So we’ll talk you through these tabs here. So positions, position changes, competitors, ad copies, ad history pages and subdomains. So if we click on positions, which is this tab here, we will be able to see the keywords that I’ve selected, the amount of that traffic and the traffic cost. If you have a ton of keywords, you can use the advanced filters to filter that down. So that’s estimated, you know, the positions and stuff like that, they’re an estimated guess as to what’s going on.


Position changes. I’ve done a quick example on so you can see how the graph looks etc, but that’s something you will also be able to see in the back end of your Google MCC or your AdWords account, or whatever you choose to use. You will have filters here for new, lost, improved and declined, and it will show you ups and downs with your keywords.

Advertising Research tool 4

Competitors. It does give us a rough idea on what some of the competition are doing, which you can then go on, click on, and do further research on the competition and see what’s, for example, the domain are doing, who will be doing a hell of a lot more than me.

Advertising Research Tool

So you’ll be able to see that it gives you a nice graph of what’s going on there, organic keywords trend, organic search positions, and everything else. That takes us into the organic positions tool and it shows us, you know, if you want to do a back competitor analysis of what’s going on.

But going back to the advertising research tool, we can also see what these guys are doing in terms of pay-per-click, which is not a lot.

So as I say, you can go through your competition, see who’s doing what and who’s doing it the best, and you’ll be able to see there, there’s a lot of guys out there are spending a lot of money depending on certain aspects of their business. So we’ll move on from that and go on to ad copies.

Advertising Research Tool 5

What I really like about ad copies is it gives you everything you need to know about the competition and what the ad copy is saying, and that gives you inspiration to then be able to go on and make sure that your own ad copy is on point. So you can see here, these guys have got three different ads, a very short one, a middle one and a slightly longer one. And some people have 10 ads, 20 ads, it really doesn’t matter. It gives you inspiration and gives you an idea of what you should include in your ads.

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Ad history, where you’ll be able to see that different history of ads, and it takes you from 2018 up to 2019, so people may change their ads based on time of year and various other factors as well. So you can keep an eye on that and check out the history there to see what your competition are using, and you’ll be able to tweak that to your advantage.

Advertising Research Tool 8

Paid pages. So it will show you the pages that your competition are sending ads to, so you’ll be able to see the exact landing pages that these people are sending their ads to. Nice landing page, nothing at all wrong with that. They’ve probably got the calls to action and everything in there, and that’s obviously something you want to do.

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Subdomains. Some people, big websites like Ebay and various other websites use subdomain names to run ads as well. So if anyone does choose to use that type of strategy, you’ll be able to see the subdomains and everything else that’s going on with that particular advertising campaign.

Advertising Research Tool 9

With any of these pages, whether it’s ad copies or competitors, or whatever it may be, you can export all of the data just here, if you want to send it to someone in your team or whatever it may be. There’s also a PDF button there, where you can export that information again as a PDF.

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But that is pretty much the advertising research tool. If we were to put in a massive website like Amazon, you’ll be able to see that the data does change and it populates with a hell of a lot more information, a lot more in terms of position changes, new, lost, improved, declined, and you’ll be able to go through everything in there to be able to better your campaign.

Read more: Internal Linking Guide

And that’s essentially what you want to use SEMrush for, is for competitor analysis, and make sure that you’ve got that competitive advantage there.

So any questions, SEMrush do have a support team. I’m sure you can get a hold of them through the contact pages on SEMrush and ask them any tool specific questions.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 20 years.

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