All Collections
Ad History
How to find your competitor's best ad copy
How to find your competitor's best ad copy

Write optimized ad copy without hours of painful research. The cream rises to the top.

Sidra Condron avatar
Written by Sidra Condron
Updated over a week ago

Ad History (built into your search results on SpyFu) makes it faster and easier to start with fully optimized ad copy on day 1. This article will help you find:

  • your competitor's best ad copy 

  • your competitor's most dominant message. 

The term "best ad copy" is somewhat open to interpretation, so let's phrase it this way. We want to find your competitor's most successful ad copy. This is copy that they trust and turn to again and again on their most competitive keywords.

SpyFu's Ad History, an ad copy research tool  makes it obvious which ad copy was successful. When a site uses its best-performing ad copy on its most competitive keywords, you can see that turn into a series of tests. They won't run ads that fail to convert. 

Type your competitor's domain (, for example) into the SpyFu search bar to start your way to seeing how their most successful ad copy evolved over time.  

Testing and Evolving: Getting to Great Ad Copy

Looking at one ad at a time is helpful, but it's also just one part of the puzzle. Looking at one good ad never tells you if the advertiser repeated that copy across other ads. 

It’s valuable to know what copy the domain is using. It’s even more valuable to know what they used most recently AND most often.

See how the red-colored boxes below mark repetitive ads? It's repetitive because it was strong enough to run again after trying different ad versions. 

The advertiser relies on its best copy because that copy gets more clicks and conversions. We are quick to share a domain’s most successful keywords. With ad history, you’re seeing a domain’s most successful ad copy. It’s their go-to for effective messaging.

Finding the Strongest Ad Copy

The combination is the trick. Best keywords + Best ad copy. Finding this holy grail will propel you far beyond anything you could accomplish in running a few searches for current ads. Here’s why.

Let’s say you gather a few of your targeted keywords and snag the copy that pops up when you search them. Nice start, but here’s what you’ll miss.

  1. Is this copy new, or has it been running for a while?

  2. Are they using this copy on many of their keywords or just this one you happened to test?

  3. And if they have thousands of keywords, thousands upon thousands, how will you ever know what variations they rely on most and what they’ve learned to avoid?

These are tough questions to tackle without a lot of time, patience, and eye strain. Without the answer, though, you’re taking your cue from an ad that might not be the best example of what connects with customers.

We found that literally highlighting the top copy gave us the answer.

A domain’s history is really a big blabbermouth. Its own ads give unmistakable clues about its strategy.

  • The longer a domain buys a keyword,

  • And the higher they rank on it vs. their other ads,

  • And the more the keyword costs,

  • the more likely it is that it is a profitable keyword. We can figure out their most profitable keywords just from following their history.

Why Does it Work?

From years of following ads, here’s what we can say with confidence:

  • Sites won’t let weak ad copy run too long. They tweak and test it as they get closer to their conversion goals.

  • Google serves up the ad copy that’s most likely to get a higher click through rate.

  • Ads that have been updated over time are most likely using the most successful version to date.

  • Once a domain finds successful ad copy, they will put it to work across many of their keywords.

Click on an ad to highlight the same ad copy across the other keywords. That way you can spot patterns of their ad copy optimization. You can even tell how they structure their ad groups and see which copy works best from group to group.

Strong copy repeats and grows. Weak tests get buried in the past. 

Did this answer your question?