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Quality Control: Using the Ads History Report in SEMrush

Mike Isaac
Quality Control: Using the Ads History Report in SEMrush

Domains are constantly competing to become the top ranked website for their target keywords. This is achieved through the CPC they are setting within their AdWords budget. Now, this is obvious information to all digital marketers. However, a very common variable that is often overlooked is the Quality Score of your ads.

Many people overlook the quality of their ads that are associated with their target keywords and instead of improving their ads themselves, they will increase their bids. And how do you improve the quality score of your ads the right way? Well, if you have caught any of my past posts you will have caught on to one underlying theme. And that theme is competitor analysis.

How to Analyze Your Competitor's History in SEMrush

The best way to determine what will and won’t work for you is to look at past behavior and review what has worked best in the past. SEMrush offers a extremely useful report that will assist with this called the Ads History report. If you are looking to strictly beat out one website, you will then want to use the Ads History report located under Advertising Research. In this report, you will notice where the queried domain has been ranking over a 12 month span for all of their ranking keywords.

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This report will display the keywords they are ranking for, search volume, CPC and traffic % that keyword represents of their total traffic from Advertising search. After this data you will see the months of the year listed, along with a number in a blue box under each month. This number represents that domain’s ranking for that keyword for that given month. If they were not ranking for a keyword in a given month, you will see a white “n/a” box displayed for the month.

If you click any of the blue boxes, it will show what that given competitor put within their ad copy for that given month that reflected the ranking they received. Along with the ad copy, you will also notice the search volume and CPC that keyword had for the given month. You can see what they are putting in their title tags, what they included in their description along with the landing page associated with the ad itself.

By analyzing what your competitor has done in the past and how their ranking has changed because of it, you can now determine what aspects you want to include in your own ad copy. Analyze each ad closely so you can determine what changes made by the competitor positively or negatively affected their ranking. Instead of going by trial and error with your ad copy, you can review your competitor’s behavior for a keyword because they basically have already done the work for you!

This information is great for determining how a given competitor either succeeded or failed in their AdWords campaign over the past year. However, if you are looking for specifically one keyword and how that keyword has changed over time, you will want to use the Ads History report under Keyword Analytics.

After entering your desired keyword in the search bar above and navigating to the Ads History report, you will see displayed for you all of the domains that have ranked within the top positions for the given keyword over the past year. Along with each domain, their performance in AdWords will be displayed as well including Ads Traffic, Ads Traffic Price and Ads Keywords. 

Just like the Ads History report for Advertising Research, each number displayed will represent what position the domain was ranking in for the queried keyword. If the month is blank, this means that the domain was not ranking for this keyword during the given month.

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By clicking on the numbers for any of these months, the Ad Copy will be displayed that was used by that domain for the given month. As you analyze how the ranking has changed over this 12 month period, you can determine by comparing their ranking to their Ad Copy, what caused their ranking to change. If there was no change in their Ad Copy, you know now that it was due to a change in their CPC. However, you can see by any change that is made to the Ad Copy, how their ranking was reflected due to the change. This can really help you moving forward with the auditing of your Ad Copy and improving the Quality Score of your ads.

This is one of the many tools that SEMrush offer that can help set yourself up for success! Have you used the Ads History report before? Have you found other uses of this report? Please let us know in the comments below!

If you still have questions about any of this information, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Success Team at: (855) 814-4510 or by email at [email protected]. You can also contact us on Twitter by using the #semrushcare hashtag.

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Mike Isaac is the Customer Success Content Manager at SEMrush. He has been working at SEMrush for over 3 years and is constantly pushing out new content to keep users engaged. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
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