The Ads History report is another unique report on SEMrush. This report gives users the ability to see all the keywords that a domain purchased in the past year. This is another great way to study your competitor and see their advertising habits over the course of a year.
The report is displayed as a calendar of boxes, where a blue cell indicates when SEMrush found the domain advertising for a particular keyword in that month, and a blank cell indicates that the domain was either not bidding on the keyword or was not ranking in the top 8 positions for the given month.
Each blue cell will have a number, indicating the position of the ad for that given month. The keywords and ads will be ranked in order of Coverage %, which represents the coverage of ads for the keyword over the last 12 months, where 100% means the domain had an ad running in the top 8 positions for the keyword during all 12 months.
Click on any of the blue cells to open up a display showing the ads that were found in the 12 month period. Here you can see how your competitors changed any parts of their ad - if they changed their headlines or ad copy at any point throughout the year. Since PPC advertising can be a very experimental process of testing various keywords, headlines, and descriptions, this report allows you to watch the way your competitors experimented with different headlines and copy throughout the year, and what their habits are.
A clear sign of an experiment gone wrong is if an advertiser changes the copy of their ad for one month before changing it right back to the way it was before (as seen above). Or, if you can see how an advertiser had a poorly ranking ad one month, and a well-ranking ad the next month, you can evaluate what they did differently with their headline or copy to allow for the ad to rank so much better.
If you click on any of the blue keywords in the keyword column, you’ll be taken to a Keyword Analytics Ads History report, which is similar to this report, but instead of displaying all the keywords that a domain was found advertising on, it displays all the different domains that were found ranking on that one specific keyword. This is a good way to identify a domain’s competitors in paid search.
Like the other reports within Advertising Research, you can apply multiple filters here to narrow down the data. Filtering options for the Ads History report include by Keyword, Volume, Cost-Per-Click, and Traffic %.
SEMrush currently has 17 mobile databases which you can find out more information about here.
The report will mostly appear the same, with blue cells indicating an ad found in the correlating month, and a white cell if we didn’t see a mobile ad for the keyword in the top 8 positions that month. The main difference between the mobile and desktop reports is usually that it is a different set of keywords because most domains will target different keywords on mobile compared to desktop.
The volume and traffic percentage metrics will be grayed out in the table, as we don’t currently gather this info for the mobile database, and the report will just show the desktop metrics. You can still apply filters for keywords, volume, CPC, and traffic percentage to this data, and the report will filter by desktop volume and traffic percentage if you add filters for either of those metrics.
If you click on any of the keywords, you’ll be taken to a Keyword Analytics Ads History report, which lists every domain that was advertising on the keyword over the past 12 months. This is a good way to identify a domain’s direct competitors on Google Ads.