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Analyzing Your Competitor's Display Advertising Profile

Analyzing Your Competitor's Display Advertising Profile Manual

To get started, query any domain into the search bar. The top of this report has an overview table with stats and a trend graph showing the increase or decrease in activity over the past month.

In the Overview table, you’ll  see if the domain participates as an Advertiser or a Publisher. After entering a domain, SEMrush will automatically show your data as an Advertiser. However, you can also see the statistics for that domain as a Publisher by selecting the dropdown menu directly to the left of your domain.

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What’s the difference between Advertisers and Publishers?

Some websites only participate as  Advertisers while others operate as Publishers. Advertisers are websites that run their ads on another website’s domain. Advertisers use Google AdWords to create and manage their advertising campaigns. Publishers use Google AdSense to set up advertising space on their websites so that Advertisers can pay them to run their ads on their website.. For example, you can see below that only serves as a Publisher. This means that SEMrush did not find any ads from on other sites, but we did identify advertisers placing their respective ads on Your Competitor's Display Advertising Profile image 2

The Trends chart measures the number of Advertisers a Publisher is publishing, or the number of Publishers an Advertiser is placing ads with. Keep in mind this chart will be directly related to whether you are viewing the domain as a publisher or as an advertiser. The chart allows you to see if there were any spikes, increases, or decreases in your competitor’s activity over the past month.

Changing Location and Device

Display advertising campaign often target specific device types or regional areas.  To narrow the focus of your report, you can change both the location and device of your report by selecting their corresponding drop down menus.

Display Advertising for Advertisers

When looking at an Advertiser in the Overview, you’ll see the domain’s ratio of text vs. media ads found by SEMrush and a Publishers table with the top Publishers where we found these ads. This data can be seen in more detail (and with sorting and filtering) in the Publishers tab, which can be accessed with the blue “View full report” button.

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Below this table and circle chart, you’ll see samples of the domain’s text and media ads. You can hover over any of the media ads and you’ll see the full ads expand.

Again, by selecting to “View full report,” you’ll open up the Ad’s detailed report listing all of the text or media ads from the advertiser found by SEMrush. If you have competitors running display ads, this is an easy way to get a look at their advertising campaigns and study their strategy. If they run a lot of media ads, you can take a look at their visual style and use of images to appeal to their audience. If you’re looking at your competitor’s text ads, you can identify the call to actions that they use to try to convert impressions into visitors.

Display Advertising for Publishers

The Publisher’s report provides a total summary of the publishing domains where an advertiser’s display ads were seen. You can see where your competitor’s ads are being published along with how many text and media ads they’re publishing across various device types. Again, this starts with a graph of text ads vs media ads and a table of Advertisers seen placing ads on the site. Just like for Advertisers, you can expand on any of these data sets by selecting the full report button in the bottom right.

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Below the graph and table will be samples of the text and media ads seen on the site. Again, you can hover over these ads to see the full picture, or choose “View full report” to open up the Advertisers Report with a detailed report listing all of the display ads seen on the site.

Within the Publishers report you will be able to check out how an advertiser distributes their ads across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices (both Apple and Android). Notice how the stats in the Advertiser Summary and detailed report will update depending on the device you’re analyzing.

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Analyzing Text and Media Ads

In the Detailed report you can alternate between viewing the text ads and media ads that were placed, sort by the ads that were seen the most, identify the first and last seen dates and see in which different countries these ads appear in. This provides an in-depth way to study a competitor’s advertising behavior, especially if you want to see how they target users of various mobile devices.

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When analyzing your ads you will be able to specify exactly which type of ad you want to analyze. These include media ads, HTML ads and text ads. You will notice at the top of the list of ads there are 3 tabs with the corresponding ad type. Clicking on any of these tabs will allow you to view just those certain ad types.

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Fully Analyze a Competitor’s Ad

One of the best features within the Ads section of Display Advertising is the ability to see the full ad with the list of domains that are publishing it. By clicking anywhere on an individual ad, you will be shown the ad and the list of Publishers. This list could be a great resource for potential outreach opportunities to gain backlinks and building relationships with the domains publishing your ads.

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Recognizing the Top 30 Advertisers and Publishers

The last section of Display Advertising is the Top 30 report which allows you to view an in depth analysis of both the top 30 advertisers and top 30 publishers in our database. For each of the top 30 domains you are able to see the number of ads (1), what percent of those ads are either Media, HTML or Text (2) and the Advertisers/Publishers linked to the domain (3).

Analyzing Your Competitor's Display Advertising Profile image 9When clicking on any of these metrics you will be prompted to their corresponding reports. For example, clicking on the Media/HTML/Text metrics you will be brought to the Ads report for a more in depth look at that specific ad.


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