Which keywords does the competition use in AdWords?

When it comes to SEM / Google AdWords, the SISTRIX Toolbox can help you to create quick and comprehensive evaluations of both your competitors websites as well as your own pages. Ads, display positions, display URLs and keywords can all be easily analysed.

Analysing the competition in AdWords

The SISTRIX Toolbox helps you analyse the paid-for ads of your competitors on Google. You can apply the same principle to your own website, too. In this tutorial, you will get to know and understand a large part of the Ads module in the Toolbox.

An overview of AdWords data

First, type in the desired domain into the Toolbox’s search bar. Next, please click on the “Ads > Overview” in the left-hand navigation. You are now on the summary page, which already gives you some information on the websites activity in Google AdWords.


You now already have knowledge of:

  • Number of paid keywords
  • Distribution of ads in the profile
  • Most common display URLs
  • Word count distribution
  • Best ad text
  • Position of the ads
  • Competitive strength


Directly below this initial information, you will find a chart with a history for the domain. Meaning, you can see for how many keywords, in the past, a domain showed up in the Ads.

As you already know from many other charts in the SISTRIX Toolbox, the history can go back all the way to 2008 – depending on the country index you are in. If you mark a specific area with the cursor, you can zoom in. In the following picture for example, we zoomed into the year 2014.

stepstone.de Ads 2014

Below the history, you will also find a short extract of important keywords, where Ads are being booked. The actual tutorial starts now.

Analysing keywords and advertisements

You can go the overview of ad-texts of a domain by going to “AdCopy” in the left-hand navigation. There, you find all advertisement texts that could be found for this domain.


The table shows you those ads from Google AdWords, for which the SISTRIX Toolbox was able to find keywords. Every ad comes complete with title, description, and display URL. In the right column, the amount of keywords which use this ad-text is displayed.

For this example, the first two ads are very similar. They are also the most active advertisements, with more than 100 or even 200 keywords each. The differences only start in the description of the ad, and even there only on the second part.

When you click on the number of keywords, you are shown the overview list with all the search phrases for which this ad-text was used. If this domain were your competitor, you would clearly see which keywords they use.

Filter and show keywords

On top of the table you are now shown, you will find the filters, which can be used to search for specific keywords. For this tutorial, we set up a “Wortcount: 3” filter, as an example. Because of this, only keyword combinations consisting of three words are being displayed.



Below the filter, the Ad text we selected earlier is being shown as well. This enables you to always know which AdWords ad you are currently researching.

To the right you can see all the filters that are available to you in the Toolbox, when you evaluate the keywords.

The filters can also be combined, which makes it super easy to show only ads on position 1, with one word consisting of any keyword you want. For the above combination, you would select “wordcount, position, keyword” as filters and put in the desired values.

As you can see, for every filter there is also a “(NOT)” version. With these filters you can exclude specific parameters from your search. You could say: „Show me all keywords that do not contain [Praktikum]“. To do so, you only have to activate the „Keyword (NOT)“ filter.

With or without filters, you will see the results table below, complete with additional information on each keyword.


the table shows you the following data:

  • Keyword
  • Position
  • Ad-URL
  • Competition
  • Traffic
  • Traffic Trend
  • CPC
  • Display position


As you can also see in the table, position 3 is not always the same display position. Google shows ads above and on the right side of organic search results. In the last column of the table, you can always see the exact position of the advertisement. The SISTRIX Toolbox classifies the position as “Above” or “Side”.

What keywords are used by the competition?

The SISTRIX Toolbox can answer this question with just a few clicks. Just follow these steps:

  1. Type in the domain
  2. Select the Ads module
  3. Select AdCopy
  4. Click on the number of keywords to the right of your desired ad-text


Four simple steps for a good competitor analysis within the Google AdWords advertisements. You can also check your own domains, of course. Additionally, you do not have to start your analysis with „AdCopy“. If you want to analyse all keywords – without limitation to a specific ad-text – simply choose “Ads > Keywords” in the left-hand navigation.