How to Crush the Competition on the Google Display Network

Ever wonder how your competitors are setting up their ad strategy or where they’re getting their most valuable traffic?  If you don’t keep up with your ads and continually optimize your reach, the competition is going to swoop in and take what’s yours.  That’s why we’ve put together this simple 5-step guide on how to crush the competition on the Google Display Network.


  1. Do Your Research: Conduct a competitive analysis of your top competitors.  I’m sure you know about MixRank, since you’re reading our blog.  So, head to, search for your competitor’s domains, and export all of the text ads, banner ads, and traffic sources to understand where you stand in relation to your competitors. 
  2. Drive More Reach:  Based on the ads you exported from your top competitors, cross-reference their campaign strategy against yours.  If they’re running significantly more campaigns than you, you know you’ll have re-visit your ad budget and scale your campaigns on other relevant sites.  On the other hand, of you’re competition isn’t running as many campaigns, that’s a good sign too that you don’t have to increase your budget tremendously to reach more customers. 
  3. Don’t Miss Out On the Traffic: From the traffic sources you exported from MixRank, add any placements that you’re not currently bidding on to your managed placements.  Be strategic about which ad groups you target these placements on, as the relevancy will impact your Quality Score.  To get started, make sure to add every placement on the exported list. If your competitor is running ads on these sites, you definitely don’t want to be left out.
  4. Optimize Your Budget:  As you know, not all placements will perform the same way. So, since you probably have some type of budget for your ad spend, you’ll need to monitor the performance of each placement and adjust your bids accordingly over time.  If you’re considering adding negative placements, it may be worthwhile to check back on MixRank to see if your competitors are still running ads on that traffic source before doing so.  You can delete a placement as well, which would be less drastic. By deleting a placement, your ad may still show up on the site but only when ad group’s topic or keyword targets are relevant to the content on the site.
  5. Leverage Banner Ads: Similar to search ads, contextual ads on the Display Network appear right beside your top competitors’.  To eliminate the chances of a consumer clicking on your competitor’s ad completely, occupy the entire ad unit with a banner ad.  The nice thing about banner ads is that certain sizes will almost guarantee your ad will be above the fold on most sites.  The most popular sizes are 728×90, 160×600 and 300×250, but from my experience, 160×600 ads don’t perform as well as the others.  Here’s a visual of an ad unit, and how banner ads drive out the competition’s ads:




  • Russell

    Good post, but a key factor in winning the ad game would have to include a conversation regarding conversions once you drive the traffic to your site.We have tried MixRank, but would really love to see some info on how to use the software to help with LP conversions.There isn’t a way to measure competitors conversions.Thanks,

  • Anonymous

    Hey Russell – thanks for your comment. I didn’t mention landing pages on this particular post because it is about crushing the competition on the Google Display Network. However, I do agree that there are several other strategies outside of Google AdWords & the GDN that should be considered to further optimize your online marketing program.MixRank does have a landing page solution that shows you the different landing pages your competitors have tested. You can view landing pages within any ad report: metrics you can see with these landing pages aren’t conversions, but rather, "times seen" and "last seen" date. With these metrics, you can infer which landing pages are better performing.So, for instance, if you see 2 landing pages being split tested: one has a video and one doesn’t. The one with the video has a "times seen" metric of 10,000 and the landing page without the video has a "times seen" metric of 300 and a "last seen" date of 3 months ago – you can easily tell which landing page the advertiser deemed the better performing one and consider using similar elements in your own landing pages.Hope that helps – let me know if you’d like a demo of our product. I’d be happy to explain in more detail. Thanks for reading! 🙂