Competitor Research In Adwords

Want to know how you stack up against your competition when it comes to Adwords? There’s actually a handy report easily accessibly in Adwords that will tell you JUST that.

Here’s how you get to it:

Select the “Details” dropdown menu on the all campaigns dashboard view after logging into your Adwords account and select all under “Auction Insights.”

auction insights

Once in the Auction Insights Report there are some pretty interesting insights. First, you’ll see who Adwords considers your competitors based on the keywords you are bidding on. In this example (screenshot below), the competitor sites are blurred out, but in your account you’ll have actual URLs of competitors. You may find you have some competitors you weren’t even aware of who are running on the very same keywords as you.

There are some terms in the report that are familiar to you if you’ve been running ads already such as “average position” this is the average position of your ads. However, the rest of these columns may be new to you, so I have written out explanations below:

auction insights

Impression share: shows you how often you are showing up for your keywords. The higher this is the better you’re doing at this. (We’re getting close to 94% of the impression share in the above example which is great!)

Overlap rate: the percentage of times that your ads show WITH your competitor’s ads.

Position above rate: this is the percentage of times that a competitor is ranking above you.  Perhaps you have a competitor who is ranking above you a good amount of time. In this screenshot below I have one competitor who is ranking above me over 70% of the time. Crazy right? Don’t freak out just yet. Take a look at the overlap rate, we only overlap on terms under 9% of the time. So while looking at this report, focus on your main competitors and don’t get caught up in trying to out bid every competitor on every term.

Photo 4

Top of page rate: another interesting metric calculates the percentage of times you or your compeitior’s ads are showing up in the top three ads on a page.

Outranking share: this one is a bit of formula which I’ve written out below,

Number of times your ad ranked higher in an auction than a competitor (plus) the number of times your ads showed when your competitor’s did not (divided by) total number of ad auctions you participated in.

The auction insights report is incredibly simple but a great resource to use to see how you stack up against the competition.

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