AdWords Auction Insights: See How You Stack Up

It's now much easier to view the competitive landscape.

If your company runs campaigns with Google AdWords, there’s some new reporting you might want to see. When you want to find out how your campaigns compare to competitors in your industry, typically you’d perform a Google search for your keywords and see what ads show up. Google’s new Auction Insights report serves the same purpose, but with some additional information.

To run the report, you’ll need to go into your Google AdWords account and locate a keyword with a small graph icon next to it (). Click the checkbox next to the keyword, then click the “Keyword Details” dropdown, then click “Auction Insights”. You’ll be presented with a full list of advertisers that are competing in the auction. This report gives you five metrics that help you determine the right course of action for your keywords.

Impression Share

This percentage represents the number of impressions you actually received divided by the number of impressions you were eligible to receive. A low impression share compared to your competitors means that they’re reaching more of your audience than you are. This may be due to budget cutoffs or low bids, both which can prevent your ad from being shown.

Average Position

This metric indicates the position your ad falls in the advertising auction. The lower your average position is, the higher you’ll appear on the results page. This number can help identify places where higher (or lower) bids can benefit your advertising program.

Overlap Rate

This number shows how often your competitors ads show up in the same auction as your ads. This is useful in determining who your biggest competitors are in the space.

Position Above Rate

When you appear in an auction with another competitor, this number shows how often their ad is in a higher position than yours. As is the case with overlap rate, this enables you to find out who is competing strongly against you.

Top of Page Rate

When a competitor has a highly relevant ad in the auction, their ad may be shown at the top of the page rather than to the right of the search results.  This metric will tell you how often their ads (and yours) appeared in that prime spot.

All of these metrics taken together can give you a full picture of the auction competition. Used properly, they can help you find keywords that need a little boost to rise above the competition.

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