Throughout the week, the Google have been busy rolling their new AdWords feature, “Auction Insights” out into all existing accounts. For those who have not yet heard about the new feature, it basically allows you to select any given keyword within your AdWords account, and then gain insight into how you’re performing for that keyword compared to other advertisers that are also bidding on the keyword – don’t start panicking too quickly though! Google have assured us that no actual account data will be shared with your competitors. The only information that the report shares is information that could already be obtained by running Google searches manually or with a scraping bot.
The reported metrics include:
- Impression share (the percentage of time you and your competitor’s ad appears for searches on Google).
- Average position (the average ad position for you and your competitors).
- Overlap rate (the rate at which you and your competitors appear for the same search).
- Position above rate (how often your competitor’s adverts appear above ours for a search).
- Top of page percent (the rate at which you and your competitors ads appear at the top of the page rather than the right hand side).
Here’s a screenshot to show you what it looks like:
So, onto the interesting part. Now that I have this new data for my account, how do I use it to improve my campaign performance? Here are a few ideas!
1). High quality keyword discovery.
You might think that you have covered all bases with your campaign, but the truth is that there will always be areas that you’ve missed. Your competitors will have missed a lot too, however they may sometimes know something you don’t. Regularly monitoring these Auction Insight reports will allow you to see which keywords some of your major competitors are putting a heavy focus on. When you see that a competitor has a high ‘Impression Share’ and ‘Top of Page Rate’ for example, the kinds of questions you should be asking are “Why is this person ensuring they have such high exposure for the keyword in question?” “Could this suggest the keyword is converting well for them?” These sorts of questions might prompt you to pay more attention to keywords within your campaign that you otherwise might have forgotten about.
2). Gain insight into your competitor’s media budgets.
While this report will not actually tell you how much your competitors are spending, it does tell you how often they appear on Google for specific keywords, as well as how often they’re at the top of the page. If you find that a particular competitor is gaining close to 100% impression share for a lot of keywords, and also appearing at the top of the page most of the time, then this suggests that they probably have a large budget allocated to AdWords – or at least a bigger budget than any of its other competitors. This might mean it’s time to lift your spend to get a bigger slice of that online pie!
3). Identify high performing competitor landing pages.
Similarly to the process mentioned in point 2, if you notice a particular website with an extremely high impression share & top of page rate for a long period of time – particularly for a competitive keyword, then this might suggest that they’re seeing some pretty strong results from the keyword. I’d recommend taking a good look at their website and identifying which areas of the page could be helping to achieve a high conversion rate. Do they have strong offers listed on the page? Clear contact details? An appealing layout? This will help you to think of new ways to improve your own landing pages.
These are a few ways that the tool can be used to help you with your campaign, however as the tool is very new I’m sure there will be plenty of information being shared over the next month by people using the tool in other useful ways. Would love to hear your thoughts on how you’ll be using it!