Google Ads Auction Insights is a powerful tool to help advertisers gain valuable insights into their competitors’ tactics, enabling them an opportunity to outperform their rivals in the market.
By analysing the metrics provided by this tool, marketers can make informed decisions to improve their Google Ads campaigns and ultimately increase their return on investment.
The data provided by the auction insights report can help you answer a number of questions:
To get answers to these types of question, you must understand the data you are looking at. Let’s break down the data available and how you can draw insights and actions out of each.
Every time a user performs a search for one of your keywords, Google runs an ad auction in the background to determine which ads serve and where on the search results page they should appear.
The auction insights report helps marketers compare the performance of their ad campaigns against the other advertisers in the search and shopping ads in that ad auction.
Auction Insights is available for:
Auction insights can be found at each of the following levels:
You can see six data points in each Auction Insights report. These are:
To access the Google Ads Auction Insights Report, follow these steps:
Impression share is the number of impressions you received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. It is a key metric in Google Ads Auction Insights that provides valuable insights into you and your competitors’ presence on the SERP.
By comparing your impression share with your competitors, you can understand how frequently your ad campaigns appear alongside theirs. Higher impression share indicates better visibility, leading to improved performance and the potential for higher click-through rates.
To make the most out of the information provided by impression share data, consider the following steps:
Keep in mind – This metric can be heavily related to ad spend, the higher the percentage, the more likely an advertiser is spending a higher amount for their ads to show in most of the auctions they are eligible to show in.
Overlap Rate offers valuable insights into the commonality between your ads and your competitors’ ads on the SERP.
This metric represents the percentage of times a competitor’s ad showed when your ad also showed. To effectively utilise Overlap Rate, keep these in mind:
Outranking Share is a metric that shows the percentage of times your ad ranked higher than a competitor’s ad in the same auction or when your ad showed and theirs didn’t.
This can be useful for determining how well your current ad strategy is performing in outranking your competition. When interpreting Outranking Share, consider the following:
Position Above Rate in the Auction Insights report measures the percentage of times another advertiser’s ad appears above your own.
This metric can help you identify opportunities to adjust your bids to rank higher and more consistently above your competition. Consider these points when utilising Position Above Rate data:
Top of page rate indicates the percentage of times an ad appeared at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) compared to the total number of impressions it had.
Understanding top-of-page rate, alongside absolute top-of-page rate, allows businesses to optimise their campaigns for better visibility and overall ad success. Consider this point when utilising Top of Page Rate data:
Absolute top of page rate is the percentage of times an ad appeared in the very first ad position of the SERP compared to its total number of impressions.
By staying up-to-date with this metric, advertisers can make informed decisions on their bidding strategies and ad quality. Consider this point when utilising the Absolute top of page data:
Depending on your budget and strategy, you may not wish to appear in 1st position as it has a higher cost per click. Appearing in the 2nd or 3rd position at the top of page may suit your strategy and budget better.
Keeping these metrics in mind will allow advertisers to identify their strengths and weaknesses in their ad campaigns. Moreover, they can evaluate their competitor’s strategies and adjust their bidding, ad positioning, and overall targeting to enhance their SERP rankings.
The 6 data points outlined above give valuable insights into your campaigns, ad groups and keywords.
Let’s take a look at a few common examples that you could face when reviewing your auction insights reports and ways you can utilise the data and inform your strategy.
Many different-sized businesses could be competing in the ad auction, they may be regional, national or international businesses competing. They simply may not be competitors that you have identified as ‘direct’ competitors outside of this ad channel.If the competition in your ad auction is definitely not competing for your business, there is a high chance the keywords you are targeting (or Google is showing you for) are too broad or simply irrelevant.
Review your search terms report to see what keywords you are showing for. If you see many search terms that are not relevant to your business, you may want to remove them from your targeting or even set them as negative keywords.
It is likely the competition is increasing the budget for their campaigns and that is resulting in increased impression share vs your campaigns.
Use the data available in your auction insights combined with other key metrics from the campaign or ad group eg, the value of that campaign to your business to inform your own budget increase in these campaigns.
When competitors bid on your brand name in Google Ads, it’s crucial to respond strategically. Use your Auction insights data to assess how much business they could be gaining by targeting your brand name.
Next, focus on ensuring your ads are actually optimised for your brand name and not another generic search term. Make sure your ad highlights unique selling points, promotions, and special offers.
If you are bidding on your own brand name, it should be set up as its own ‘brand campaign’. Defensive bidding on your own brand name may be necessary to maintain a top position in search results.
Consider setting the campaign goal to ‘impression share’. When bidding on your own brand name the goal is to spend as little as possible and appear near 100% of brand searchers.
You may then consider responding in like and bid on your ‘competitors’ brand names. Make an assessment of what competitors have the same target audience as you and whether your offering is worth choosing from a user’s point of view, over your competitors.
If increasing budgets isn’t an option, start by reviewing all your competitor’s Google Ads, ad copy, and unique value proposition (USPs). Try and understand how are they targeting their campaigns.
Then, focus on optimising your ad copy for relevance and appeal vs your competitor’s. Utilise all ad extensions available to provide information and stand out as much as possible. Improve your landing page experience to ensure the users that do land are likely to convert.
Finally, consider refining your targeting parameters to reach a more qualified audience. Lastly, closely monitor and analyze performance metrics and auction Insights for ongoing refinement.
Director and Founder at Firewire Digital. Brogan has over a decade of experience in eCommerce, SEO and Google Ads. Leading his team and clients to success on every project, Brogan is obsessed with achieving solid ROI and creating long-lasting client relationships.
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