Have you always wondered how the campaigns and ad groups within your Google AdWords account fair against your competitors? Are you curious to know which companies are competing for your chosen keywords and who is doing better?
If the answer is yes, then let us introduce to you to a lovely little tool that has been hidden under your nose all this time! Ladies and gentleman, a warm welcome to our good friend, the mighty Google Auction Insight – Google’s very own auction analysis tool!
Before we go over the basics on how to use Auction Insight, you need to know how to find it! Simply log in to your AdWords account, select one of your campaigns (sorry for all you Display campaign enthusiasts, the Google Auction Insight tool only works for Search and Shopping campaigns) and then open one of the Ad groups within that campaign. Make sure you’re within either the Ad groups or Keyword tabs and click on the dropdown box labelled Details. Here you will see the Auction Insights area so select one of the options to view the report. Simple!
Now that you have successfully navigated to the correct area, let’s break down the function of each column within the Google Auction Insight tool. The following describes each column from left to right…
Display URL Domain
This column shows the URL used within the advert for each of the companies that are bidding in the same auction as you. Alongside this, why not see if any of these companies are appearing in other Auction Insight reports on your account to highlight any direct rivalries for your PPC and SEO ranking?
Impression share is something that we are sure you have all seen before and use on a regular basis while managing your Google AdWords account. It shows the number of impressions you made divided by the estimated number of impressions that you could have made. Within the Auction Insight report, this data will be used to compare how frequently your adverts have been shown in comparison to your competitors. If it is more than your competitors, you are doing something right, but if it is less, then you will need to take some time to look into why this is the case.
This column shows the average position that your adverts are appearing in Google search results compared to other adverts within the same auction. We are sure that you have seen and used this information before within your AdWords account, but it becomes even more useful when looked at within the Auction Insights report because you can see who is ranking higher and lower than you, alongside their average search position in the auction which is very useful data to have.
The Overlap Rate shows how often your competition’s advert generated an impression in the same search results as your advert. The data is provided as a percentage and can confuse new users at first glance. To simplify this, if you had an overlap rate of 50%, that means that in 5 out of 10 times your advert showed, an advert from the competitor was shown as well. Please be aware that this data is just an estimate based upon various factors within your account alongside the other companies bidding within the auction but it is still a very useful and insightful data source.
Position Above Rate
This column shows a percentage of how often your competitor’s advert has appeared in a higher position than your advert when they both appear in the same search. If the percentage is high then you must assume that the competitor is either bidding more than you or has a higher quality score, which means that you should review all areas of the campaign to see if you can make this percentage smaller.
Top Of The Page Rate
The Top of The Page Rate shows how frequently your adverts were shown at the top of the paid search results in Google. Each row has no relevance to one another as this is just from an overall result. If you could get 80% or over then that indicates that your campaign or Ad group is very competitive and is in the number one spot the majority of the time. If you are closer to the 0-25% region, then we would advise that you reassess the campaign/Ad group structure to try and bring up your adverts closer to the top of the page.
The final column on in the table shows how often your advert ranked higher in paid search results than another advert. This also includes the times that your advert showed when a competitor didn’t. The higher the percentage, the more times that your advert ranked higher than others. As with some of the other columns, if you are not happy with the result then we would suggest heading back to your campaign/Ad group and look for ways to improve this result.
Now that you have a good understanding of the Auction Insight tool we would suggest going ahead and having a play around with it, looking at various different areas of your account and looking at how the data changes when you change the dates that are set.
Keep an eye out for our follow-up article (here it is!) where we will be sharing some of our in-house techniques to really utilise this brilliant tool! In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the Auction Insights tool please feel free to repost this article on any social platform, tag us in the post and ask us your questions.
Ciao for now…