Auction Insights: How to use Competitor data to optimize your Google Ads

You look up your keyword in Google search and see you and a couple competitors show up on the top. They may have a better offer or not but you still become concerned and immediately goes to Google Ads to raise your CPC to beat those competitors. Ok, what are you missing? Have you checked Auction Insights before making that decision?

how to beat competition in Google Ads

Google uses real-time auction at the time of each search to determine who to show where. Your competitors showing up when YOU search doesn’t necessary mean that they’re showing up every time someone is searching your keywords.

You need to determine if they’re a real threat first.

The best place to give you competitor insights to help you make informed decisions is Auction Insights.

This article will explain where to get your Auction Insights data and how to use that data to help guide you optimizing your account.

Where to find Auction Insights?

Auction Insights are available for Google Search and Shopping campaigns.

Simply go to your campaign, ad groups, or keywords you want to evaluate and Auction Insights will be available as a tab.

campaign competitor Google Ads Auction Insights
on a campaign level
ad group competitor Google Ads Auction Insights
on a ad group level
keyword competitor Google Ads Auction Insights
on a keyword level

Search Campaigns

Search campaigns Auction Insights provide the following data about your competitors:

  • Impression Share: your impressions relative to the total number of impressions you “could” receive. Expressed as a percentage (%)
  • Overlap rate: how often competitor’s ad received an impression when your ad did as well
  • Position above rate: how often competitor’s ad was shown higher than yours when shown at the same time
  • Top of page rate: how often your or competitor’s ad was shown above organic, unpaid search results
  • Abs. Top of page rate: how often your or competitor’s ad wa shown at the very top of the page as #1 ad
  • Outranking share: how often your ad ranked higher than competitor’s ad or if your ad showed when theirs didn’t.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns Auction Insights provide the following data about your competitors:

  • Impression share
  • Overlap rate
  • Outranking share

How to use Auction Insights to optimize your Google ads campaigns

When evaluating your competitors, you can’t simply rely on what you see in search results when you search the keywords from your computer.

So if you’re going to make decisions based on your competitors, you should look at the entire picture and determine which competitors are worth competing against.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Is the competitor in question even showing up as often as you? Refer to their impression share vs. yours
  • Is the competitor in question even showing up often at the same time as you? Refer to their overlap rate.
  • Are your ads showing on the top of page? If not, how much should you raise your CPC to show up on the top?
  • Does your competition in question have a higher top of page rate or abs. top of page rate but lower impression share? They may have reached their budget cap or a lower quality score.
  • Are the competitors in Auction Insights your true competitors targeting your ideal audience? If not, you may not have the right keywords that are targeting the right audience.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind you don’t have to beat every competitor.

Determine whether a competitor is worth spending your resources and budget to outrank given their current performance relative to yours, offer, and target audience.

Using Auction Insights will give you a better understanding of who you’re competing with when your ads are showingup and where you stand.

How else are you using Auction Insights? Comment below!

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