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Analyzing who your ad is competing against and how your ads are performing, is another way of optimizing your account for performance. Google Ads offers this insight in the form of auction insights.

[Update 11th Nov, 2020 : This post was updated with more interesting details. Hope you find it worth a read]

Auction Insights lets you compare your performance with your competitors, participating in the same auction as you. Taking inputs from here, you could decide where you must slow down and where you need to act more aggressively.

You can access auction insights at campaign, ad group or keyword level. The metrics available to measure this comparison are:

new google ads auction insight
  • Average Position – This metric shows the average position of your or other advertiser’s ad after a successful auction. (Note: This metric is soon to be discontinued, come November)
  • Impression Share – With this metric you can know how often your ad received an impression and is calculated as impression received divided by the total eligible impressions.
  • Overlap Rate – This metric shows the competitiveness of your competitor, as it shows how often, other participants received an impression that your ad also received an impression for.
  • Position above rate – It shows how often a competitor’s ad received a higher position than your ad during the same auction.
  • Top of page rate -This metric shows how often the ad (yours or other advertiser’s) was shown at the top of page results, above the organic listing.
  • Outranking share – With this metric you can find out the times you ad ranked higher than the advertiser’s  during the auction.

To learn more about these metrics click here.

You could use the auction insights, for many reasons. We list some of them here:

Who’s bidding on your brand term?

One of the things that you can extract from the report, is understand how active your competitors are on your brand terms. You can then devise a bidding strategy to fight the competition and block all opportunities for yourself. It also helps you ascertain if your affiliates are bidding on your brand. If they are, then you can take necessary steps to stop them from using your brand and diverting the clicks elsewhere.

Which device type is competitive?

Not only, does the report shed light on your competitors but also on the device that they are predominant on. You can identify which device is being used by competitors for a specific keyword or set of keywords. It can help you form a better device strategy and you can increase your bids for the device type your competition shows for.

segment by device auction insight

When are your competitors bidding more?

Similarly by segmenting you can also get insight on when your competitors are more active than you. You can then decide to increase your bids during days when your competitor is active and lower your bid when they are lying low.

How you are performing for a keyword?

You could choose a keyword or a set of keywords, for which you need insights and compare your performance with that of your competition. You could filter keywords with, for e.g., high CPA and check how they are fairing. If there is less competition then you could reduce the bids and reduce the CPA, as a result. Similarly other metrics (quality score, bidding strategy, below first page etc.) could be used to filter your keywords and analyzed to identify a certain pattern.

auction insight filter keywords

Where your competitor might be spending more than you?

Looking at the impression share can give you a rough estimate of which all competitors might be bidding more competitively than you are, for a keyword. For instance, as can be seen in the image below, the competitor has an 90% impression share compared to us at less than 10%, most probably implying that we are not bidding as competitively as our competition.

competitor bid auction insight

Which campaign your competitor outranks you?

With this report you can also determine how often your ad was outranked by the competitor’s when both yours and the competitor’s ads were shown. This is a great way to check where you might be falling short on. You can try making changes, such as altering the bid, improving your ad etc. to see of that makes any difference

Other than the above there are some other questions that the report can help address:

  • How the presence of competition is impacting your campaign performance?
  • Are there any new competitors that are bidding on your brand term?
  • Identify your biggest competitors
  • Which campaign, ad group or keyword are least or more competitive?
  • Does the competition impact your CPC and conversions?
  • and Where should we end! You could unlock more insights from the report

The perks of using this report are many. Some we have briefly explained and some you are welcome to share in the comment section below.

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One Response to “How To Use Google Ads Auction Insights To Track Competitors?”

  1. sitegeek infotech

    Thanks for your post.I found this to be very informative. this is very helpful.


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