It should come as no surprise that success with search ad strategies depends on research and data. As with any other marketing and advertising effort – in any other medium, from billboards to pay-per-click ads – it’s always beneficial to know what your opposing advertisers are doing (especially behind the curtain). Now, if that sounds like one part Wizard of Oz and one part Sun Tzu, you’d be correct. This is a real peek behind the curtain to get a hard look at your enemy’s maneuvers. But that’s enough of the oddly-mixed references for now.
Running a web ad campaign in a competitive market is no small task. And when the keywords you’re competing with are high-value, the competition gets much more challenging. In these battles for ad superiority, there is much to be learned on a daily basis. Your eyes and ears should always be open. An insight can lead to huge wins over the competition. Guesswork sometimes leads to false starts. Fortunately, an amount of that guesswork has come to an end with Google’s new release of the Auction Insights report. Google released the aptly-named new report “to empower advertisers to make better informed optimization decisions.”
Even though the new report has its limitations, ad campaign managers across the globe are digging through the details looking for tactical advantages.
The Auction Insights report provides a number of keyword-level statistics (impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page percent) that allow you to see how your ads are performing against a number of competitor ads from named competitors. This is no small benefit for advertisers in the pay-per-click market who are in stiff competition. Even though the Auction Insight report is only available for high-traffic keywords and won’t disclose competitor keywords, quality, or settings, it’s still an incredibly-valuable resource for campaign managers looking to better manage for ad position. Additionally, it’s a great tool for identifying missed opportunities and fine-tuning your ad campaign strategy.
The Auction Insights report is currently live and access is built in to the existing Keywords Tab at Google AdWords. Directions for accessing the report can be found here.
The Google AdWords Auction Insights Stats:
- Impression share – based on ad targeting settings, approval status, bids, and quality score, this is the percentage of impressions your ads receive against the estimated number of impressions they were eligible to receive.
- Average position – where your AdWords ads are placing (how high) against those of competing advertisers in the same search results.
- Overlap rate – how often your ad and any other competing ads received impressions for the same keyword at the same time.
- Position above rate – simply stated, this is how often a competing ad appeared in a higher position than one of yours.
- Top of page rate – how often your ad (or any other) appeared above the organic search results at the top of the page.
With the release of the Auction Insights report, Google has once again given us the tools to better manage our ads in hotly-contested markets. And although some may see the tool as something that reveals (perhaps) too much of the workings behind the curtain, it’s also easy to see that Google is doing what Google has always done with search and search marketing. They are creating new ways for content and search marketing ad developers to become more relevant.