AdWords Tips

Forget Impression Share, Analyze the Competition

November 03, 2010 Posted In: AdWords Tips Comments: 4

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Google AdWords Impression Share reporting, now available in your Campaign tab. But how many of you are using the new "Analyze the Competition" tool available in your AdWords Opportunities tab? This new tool adds useful and detailed data for competitive intelligence.

To quote Craig Danuloff over at ClickEquations speaking about AdWords Impression Share data, "Maybe one day Google will share with us Impression Share at the ad group or even the keyword level. Wouldn't that be grand?"

Well, not only did Google start offering share of impression data at the ad-group level, they also included categories, sub-categories, and comparisons for CTR, AvgPos, and Clicks. They even have a weird little video to explain exactly how it works:

Why aren't we hearing more about this great new tool for competitive intelligence? I'm not sure, but the fact remains that it blows Impression Share at the campaign level out of the water. For those advertisers that are following best practices with their account structure, you can really drill down into some insights.

For example, I have most of my competitive head terms in their own ad group, so that means I can see how my impression, clicks, CTR, and average position compared to the other advertisers for a single high-volume keyword. And because I have tightly themed ad groups broken out by match type, I can get some very clean and useful insights on to how I stack up against the competition. If all of my match types were in a single ad group, then I would have to concern myself with potentially irrelevant broad match search query data that would be included in the aggregated data.

You can even drill into the actual search queries (not keywords) that they are using for the comparisons, so you could do a little search query mining while you're there. Throw in the ability to download the data in a .csv file and geographic filtering and you have a very serious competitive intelligence tool.

Analyze the Competition

While this information is great and very useful, be prepared to struggle through the interface to gather insights. This data would be so much more useful as a downloadable report that included all of the dimensions (Campaign, Ad Group, Category, Sub-Category), but instead you have to drill through manually to get to the good stuff. Keep your fingers crossed; maybe Google will make this data available through the API allowing third-party developers to make this data much more user-friendly.

Here are some useful resources to get you started on using the tool:

http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=178441

http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=180929

One cool application of the Analyze the Competition Tool would be to use it in conjunction with the Ad Preview Tool, especially since you can drill down into different geographic regions in both tools. This would allow you to compare your ad and its performance against the competition, helping you understand why it might be outperforming or underperforming your competitors. Maybe there is a local advertiser showing up in a particular region that you don't typically see nationally, for example.

This new tool is another compelling reason to get your account structure in order. To really take advantage of the data, a more segregated and developed campaign organization offers a huge advantage and much more actionable insights over a poorly structured account. 

Chad SummerhillBy Chad Summerhill, author of the blog PPC Prospector, provider of PPC AdWords advice, and in-house PPC specialist at Moving Solutions, Inc. (UPack.com and MoveBuilder.com).

AdWords Performance Grader




If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment.

Comments

Wednesday November 03, 2010

AdWords Analyze the Competition | PPC Prospector (not verified) Said:

[...] have a look at my latest guest post over at the WordStream blog.  I explain the benefits of the new AdWords ‘Analyze the [...]

Wednesday November 03, 2010

Daily Digest for November 3rd | A Blog by John A. Lee (not verified) Said:

[...] AdWords’ Analyze the Competition Tool for Competitive Intelligence (via @ChadSummerhill) http://www.wordstream.com/node/1499 [...]

Saturday November 06, 2010

Alan Mitchell (not verified) Said:

Hi Chad,

I'm not sure either why this feature went largely unnoticed. The first I heard of it was through your article.

I had a play around and noticed the categorisation used for benchmarking was somewhat innacurate. The data it provides seems to be rather passive rather than active, and I'm not sure it's something that can be practicaly acted upon. I think you're right that useful insights will be hard to obtain using the tool.

Just like 'advertiser competition' in Google's keyword tool, it could be something that's interesting but of limited practical use.

Cheers,
Alan

Monday November 08, 2010

Chad Summerhill (not verified) Said:

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the comment!

This data would be so much more useful via the API, but I guess we will take what we can get. The categorizations do seem a little off, but with a granular account structure you can get some good information.

Thanks,
Chad

Leave a Comment

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
 
Free Keyword Tool

Get thousands of relevent keyword suggestions - more,
faster, free!

Free Keyword Niche Finder

Discover profitable pockets of keywords for your
business.

Free Negative Keyword Suggestion Tool

Identify wasted spend before it happens and increase
your paid search ROI.

Contact Us | Company | Support | Site Map | Trademarks | Privacy Policy © 2007-2014 WordStream, Inc. All rights reserved.