Google Ads Becomes More Insightful with Auction Insights

November 29, 2018

A brilliant new feature has been added to the Google Ads (AdWords) roster. Auction Insights now lets you see data across keywords and even up to the campaign level. Auction insights can be found in the Details tab under Campaigns, as shown below. You can get data for all or selected campaigns, ad groups or even keywords. Now you can see metrics such as impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate and top of page rate.

Auction Insights

Auction Insights Explained

Auction insights gives you 5 great metrics to work with:

  • Average position – This gives you an average ranking over your selected time period along with the associated domain. (See also: The Relationship of Click-Through Rate & Ad Position.)
  • Impression share – Represents the amount of times you have appeared in search results when your ads were eligible to receive impressions.
  • Overlap rate – Defines how often your competitors’ ads were shown in the same results as yours.
  • Position above rate – Explains how often a competitor’s ad was shown in a higher rank than your own.
  • Top of page rate – Finally, top of page rate illustrates how often that ad was shown in position one.
AdWords Auction Insights Report

Going Once, Going Twice – Benefits of the Auction Insights Report

The best thing about the Auction Insights report feature is that you can compare your data with your competitors’ data, and this ability creates a lot of other benefits.

One of the simplest things we can extract from this data is who our key competitors are. By looking at the overlap rate, we can identify which competitor is showing ads next to our own. We can use the average position to decipher whether or not they are getting better rankings alongside the position above rate. It is important to make sure you aren’t losing any business to your competitors; something you can do is regularly check your keywords and compare text ads.

Now one question I know I receive a lot through our PPC customers is “How much are my competitors spending?” That’s always been a hard question to answer, but now we have a little more insight into those budgets. We can use our impression share stat – for example, let’s say it’s 50%, and our spend is £3,000. If our biggest competitor is on the list and they have an impression share of 90%, then we could guess that they are spending around £5,400.

The above is only really the case if the average position is the same, which is going to be pretty unlikely. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find out what your competitors are spending per click, which means you can’t find out the actual spend. What you can do is look at their average position – now naturally a higher position costs more and a lower position costs less. Finally you can compare ad text relevancy to that of your own to help estimate a Quality Score. With all of this information you should be able to determine whether your competitor has a higher or lower CPC than yourself.

One of the toughest challenges faced with PPC clients is persuading them to increase their Google Ads budgets – despite the fact that we can prove a steady conversion rate, which we can use to estimate ROI. However, I think that by utilizing Auction Insights, we can compare our clients’ online exposure to that of their competitors, which will hopefully convince them to increase their budgets for PPC.

[MORE: Free Guide: PPC Budget Best Practices]

About the Author

Ben Austin, as the CEO of Absolute Digital Media, has worked in the industry for five years, developing an in depth knowledge of all areas of online marketing, including SEO, PPC, content marketing and social media engagement. He is continually seeking ways to drive the business forward to compete with the biggest names in the sector.