How to visualise competitor impression share for paid search campaigns
As PPC experts, Auction Insights is a go-to report to see how your search visibility might compare to that of similar competitors.
The Auction Insights report lets you compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are. You can read more about the detail included in the Auction Insights report here.
For those not familiar with Auction Insights in Google Ads, let us show you how to make the most of it.
What will the Auction Insights report show me?
The report will display other advertisers participating in the same auctions you are – that means bidding on the same keywords. You’ll only be able to see this data when your campaigns are live (in other words when you are actively participating in the auction).
There are some key metrics included. Here is a breakdown of what they mean:
- Search impression share – the number of impressions that you have received divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive.
- Search overlap rate – how often another advertiser’s ad received an impression when your ad also received an impression.
- Position above rate – how often the other advertiser’s ad was shown in a higher position than yours was when both of your ads were shown at the same time.
- Top of page rate – how often your ad was shown at the top of the page, above the unpaid search results.
- Abs top of page rate – how often your ad was shown at the absolute top of the page as the very first ad above the organic search results.
When it comes to impression share there are two things that can impact your performance.:
- Budget – if you have limited budgets you may find that an amount of impression share is lost due to budget. This can be resolved by increasing your campaign budgets.
- Rank – this is determined by your bid in relation to competitors and the quality of your ad, for example, how relevant your ad is to the keyword you’re bidding on, your landing page experience etc. Click here to read more about ad rank.
What should I be looking for?
Here are some example scenarios when Auction Insights might help:
You are experiencing a higher cost-per-click and getting less for your budget overall
Look for advertisers that have recently entered the auction or for advertisers that have increased their impression share compared to a previous month for example. This would suggest heightened competition that is most likely having a negative effect on performance.
You are looking for ways to improve ad rank to reduce impression share lost due to ad rank
Look for advertisers with a high top of page rate and try some test searches for keywords that this advertiser might appear for. Consider their ad copy and user experience of the landing page when you click through.
How can I visualise this data over a time period?
Auction Insights within the main Google Ads user interface will easily display data for your chosen time period. However, the main user interface doesn’t allow you to compare with a previous period or see the data visually over a longer time period. Here is how you can overcome this:
Optmyzr Auction Insights Visualiser
If you want to easily visualise impression share without the need for a lot of manual work then the Optmyzr Auction Insights Visualiser might be the perfect tool for you.
It is a free third-party tool that enables you to generate charts using Auction Insights reports that you’ve downloaded from Google Ads.
There is a YouTube video showing you how to upload your data but it only takes a few clicks and then you’ll have a simple visualisation that is perfect for sharing with stakeholders.
Learn more about the Optmyzr Auction Insights Visualiser here.
Google Ads Report Editor
For those who want a little more control over how the data is manipulated, you can use the Google Ads Report Editor.
In the navigation at the top of Google Ads you will find the Reports button. When you click on this, select pre-defined reports and go down to Auction Insights. For our examples, we have chosen to look at this at a campaign level.
You’ll then want to add a filter so you can specify the exact campaign you want to look at. You can do this by selecting the filter option next to the date field.
To be able to visualise the data across a time period, change the chart type to time series here:
And this should be your final result:
Customise it to suit your needs:
- Click on the advertisers within the graph to choose whether or not to display – perfect for keeping just those key competitors you want to focus your analysis on.
- Use the date field to choose a time period and you also now have access to compare to previous periods in this interface.
- Choose whether you’d like to see daily, weekly or monthly data.
We hope this has been useful but if you’d like to talk to us about your paid search activity or other digital marketing campaigns, please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to chat!