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As an AdWords account manager, there's no doubt that you've been asked many times the following question, how are we doing compared to the competition? And trying to answer that question has always been frustrating. Because although there have been some tools out there that can try to estimate what your competition is doing, they've traditionally not been very accurate. And unless you actually run the AdWords accounts of the competition itself, or you can convince them to give you access, you always just had to be guessing. But when the Auction Insight data in AdWords was released, for the first time, you could finally figure out things like who you're competing against in the specific AdWords auctions that you care about.
How often you're winning, how often you end up in positions above the competition, and more. Let's take a look at how to use these reports. First, it's worth mentioning that you can use them at all levels of the account. But for now, we're going to stick with the Campaigns level. You can also choose to run the report against all of your campaigns, or just those you've selected. And of course if I were at the keyword level for example, that would mean I have the option of running this kind of report against all my keywords, or just those that I select. Now, I can see exactly who I'm competing with, and how I'm doing.
In this case, I'm doing pretty well with Impression Share. This is calculated as the number of impressions that you received, divided by the number of impressions you were eligible to receive. And for my competitors, this is representing how often they received an impression as a proportion of the auctions where I was also competing. So in this case, I can take this to mean that I'm getting just about all the impressions I'm eligible for. And Google is my biggest competitor. Intimidating, yes, but given the kind of training we're advertising, not very surprising. Next, I can see the average position on the search results page that my competitors and I have been getting.
I tend to be getting up there pretty high compared to my competition. And this might be agood thing, but it also might mean that I'm paying more than I have to. It's certainly something to look into. The Overlap Rate is a measure of how often both my and my competitor's ads showed at the same time. Now this percentage is often very close to the Impression Share column. And again this confirms that I'm up against Google directly about two out of every three times my ad appears. The Position Above rate is just that. It's the percentage of the time that my competition ends up outranking me when we both show up on the same page.
Here I can see some wide variations, IBM is outranking me pretty heavily, but we only collide less than 5% of the time. I'm more worried about this row, where we're both showing one out of every five of my impressions, and I'm getting outranked almost 2 3rds of the time. Last, the Top of Page Rate is the percentage of time that my ad shows up in the top slot above the search results. I can see that I'm showing up here a lot, but so is another one of my competitors. This simple report helped me narrow down who I need to worry about as a competitor to my bids, and who I don't, very quickly.
And while you can use this information to drive decisions with respect to your account and your strategy, it's also important to remember that in the end, you're ultimately chasing the goal of continual optimization.
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