If you run Google ads, you need to know about Auction insights. There are a lot of cool paid tools for optimizing ppc campaigns, but this one is totally free.
It's a cheat code for seeing who your competitors are and what they're doing. Let's dive into it.
How to Navigate to Google Ads Auction Insights
You can find the auction insights tab under "Insights and reports" on any campaign page.
If you're already logged into Google ads, you can click on this link and it will take you there directly. https://ads.google.com/aw/insights/auctioninsights
What Google Ads Insights Shows
We can see 7 things in Google ad insights by default. I will refer to the figures below for reference when explaining.
#1 Display URL domain - The domain of the competitor running ads on some of the same keywords that you are. Your domain is, of course, included in this column.
#2 Impression share - The number of impressions the competitor received divided by the estimated number of impressions they were eligible to receive. This tells us how many impressions we and our competitors got when we were eligible for them. Remember, just being eligible to receive an impression doesn't mean you will. Having the number be as close to 100% as possible is great, but it involves a lot of variables like targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and Quality Scores that make it difficult to achieve without dramatically overpaying and overoptimizing. This number is updated once a day.
#3 Overlap rate - How often a competitors ad received an impression on the same campaign that your ad received an impression. This number will always show as 0% for your domain. In figure 1, the ads would be considered to overlap since they both appear under the same search.
#4 Position above rate - How often a competitor's ad was shown above yours when both ads were shown. In figure 1, Ohio.org would show above airbnb.com, but that doesn't mean it always will.
#5 Top of page rate - How often ads were shown at the top of the page. In figure 1, both ads would be considered "top of page" because they appear before the organic search results.
#6 Abs. Top of page rate - How often ads are shown at the absolute top of the page. In figure 1, Ohio.org has the absolute top of page position.
#7 Outranking share - How often your ad ranked higher in an action than a competitor's when they were also bidding on the same terms.
Google Ads Insights Filters
The tool is relatively straight forward, but it's important that you do ensure you've filtered the data properly.
Choose which campaign(s) you want to compare and over which timeline. The most recent competitors are generally the ones we want to know most about.
The best insights come when you look from both a wide and narrow scope of your campaigns.
Have questions? Ask me in the comments!