At the end of last month, Google added another new feature to AdWords – the Auction Insights report. This report shows you how you are performing in comparison with other advertisers participating in the same AdWords auctions as you. Depending upon what it is you’re advertising, these other advertisers are likely to be your competitors, so you can see why knowing how you’re doing in comparison to them would be useful!
The report is only available for certain keywords, those that meet a “minimum threshold of activity” over a period of time. And, Google being Google, we don’t know what that is.
Which brings us to a small issue. Up until this week, you could see which keywords the report was available for, indicated by a little “bar chart” icon () to the left of the keyword in the table on the “Keywords” tab, but Google have now removed this (it’s currently unavailable – ??) and so, for the time being at least, you have to take your chances. Sort your keywords by number of impressions, and look at the ones receiving the most.
To see your Auction Insights report for a keyword, simply select the keyword in question. Go to the “Keyword details” button, and click on “Auction Insights”
You’ll see a table that looks like this:
What does Auction Insights show me?
The Auction Insights report covers 5 areas:
Impression share – the percentage of possible impressions your ad received, based on its eligibility to show.
Average position – how high your ads rank compared to others’.
Overlap rate – how often you and other advertisers received impressions at the same time for the keyword.
Position above rate – how often other advertisers’ ads appeared above yours.
Top of page rate – how often your ad appeared above the organic search results, at the top of the page.
What can I do with my Auction Insights?
Auction Insights could be a very helpful little report, if you know how to get the most out of it. Checking your branded keywords could let you know whether competitors are showing instead of you. And if you’re really dominating the auction, it might be an indication that you need to lower your bids. Here are some more ideas of how the auction insights report can help you, from PPC Hero.
The only issues (although they’re quite big ones, especially if you’ve got a huge account) are that this report is only available on a keyword by keyword basis, and, as mentioned above, since the little icon is “unavailable” at the moment, you can’t tell whether the data is going to be available for a particular keyword until you run the report. Hopefully, Google will make the Auction Insights information available for download for multiple keywords, and will bring back the little graph icon so that you don’t waste time checking keywords the report isn’t available for.
See more info about Auction Insights in the AdWords Help Centre.