Improve PPC Performance by Using Auction Insights

As the Auction Insight report is built into AdWords, most people will have taken the odd look out of curiosity. However, the Insight tool is a great way to discover how your PPC campaign stacks up against your competitors.

But with a little digging, it can also present PPC opportunities and even outline your competitors PPC strategy.

Related: PPC Management Manchester

Auction Impression Share

Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.

Impression share = impressions/total eligible impressions

Impression share is a good way to understand whether your ads might reach more people if you increase your bid or budget. It also highlights if anyone is dominating impression share. It lists who all your competitors for the keywords are; and you can analyse this report by keyword, campaign or ad group.

Also on this report you will see:

  • How your impression share compares with your competitors.
  • How often you are outranking your competitors (the higher the better)
  • The average position of your ads.
  • Overlap rate – how often another advertiser ad is displayed and the same time as yours.
  • Position above rate – how often another advertiser’s ad is shown in a higher position than yours (when shown at the same time).
  • Top of page rate – how often you and your competitors ads are at the top of the search results.
  • Outranking share – how often you outrank each competitors ads (rank higher or displayed when theirs were not).

Changes to bids, quality and budget all affect the campaign performance results.

Auction Insight report
Example Auction Insight Report For a New Campaign

How the Insight Report Can Help Refine Your PPC Campaign

Scenario: Your impression share is better, and you outrank your competitors the majority of the time.
Option: Can you cut costs and still perform well?

S: Your impression share is better, but they typically outrank you.
O: Increase bids to see if outranking more of your competitors’ results in a significant gain

S: Your outranking share is better, but overall your impression share is worse.
O: Decrease bids with the goal of gaining impression share – get more for impressions your budget. (be careful with a test first).

S: Your outranking share and your impression share are both worse than your competitors’.
O: Increase budgets.

S: You have a lot of overlap with organizations that you don’t consider to be competitors
O: Review your search terms to see if you may be bidding too broadly.

S: Competitors seem to have a lot of overlap with you
O: Are you vying for the best keywords, or do you overlap more on keywords that are of lesser importance?

S: Competitors that have suspiciously low IS
O: Are bidding on keywords that we are missing out on? Check out a competitive research tool to see what your competitors are bidding on that you aren’t.

S: A new competitors appears
O: Learning more about their brand and how your positioning stacks up. Review their landing page – anything that might give you some conversion rate inspiration!

Segmentation – Auction Insights

Days of the Week

You can segment your auction insights reports and get more granular information – such as day of the week.

Which days are competitors are focusing on?
When are they not competing? This could be because they are not open, don’t have budget or they assume people aren’t searching on certain days (for example at weekend for B2B)

If competitors are not competing on certain days, is this an opportunity to get in front with less competition?


Similarly to days of the week, are competitors concentrating on mobile, meaning desktop may offer an opportunity?

In Summary

There are lots the auction insight report can tell you – it’s not something to do everyday, but reviewing it once a month can prove d ideas and inspiration to improve the campaign performance.

Finally, don’t make any account changes that go against your own data. Make sure you do the analysis yourself and test any changes on a small scale first.

Mancheser PPC Management
PPC management – Manchester

Author: ROBW, offers help, advice and support for companies looking to find more customers via the world wide web.

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