Beat AdWords Competitors with Auction Insights

Nearly 40 percent of all people don’t even realize that Google AdWords are actually ads, which means they still click these sponsored results. That’s why most businesses can expand their reach when they have a new promotion or product through AdWords. The pay-per-click (PPC) model is still a highly successful method of advertising what you have to offer and connecting with your target audience. It appears that over a third of users innocently click on ads and naturally assume that it’s the best match to what they’re looking for. In other words, AdWords optimization works. Now you can take it a step further with a little known tool called Auction Insights. It’s one of the best tools for tracking and monitoring performance, especially for mobile AdWords campaigns.

Track Your AdWords Competitors Using Auction Insights

It’s always a good idea to know where your competitors stand. Even though you have full control over your bids, it’s actually your competitors who really determine the position of your ad and how much you end up paying.

You can choose to use some third-party tools that will give you some insight about your competition. However, the information concerning outranking share, impression share, and average position can never be quite as accurate as getting the AdWords data from an Auction Insights report. The downside is that you can’t see the changes as they occur over time.

Annoyingly, the report isn’t readily available in Google AdWords Scripts or in the API. You’ll have to manually download it if you want to use the information it contains. But, you don’t have to manually do everything. Some people cleverly use an uncomplicated Google Apps Script that conveniently turns data into an easy-to-read format.

How to Use Google Apps Script

1. Go to Google Drive

Click on the ‘NEW’ button in Google Drive and then click ‘Google Sheets’. From the top menu click ‘Tools’ in the new spreadsheet. Next, click ‘Script Editor’. This should open a new tab with a script editor. Click ‘Google Sheets Add-on’.

When you see the sample code, do the following:

• Delete the sample code
• Paste in the new script
• Modify the settings as necessary
• Go to ‘File’ and then save the new script

Name your project whatever you like, such as ‘Auction Insights.’ The name actually doesn’t matter. Also, there are certain variables you can use called ‘currencySymbol’ and ‘dateFormat’ to change the formatting.

Next, get the Auction Insights report in Google AdWords:

• Choose the campaigns, ad groups, or keywords based on what you want for the report. Between the ‘Bid strategy’ and ‘Edit’ buttons there’s a button called ‘Details’. Click on the ‘Details’ button.

2. Click on the ‘Selected’ button under Google Auction Insights

Be sure you include the entire range you need to cover and then proceed to download the report. Depending on the time range you’re actually looking at, add a segment for ‘Week’ or ‘Month.’

3. Open a CSV File using a Text Editor

You should now see a CSV file that you can open with the text editor of your choice (for example, Notepad). Next, copy the contents into your Google spreadsheet in Sheet 1. Note: It’s best to use a simple text editor instead of Microsoft Excel since Excel can reformat some of the dates included in the report. Also, when it’s subsequently pasted into the spreadsheet, it can easily get confused about which digit is the month and which one is the day.

After you paste in the report, the onEdit function will automatically be triggered. It will create a sheet relative to each report column headings and then fill them in accordingly with key charts and data.

If you like, you can include CPC data by simply adding another sheet (Sheet 2) to the spreadsheet and copy any Google AdWords report information that contains the specific costs and clicks over a certain range of dates, which is segmented by week or month like the Auction Insights report. Essentially, it doesn’t really matter if your pasted report contains numerous campaigns/ad groups/keywords since the script itself will total everything according to each date in order to calculate the CPC average.

Knowing your CPC is very useful since it allows you to readily see if a new competitor on the scene made clicks more expensive and how your bid impacts the auction as well.

Using Auction Insights is an ideal way to know what your competitors are doing so you can better strategize your own plan for success.

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