Using Auction Insights To Project & Stay Ahead of Competitors in Q4

What are Auction Insights?

Google Shopping consistently proves itself as a top-performing advertising channel for retailers during the busy shopping season. The program is anticipating more advertisers and more spend this year than ever before.

But with more competition, how can retailers take an aggressive approach while maintaining – if not improving their profitability?

One approach our experts suggest is leveraging Auction Insights. The Auction insights report is available for both Search and Shopping campaigns. With this report retailers can compare their performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions as them.

This type of information can help retailers make strategic decisions about bidding and budgeting choices by showing specifically where they are succeeding and where they may be missing opportunities for improved performance.

“What is really does, and why it’s really important in Q4, is you can actually see the impression share for some of your competitors & what the overlap rate is between you and your competitors,” Jason Bell, Senior Account Analyst at CPC Strategy said.

“Especially during Q4 and even leading up to it, you can keep an eye – especially on your top products or a certain brand (or your entire campaign and all products) to see when people get more aggressive or when traffic volume starts to dip down.”

“You should look at your auction insights, especially if you have never looked at them before. You want to get an idea of what’s been happening throughout the year and see if that falls in the current trend that you see for your Shopping campaign.”

Competitive Monitoring with Auction Insights

Auction insights provide competitor insights on your Shopping campaigns & Ad Groups compared to other advertisers participating in the same shopping auctions. It’s important to note:

 
Pro-Tip: Creating separate Ad Groups (or Campaigns) for top sellers, specific brands, etc is a good way to gather more competitive data and monitor any trends in impression share.

Auction Insights Reports: Search vs. Shopping

The Auction insights reports are different for Search and Shopping campaigns:

Auction Insights: Search Campaigns

The Auction insights report for Search campaigns provides 6 different statistics including:

Pro-Tip: Retailers can generate a report for one or more keywords, ad groups, or campaigns (as long as they meet a minimum threshold of activity for the time period selected), and segment results by time and device.

Auction Insights: Shopping Campaigns

The Auction insights report for Shopping campaigns provides 3 different statistics including:

Pro-Tip: Retailers can generate a report for one or more ad groups or campaigns (as long as they meet a minimum threshold of activity for the time period selected), and segment results by time and device. Auction insights data for Shopping campaigns has been available since October 2014.

Defining the Auction Insights Reports

1) Auction Insights: Average Position

Average position is a quick way to gauge how high your ads are ranking compared with those of other advertisers competing in the same auctions. Average position is the average rank of the ad in the auctions, which determines the order of the ads on the search results page.

For example, if one of the participants in your Auction insights report is showing a “5” in the Average position column, this means that participant’s ad showed, on average, in 5th place on search results pages where your ad also showed.

2) Auction Insights: Impression Share

Impression share is the number of impressions you received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Eligibility is based on your current ads’ targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and Quality Scores. In the Auction insights report, impression share also tells you the impression share of other advertisers as a proportion of the auctions in which you were also competing.

Note that Shopping campaigns don’t use Quality Score. However, overall quality and relevance of your Product Listing Ads offers do factor into their eligibility. 

3) Auction Insights: Overlap rate

Overlap rate is how often another competitor’s ad received an impression when your ad also received an impression.

For example, if one of the other participants in your Auction insights report is showing “70%” in the Overlap rate column, this means that in 7 out of every 10 times your ad showed, an ad from this participant showed as well.

4) Auction Insights: Position Above Rate (Search Campaigns Only)

Position above rate is how often the other competitor’s ad was shown in a higher position than yours was, when both of your ads were shown at the same time.

For example, if one of the other advertisers in your Auction insights report is showing “6%” in the Position above rate column, this means that the other participant’s ad showed in a position above yours in 6 out of every 100 times your ads showed at the same time.

5) Auction Insights: Top of Page Rate (Search Campaigns Only)

Top of page rate tells you how often your ad (or the ad of another competitor depending on which row you’re viewing) was shown at the top of the page, above the unpaid search results.

6) Auction Insights: Outranking Share

Outranking share is a percentage defined as the number of times your ad ranked higher in the auction than another competitor’s ad, plus the number of times your ad showed when theirs did not, divided by the total number of ad auctions you participated in.

For more information on Auction Insights, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

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