How to spy on the competition if you make Google Ads?

When you have an online business it is important to differentiate yourself from the competition with a unique positioning. This happens, for example, with the world’s most famous Cola brands: While Coca-Cola has positioned itself in the public’s mind as a family brand, Pepsi, upon arriving later, had to find a way to be perceived of a different way in front of its main competitor.

👉Brands must learn to differentiate themselves from the competition to succeed

This situation in which there are practically two companies that monopoly logistically controls the market rarely occurs. So if you are in a huge group of companies that must deal with the competition, this post will help you get to know your competition better.

The importance of keywords

Before delving deeper think about those keywords that your potential customer would put in Google if you were to search, hire or buy a service or product like yours, do you already have it? For example, if you have an online florist, some of the interesting keywords for your niche could be:

  • * Buy a bouquet of roses
  • * Sale of flowers online
  • * Sending flowers bouquets at home

These keywords could be closely related to the searches that a potential customer would use to find products in an online store that sells flowers. And, therefore, it is extremely important that we take them into account within our strategy.

Use Google’s search engine to analyze the competition’s Keywords

The first step to spying on your competition is to know what types of ads your competitors are making on the search or display network,  and that is as simple as putting the possible keywords on Google and observing which Google Ads appear first. What are the companies advertised? How are the slogans that your competition uses? What kind of offers stand out?

Clicking on the ads of your competition is not “too honorable”, to call it in some way but it will help you to observe its landing page and analyze them by taking relevant information such as:

  • * What structure does this landing page have?
  • * What is the main objective of it?
  • * Is it a simple product sheet where to buy it or has it taken you to a registration page with the form?
  • * What elements stand out on that Landing page?
  • * What attracts most of your offer? And what do you like least?
  • * What would you improve?

An interesting option is that you do an Excel where you write down all the details of this investigation about your competition. Do not just observe without taking note, since in a few weeks you may not remember it and you will have to work it again.

👉The investigation of the competition will help you to extract inspiring ideas when it comes to improving your own website.

But the thing is not here, do not just spy on your competition from a single device. It is from the mobile, tablet and computer since the design of the landing page change depending on the device.

Spy on your competition with the auction comparison in Google Ads

Once you have clear aspects as important as the budget, study of keywords or KPIs with which you are going to measure your CPC actions, it is time to take action and spy on your competition from the Google Ads platform. For this, you will need an account and an active campaign in Ads.

  • *Go to the> Campaign (not ad group) level in the Dark Gray Menu on the left and in the Light Gray Menu click> Keywords. You will see that a tab appears above where it says: Auction Comparison. Click.
  • *You will enter a table like the one shown in the image. Let’s analyze it:
How to spy on the competition if you make Google Ads ads

First of all, it is important to be clear that the data that appears in the table are those corresponding to the period of time that you have put on the date (top right) and statistics extracted only from the campaign you have selected.

In the first line, where “User” is indicated, the data corresponding to you will be and in the following lines, you will see the comparison with your main online competitors for that particular campaign.

What does each column of the Auction Comparison mean?

Then I will explain in an easy way the meaning of all the data offered by this table:

Impression Fee

👉 It is the number of impressions your ads have received divided by the estimated number of impressions you could have received.

For you to understand easily, this data shows the percentage of times Google shows your ads and those of your competitors when a user puts one of the keywords for which your ads are activated.

If it puts you 86.56% and your first competitor 55.89%, it does not mean that he invests less than you, or even that his ads come out less than yours, since the competitor may be leaving for other keywords why you don’t go out.

It simply means that because of your keywords, ads from it appear 55.98% of the time and yours more, 86.56%.

Competitors with which you match little appear as <10%. This means that when a user puts one of the keywords for which your ads could appear, this competitor appears less than 10% of the time. Most likely you offer a similar product or service, but your general offer is not the same.

Case study

  • * When comparing a campaign of a customer selling “high heels” with its competitors, we saw that Amazon was listed with a lower share of impressions than its own.
  • * It does not mean that Amazon invests less than my client, with the million-dollar budgets that Amazon manages that is quite difficult!
  • * Simply, Google Ads shows us that, for the keywords of my client’s Search campaign, (“high heels,” “high heels,” “buy high heels,” etc.), our ads appeared more times that Amazon ads that match those terms.
  • * Obviously, Amazon has a huge budget for hundreds of terms, since it sells all kinds of products and my client does not.
  • * You might think that “Amazon” or companies of that magnitude are not a real competition of your company since you have abysmal differences and in part you are right.
  • * It is true that you probably do not share many things (neither in the business model nor in the budget …). But as far as Google campaigns are concerned, if they appear in this list, they are competitors, at least when it comes to advertising for certain keywords.

Middle position

👉It shows us the average ranking of our ads with respect to the ads of our competition.

Overlay Rate

👉Indicate the percentage of your competitors overlapping on you, that is, the frequency with which a competitor ad appears above your ad in the same auction.

Top Positioning Rate

👉This is the percentage by which your competitor’s ads, in the same auction, are shown in a higher position than your ads, when both ads are published at the same time.

Top of page fee

👉This is how often the ads have appeared at the top of the Google search results. Remember that there can be up to 4 positions at the top.

Top of page absolute share

👉Exactly the same as in the previous section, only this time you measure the times that the ads have appeared in the first position.

Top Ranking Fee

👉According to Google Ads, it refers to the percentage of times that your ads have appeared above those of your competitors. Including those times for which your ad has appeared and that of your competitor has not.

In summary

This Google Ads table is extremely useful since you can see the situation of your competitors in relation to one of your search network campaigns.

Although in this example we have compared the URL of the main competitors at the campaign level, I invite you to do the same at the ad group level. This way you can see a more concrete comparison between the results of your ads and those of your competition.

For example, if you see that the average position of one of your competitors is very low (below 4), you can intuit that their CPC (Cost per Click) is quite low as well. And, therefore, your ads do not usually appear at the top of the page when a user searches.

🟢No one said that selling online was easy, but with a well-defined plan the road is paved

Set some guidelines to get to know your direct competition better and work hard to overcome them. Encourage yourself with your research!

🕵️I hope I helped you with this technique to spy on your competition thanks to Google Ads. Did you know her? Leave me your opinion about this article and if you have any tricks, share it with us!

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