How to Use Competitive Metrics for Google Ads

Find out how the Search Outranking Share, Search Overlap Rate, and Position above Rate may be used to analyze the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns.

If you’ve been using Google Ads for any length of time, you’re certainly aware that every campaign typically has a competitive element that prompts you to keep an eye on your vanity metrics related to where you rank.

In one of my prior employment, a senior boss would pass by every day and inquire as to whether we or the competition were ranked first that day.

It was all about vanity and the drive to “win,” not about lowering our cost per acquisition or boosting the account’s overall metrics.

Although “winning” in this manner isn’t really relevant, it’s still vital to occasionally. Take your head out of the sand and assess how your campaigns are doing in comparison to the opposition. This enables you to identify your true rivals and gauge their level of aggression.

You can utilize these data points to comprehend variations in your own data. Even if you haven’t altered much and your click-through rate is declining, the competitor may still be repositioning itself. Google has been introducing additional competitive indicators into the Google Ads platform as a result of realizing the significance of these data points.

These metrics may be found in the reporting part of Google Ads under “Competitive Metrics” and “Auction Insights” in the metrics and dimensions menu list. There are several pretty excellent tools for figuring out how you compare to your competitors in these two areas. Listed below are some of my favorites.

Outranking Search Share

You can find out from this information how frequently and which individual domains are outranking your adverts. These facts are applicable at all levels (account, campaign, ad group, and keyword).

This is especially useful when a direct brand is selling through a number of affiliates, in our opinion. Given a number of elements, it might be challenging to perceive all of the different rivals, therefore it can be useful to comprehend and recognize those that you were unaware of.

Position above Rate and Search Overlap Rate

Search Overlap Rate and Position above Rate are two more comparable yet significant measures that are currently available.

You may learn how frequently a brand or domain also appears with you by looking at the search overlap rate. You’ll have a better idea of the choices your customers have on the search results page as a result of this.

The Situation Earlier When they are both displayed simultaneously, the rate measure tells you how frequently that brand’s advertisement will be displayed above your own. The final section is crucial.

The data precisely indicates when you are competing with one another for the same consumer search result, not just how frequently that brand’s ad ranks higher than your average rank.

Why is this crucial?

Because it contributes to providing some insight into direct rivalry.

In the data below, Listingbaby.com consistently outranks the clients’ ads—nearly 90% of the time.

Based on this, my next move would be to analyze their ad wording and landing page to assess the search experience. Searching for possible variations that could affect the quality score.

There are also a ton of useful data points under the competitive metrics. Impression Share-related data points are the ones we use most frequently.

Understanding impression share enables you to better understand the overall market possibility for your business.

The percentage of total impressions that your advertisement got displayed versus what was possible is known as the “impression share.”

If your ad appeared for 50 out of 100 searches for “running shoes,” for instance, your impression share would be 50%.

The next area Google  ads service  sheds light on is the reason your advertisement did not appear for the other possible search results. They divide it into two categories:

These two factors will mostly affect how often your advertisement is shown. We frequently employ this to aid clients in understanding the question. “How high is up?” How large is the potential market? The exact match impression share metric for your keyword strategy might assist you in determining how closely your keywords correspond to what users are looking for.

With precise match keywords, you’ll be better able to manage bids and the entire process. It’s impossible to achieve this at 100%, but tracking this measure offers you an idea of how closely you and your consumers are aligned. And when they might change their search queries or how Google changes its algorithm.

Another crucial competitive metric offered is click share. The amount of clicks you’ve received through the Search Network divided by the predicted maximum number of clicks you could have gotten is known as “click share.”

Both display and search campaigns can use these impression share metrics.

Additionally, they are accessible for the very best impressions (real #1 ranking). Remind yourself that chasing the top spot is a vanity trap unless you are crushing your KPIs in which case its game on.

The following sections of your business can use these KPIs.

Informative bid and keyword tactics for search marketing

Understanding the genuine competitive set and how they promote their items is important for product management.

Consider the competitors’ landing pages and user experiences for inspiration.

Understanding and predicting market opportunity is finance. Assisting in budget preparation for future financial planning.

These facts provide context for campaigns.

Advertisers can use these data points to better understand the volume that is accessible and your competitors.

Beyond search marketing, a number of business units can benefit from using this data.

Make good use of the information, control your ego, and succeed in the world!

The guest author of this article’s opinions may not necessarily reflect those of Search Engine Land. Here is a list of the staff authors.

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Google Analytics 4 introduces UTM, conversion, and bounce rate metrics.

How and why marketers are reconsidering the structure of PPC campaigns

Webinar: The paid search strategies you need in a challenging economic climate

Google updates Performance Max ads with 4 new features.

Launching Inventory Filters on TikTok will ensure secure ad placements


Jason has over 20 years of experience building strong and profitable teams while working for and with Fortune 500 organizations in a number of industries. He is currently the CEO of Air tank and is an accomplished marketing executive and established leader. Prior to joining Air Tank, Jason was the business’s Executive Vice President of Product, where he oversaw product strategy. And innovation for Brand Muscle, a Fortune 1,000 brand-focused enterprise software and services company. According to the Forrester 2020 Through-Channel Marketing Automation Wave, he earned the business a Leadership Ranking. He also spent 16 years heading Paid, Earned, and Owned. Media teams in the retail, financial services, and healthcare industries. He has worked at Rosetta, Razor fish, and Progressive Insurance.

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