Week 1: Google ads &competitor analysis

See who you compete with on Google ads.

Google ads play a crucial part in the marketing of many of our members. It can be a very effective channel to get traffic, generate leads and attract new customers. 

Google Ads campaigns are billed on a cost-per-click basis. How much an individual click costs on Google is determined by how competitive the Auction is (i.e. how many other advertisers are targeting the same term or keywords).

It is always helpful to keep an eye on who is competing; New entrants or increased budgets from current advertisers can drive up the cost per click, which in turn can drive up the cost per lead.

Auction Insights

You can find the competition in the “Auction insights”  section in the Google Ads platform.

To find auction insights

Log into Google ads

  • Click on “Keywords” on the light grey nav on the left 
  • Click on “Auction insights” in the drop-down 

Auction insights can be viewed on an account level or campaign level.

In the below example, this advertiser has 3 different fraud sites (highlighted) competing with them: 

These 3 fraud sites are aggressive. They appear between 18% and 37% of the time when a user searches the keywords this client has selected. This would drive up this client’s cost per click.

To learn more about how to spot a fraud site click here.

Competitor report dashboard

Another way to see this data is to set up an dashboard in Looker studio. These insights can then be emailed directly to your inbox each month.

Below is an example of the report:

How to read this report:

Impression share is the percentage of potential searches a brand appears on the keywords they are targeting. When looking at a competitor, it is the percentage of potential searches the competing brand appeared on that we are also targeting. 

Overlap rate is the percent of times X brand appears on those keywords at the same time as our brand. 

Abs top of page rate is how often a brand appears in position 1. 

Example: If competitor A has a 16% impression share, it means they appeared on 16% of the same searches we are targeting. If their overlap rate is 23%, it means of that 16% of the time their ad appeared (impression share), 23% of the time our ad was also live. If they have a 28% absolute top-of-page rate, it means they are in position 1 28% of the time they appear. 

This allows an advertiser to understand how aggressive (or not) the competition is in terms of number of Keywords (impressions share) and budget or bids (abs top of page rate)

How to set up a dashboard and automated report


  • You need a Gmail account.
  • Your Gmail must have access to your Google Ads account. (if you are with an agency and they do not allow access to the account, or they own the account it may be worth considering a new agency)


This will take about 2 minutes to complete

Setup your dashboard

Sign into your Google  / Gmail account that has access to your Google ads account.

Click here https://datastudio.google.com/s/kUyj2ZNyZwk

In the top right corner of the report:

  • Click the 3 dots
  • And then click make a copy

When the pop up opens click “Google Ads”  under new data sources

Then click “Create data source”

And select “Google Ads”

Authorise the connection and then select your account

And then press “Connect” in the top right corner

On the next screen click “add to report “in the top right corner.

Then copy report

Congratulations  – you now have a Competitor report

You can filter the report by campaign and change the month.

Campaign filter:Select the campaign of interest from the drop-down menu and only see the competitor for that campaign. This can be helpful, for example, if you have a brand campaign to see who is bidding on your brand terms.Date filter:This can help understand the market. It can help you see changes in the market by comparing data month on month. Use this to identify new entrants/advertisers or changes to a competitor’s budget (changes to search impression share or absolute top can indicate a change in budget and or bidding strategy) How to automate this report. In the top right corner:

  • Click share &Schedule email delivery

  1. Add all the email addresses of who you would like to send this to
  2. Change the start time to the 1st of the month
  3. Change the repeat to “Custom” and Every month on the 1st day
  4. Click schedule

We at the Caravan Industry Association Australia are keen to find and report fraud sites. If you add us (info@caravanindustry.com.au) to your automated report it will help us identify fraud sites faster and report more to the ACCC.

About the author:

Retain Media is a digital media agency focused on helping dealers and manufacturers in the Bike, Caravan, Truck, construction, Farm equipment, marine and auto industries get the best results from their Google ads, SEO and Social media investments.  

To learn more about how they can help your business visit their website https://retainmedia.com.au/ or email hello@retainmedia.com.au