Competition is a great thing for any business. If it wasn’t for competition, businesses would never improve or get better. But with the good comes the bad. Although competition is great for the customers, it can also be, to some level, bad for each business out there. If a competitor comes around and does everything better than your business, and you, in the end, can’t compete with them, then you’ll lose everything.
But one way to help keep on top over everything, as well as your competition, it’s a good idea to know what they’re doing. While you’re actively controlling your bids, it’s actually your competitors who will determine what you’ll be paying and where your ad will be positioned.
Even though you can use third-party tools to provide competitor information, it’s always best to use AdWords, since this tool will give you the most accurate amount of data regarding average position, impression share, outranking share, and the like. All this information can be found in the Auction Insights report. Even though you get the most accurate information from this report, it’s not exactly easy see changes over time. This can suck if you want to understand changes in cost-per-click (CPC) or average position.
Also, the Auction Insights report has to be downloaded from AdWords manually if you want to do anything with it. For Brainlabs, a simple Google Apps Script is used that turns the data into a readable format and adds graphs as well. This can be really useful.
Daniel Gilbert, a former Googler, can show you how to turn the static AdWords Auction Insights data into a report that allows you to track your closest competitors over time with this script, and all the information can be found in his Search Engine Land post, which can be found by clicking on the link below.
Search Engine Land: How To Track Your AdWords Competitors Over Time Using Auction Insights