In the mad rush to begin advertising online, it can seem overwhelming the number of options you have. One company to build your campaign, another to automate it, and yet another company to tell you what companies your competitors are using to build and automate their campaigns. In my personal experience, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

In recent months, Google has made some fascinatingly intuitive updates to their advertising platform, Google Adwords. The most recent comes in the form of Auction Insights. This is a keyword-level report that compares your campaign’s performance at auction with that of your closest competitors. In days gone by, you could spend $99+ per month for a report from a third party that would tell you basically the exact same information. Leave it to Google to find a way to seal the deal on that corner of the market as well.

Auction Insights covers a number of metrics, including average position, the rate at which a competitor received an impression at the same auction that you did (known as Overlap Rate), the rate at which a competitor’s ad ranked above yours (Position Above Rate), and the rate of how frequently your ad was shown above the organic results at the top of the SERP pages (Top Of Page Rate).  And with our powers combined… sorry wrong audience… All these metrics paint a pretty clear picture of your market share for a particular keyword.

If you are disappointed with the metrics that Auction Insights has given you, never fear. Just mosey on over to the Opportunities tab and check out the Analyze Competition option. This will give you the opportunity to see where you stack up in terms of keyword coverage with the average competitor in your industry (which is based on the keywords you have chosen). You can also dig through a plethora of keyword suggestions based on keywords other competitors are covering that you might not be.

You no longer need to pay a third party to peek up the sleeves of your competitors campaign to see what magic tricks they have in store. You or your campaign management can simply take a walk through your Adwords interface and have all the information you could possibly need to take your campaign to the next level, and kick all kinds of PPC butt!