Google Ads is one of the most popular PPC advertising platforms, and so naturally there are millions of businesses vying for a piece of the pie.
As a result, the competition for valuable ad real estate can be intense. Understanding how competitors impact your Google Ads impression share is essential for maximizing your return on investment (ROI) and staying ahead of the competition.
Impression share is a metric that measures the number of times your ad is displayed compared to the number of times it could have been displayed based on your ad auction bid and budget. It’s expressed as a percentage and provides insight into the visibility of your ads.
Check out our article Impression Share 101: Mastering the Do's and Don'ts for more tips on how to use it to achieve your advertising goals.
So, let’s take a look at exactly how competitors can impact your impression share:
With more businesses advertising on Google Ads, there is increased competition for ad space. This means that even if your ad is relevant and well-targeted, it may not be shown as often as you would like due to limited ad space and budget.
Google uses a quality score system to rank the relevance and value of ads. The higher your quality score, the more likely your ad will be displayed. Competitors can impact your impression share by improving their quality score, which can make your ad less visible in comparison. Keyword competition also plays a role in impression share. If your competitors are bidding on the same keywords as you, they may be outbidding you and taking up valuable ad space.
Your bid strategy and budget also impact your impression share. If your competitors are bidding higher than you on specific keywords, they will be more likely to win the ad space. This is why it’s important to regularly monitor your impression share and adjust your bid strategy and budget accordingly.
There are several best practices that you can use to manage the impact of competitors on your impression share:
By keeping track of your competitors' strategies, you can gain insights into how they are approaching the market and what tactics they are using to capture your potential customers. This information can help you identify areas where you can improve your own strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
Here are some steps you can follow to monitor competitor activity in Google Ads:
Use Google Ads Auction Insights: Google Ads Auction Insights is a powerful tool that provides you with insights into how your ads perform compared to your competitors' ads. You can view information such as impression share, overlap rate, and outranking share, which can give you a good idea of how your competitors are performing.
Set up competitor tracking: By setting up competitor tracking, you can monitor the activity of specific competitors and receive notifications when they launch new ads or make changes to their campaigns. This can help you stay on top of the competition and adjust your strategy as needed.
Use tools like SEMrush: SEMrush is a comprehensive tool that can provide you with detailed information on your competitors' search engine marketing strategies, including their keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. This information can help you identify areas where you can improve your own strategy and stay ahead of the competition.
Analyze your competitors' landing pages: Take a look at your competitors' landing pages and see what they are doing to drive conversions. This can give you ideas for improving your own landing pages and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
By keeping track of your competitors' strategies and making informed decisions, you can stay ahead of the competition and achieve better results for your business.
Another way to manage competitor impact is to improve the relevance and value of your ad copy and landing pages. This will improve your quality score and make your ad more competitive. To give your quality score a boost, make sure you’re using targeted keywords, compelling ad copy, and high-quality landing pages.
Adding negative keywords to your campaign can help you avoid showing your ad for irrelevant searches and reduce competition. This can help you improve the relevance and performance of your ads, which can result in a higher impression share.
To use negative keywords in Google Ads, you need to identify the keywords that are not relevant to your business or products and add them to your campaign's negative keyword list. This will prevent your ads from being triggered by these keywords, so your ad spend is not wasted on unqualified traffic. You can use tools like the Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify relevant negative keywords for your business.
It’s important to regularly review and update your negative keyword list to ensure that your ads are only being shown for relevant searches. This can help you maintain a high impression share and avoid wasting ad spend on irrelevant traffic.
Increasing your budget and bids can also be an effective way to stay ahead of the competition. By increasing your budget, you can reach more potential customers and improve the visibility of your ads. And by increasing your bids, you can make sure your ads are more competitive and have a higher chance of being shown.
A larger budget will naturally increase your visibility and enable you to reach more customers. This can help you capture more traffic and achieve better results.
However, it's important to remember that increasing your budget and bids should only be done as part of a well-thought-out strategy. You should always consider your goals, target audience, and the competition when making changes to your budget and bids, as more money doesn’t always equal more customers.
Competitors can also play a big part in fraudulent clicks on your paid advertising. It’s important to have a strong ad fraud prevention tool in place to tackle any disingenuous clicks that waste your time and budget. See what invalid activity is taking place on your account with a free 14-day trial of Spider AF.
Understanding the impact of competitors on your Google Ads impression share is crucial for maximizing your return on investment and staying ahead of the competition. Increased competition, quality score, keyword competition, and bid strategy and budget are all factors that can affect your impression share.
To manage the impact of competitors, it’s best to regularly monitor their activity, optimize ad copy and landing pages, use negative keywords, and increase budget and bid when necessary.
By implementing these best practices, you can improve your visibility and competitiveness on Google Ads and achieve better results for your business.
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