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A Fuller Review of Analyse Competition Feature in Google Adwords

A few months ago I mentioned the roll out of Analyze Competition Adwords feature.

Analyze Competition

Now that I have used it a few times I would like to talk about it’s pro’s and con’s.

Advantages

  1. Clients always want to hear how the are performing against competitors. There are no aggregating tools for search that can demonstrate or benchmark this as there are for other online and offline media channels. There are some independent benchmarking organisations but they require paid-for reports. Analyze This apparently fills the gap by allowing some small Insight about where your campaign is versus competitors in the same marketplace.
  2. Independent reports etc often include blind competitors – therefore you do not know who you are being compared against. The problem with this is that you cannot be sure that you are being told your campaign is crap in contrast to someone who spends 10 times more. The Analyze Competition feature compares your metrics to a ‘competitive range’ – i.e. other advertisers who sit within the same range as you.
  3. You can see on which metrics out of Impressions, Clicks, CTR and Average Position you are losing out to competitors on to help make decisions for tweaking your campaigns.

Disadvantages

  1. The ‘See Search Terms’ feature at the lowest sub-category is kind of pointless. There is no need for this as they are likely to be keywords either in your account or appearing in your search query reports.
  2. This feature is for the whole account – it might be more useful at a campaign level and thereby make categorizing easier.
  3. You have to repeatedly break down categories until Google cannot think of any more – I think this could be improved. There could be a drop-down box from which you select the category within which you would like to be compared as you judge to be most relevant for your advertising activity.
  4. The categorization is often wrong. I wonder what this is based on as I suspect it is not always search queries. I think it may be to do with what can be done on the website – e.g. I might be advertising tools for a plumber on a site that’s main business is selling bath tubs. Google may then think that I belong in a pool of bath tub retailers, not tool retailers.

All in all, I rarely use the tool. It is useful to track changes versus competition if you have been making big changes in the account but otherwise it is just something to show clients in presentations occasionally.

Come on Google, come up with an Opportunity that is useful please.

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