How to Best Determine Keyword Competition within Google AdWords?

White Shark Media10 years ago

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Who would say that using the Google.com interface would make it easy to find your competition; well, it’s very easy now. We can actually use the following tools: The Keyword Tool & the Opportunities tab to accomplish this!

How to Determine Competition with the AdWords Keyword Tool

To get the most out of AdWords, in most cases, you want to target thousands of keywords. A common strategy is to ignore the really expensive keywords and go after the less competitive long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords result in more targeted traffic, and you’ll sometimes even achieve a lower cost-per-click than you would otherwise with more generic keywords. The AdWords Keyword Tool is especially important when you look for new keywords as data is coming in from Google directly.

Even though the data is not entirely reliable, you can be sure that there are no huge glitches in the information.

The AdWords Keyword Tool will give you thousands of ideas for new keywords. The great thing about it is that you can see whether the keywords selected have a high, medium or low level of competition.

The Competition Tab in the AdWords Keyword Tool

The Competition tab shows you the amount of Google AdWords advertisers who are competing over that keyword. In other words, if there are scores of different advertisers all battling over that keyword, you’ll then see the green bar maxed out.

This usually means that these various advertisers need to bid higher and higher in order to be shown in a high ad position. This in return makes the price of that keyword increasingly higher.

And so, if the competition bar appears empty, it means that there aren’t a lot of advertisers (maybe none), battling over that keyword. So if you wanted to advertise, you’d probably only have to pay a few cents-per-click.

Normally, low-competition keywords also mean that they’re probably not very lucrative keywords. Most keywords in AdWords have now been discovered, and the use of broad match makes it even harder to find undiscovered gold nuggets out there.

Discover an Estimated Cost-per-Click with the AdWords Keyword Tool

You can actually see what people are paying if you select the Average CPC (cost-per-click) column.

The average CPC in the Keyword Tool is a very careful estimate across all ad positions, geographical areas, etc. There are several factors that affect the final cost-per-click with a keyword. Your Quality Score and local competition are among the top factors that will affect your final CPC.

Above the search results table, you will notice a little box that says “Choose Columns to Display”. Select the one that says “Show Estimated Avg. CPC” to include this parameter in the search table. If you see none of your searched keywords are paying off, change the keywords and search again (go through “Additional Keyword to Consider”, for suggestions).

Example: How to Read the Columns in the AdWords Keyword Tool

Below you can find an example with the keyword embroidery machine in all 3 match types; Pay extra attention to the columns Competition, Local Monthly Searches and Approximate  CPC (Searches). This will help you determine if it’s smart enough to compete with this keyword and what match type to use.

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How the Opportunities Tab Can Help You Determine Competition

You can verify under the Opportunities tab to see if you have the Analyze Competition feature available. Click first on the Opportunities tab and then you’ll be able to find it on the left-side of your screen.

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The Analyze CompetitionTool looks at the past two weeks of your campaign’s performance and lists categories that represent the products or services you’re advertising. Google will then add a bar graph of your performance compared to that of the average performance of other advertisers within the same category.

You can hover your mouse over the ‘Competitive Range’ column to dig deeper into the numbers, showing you the mean and median performance levels for this range, as well as data on the absolute top and bottom performers.

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You also have the option to select by Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Average Position.

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In the graph below, you can see how you can filter competition by country and by state. You can also see the category. But the most important thing you appreciate is the average number of advertisers in your range, versus your own. This will help you making better decisions when it comes to raising your bids.

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Even if you see you can’t beat the competition, you will certainly learn from it and this will help you be more efficient in your own optimization efforts. So what are you waiting for? Grab the bull by the horns and conduct your competitor analysis today!

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