The realm of paid search can be complex, riddled with blind spots and missed opportunities. Navigating with absolute precision is key to being truly successful. But when Google’s black box remains tightly shut, the lack of transparency creates a real stumbling block.

In this three-part blog series, we’ll deep dive into some of the common challenges advertisers experience when reaching the point of diminishing returns, identifying areas of budget inefficiency and contextualizing performance. 

Part 1 – Reaching the point of diminishing returns

When identifying areas for growth, you may find yourself grappling with a series of common challenges – from a limited view of the market dictated by bid restrictions to the inadequacy of the broad reporting within Google Ads

We’ve identified the top 5 challenges our clients once faced, with actionable recommendations to overcome them. 

1. Identifying headroom

The absence of vital insights on competitor performance, such as impression and click share, search terms, price points, spend and messaging, can make it difficult to justify budgets. Add to this, the limitations within Google’s click share metric. Whilst it suggests increased clicks with higher budgets, it fails to consider the full competitive landscape, leaving advertisers uncertain about the quality of their investments. 

You need access to comprehensive and detailed competitor data to help you identify headroom, where you can drive incremental sales efficiently and contribute towards market share growth.

Adthena’s Market Share dashboard detailing share of clicks for desktop paid ads, across US airline brands.

Adthena’s Market Share dashboard provides visibility into competitor market share and share of spend, as well as key performance metrics contextualising what’s driving market share for each competitor. This will help you to benchmark yourself against top competitors, review market position by category and identify room for growth.

Vodafone and Adthena's strategic insights

Read the Vodafone case study.

2. Comparing SQRs with competitors

Do you struggle to compare Search Query Reports (SQRs) directly with those of competitors? Despite implementing extensive reach capabilities, such as Broad Match or Performance Max campaigns, perhaps you face a blind spot when it comes to assessing your visibility in comparison to competitors. 

You need insight into the competitors bidding on specific search queries, where you are not. Understanding the potential clicks that could be gained by being visible on these search queries is crucial for gauging new opportunities and estimating potential traffic. 

Adthena’s Head to Head Comparison shows the search term coverage of three UK auto brands.

Adthena’s Head to Head Comparison allows you to compare your search term coverage vs competitors, and easily identify new search term opportunities. 

3. Resonate with audiences through ad copy

Understanding how to resonate with your audience through ad copy, is a task often reliant on manual Google searches. These manual searches are not only  time-intensive but most advertisers lack effective means to evaluate the success or impact of alternative messaging used by competitors. 

Adthena’s Top Ads shows the ads that competitors have displayed for search term “city break."

Adthena’s Top Ads shows ads that have been shown by competitors, using any search term – in the example above, we used “City break”. This will help you to understand: 

  • What offers, prices and calls-to-action your competitors are using
  • How each offer or message is affecting your average position
  • How many ads each competitor is running concurrently
  • How tailored are competitors ads to search terms =

Read the Dentsu case study.

4. Competition increases or drops out of the market

Google won’t alert you when a competitor increases their spend or drops out of the market. This may result in you overpaying for traffic if you maintain high bid targets, despite the reduced competition. This not only impacts your budget efficiency but also leaves you vulnerable to unnecessary spend or risk being excluded from the auction.

You must be proactive in incorporating competitor insights into your strategy, adjust bid targets, and optimise budgets to ensure you are capitalising on opportunities created by changes in the competitive landscape. 

Adthena’s Smart Monitor tracks competitor share of clicks across all search term groups 

Adthena’s Smart Monitor tracks competitor share of clicks movement across all of your search term groups and alerts you when competitor activity shifts, so you can remain agile in response to any change in the competitive environment.

45% reduction in cost per acquisition

Koala makes informed decisions about campaign strategy in response to aggressive competitor movements and automates manual processes, freeing up approximately six hours of staff time each month.

5. Correlate PLA, data, images and price points with performance

As a retailer, you may struggle to identify the differences in competitor imagery and correlate them with performance. This lack of visibility into the impact of variations in product display on performance, makes it challenging to justify future improvements. 

Additionally, whilst you may be monitoring competitors’ pricing, it’s likely that you struggle to correlate the impact of different price points with performance on the first page of search results. This will make it tricky to understand the relationship between pricing strategies and the visibility or competitiveness of your products. 

With Adthena’s Google Shopping tool, you can gain insights into how your competitors are positioning their products in terms of:

  • Market coverage, display period and frequency
  • Pricing and descriptions
  • Product themes
  • The number of search terms the PLA appears on

PrettyLittleThing appeared on 1,400 additional terms with text ads and shopping ads compared to the previous year.

Like Vodafone, Dentsu, Koala, and Pretty Little Thing, it’s time to uncover the untapped potential in your Google Ads strategy. Don’t miss out on the opportunities that lie within the details – let’s unlock growth together!

See how Adthena addresses each of these challenges in a self-guided tour or book a personalised demo with our team of search specialists.

Don’t forget to look out for part 2 and 3!