How to Quickly Expand Competitor Keywords

Bidding on competitor keywords is common place in PPC, sometimes this can be wasted money. People often search for a brand at the end of their journey when they’ve got a good idea of who they want to buy from. However, if you can come up with a message that is enticing enough it is possible to get the searcher to convert on your site instead of a competitor.

Expanding competitor keywords 

One of the key questions when taking on a PPC campaign is asking the client who their competitors are. This is a useful way to get the most common competitors especially if competitors have a high street presence but sometimes some of other competitors can be left out. Below is the way that we find new competitor keywords through adwords auction insight reports

How to access competitor auction insight reports

  • Sign into your adwords account
  • with all online campaigns selected click on the keywords tab
  • Click on details and under auction insights click all

auction insight


This will give you a list of domains, this will give you competitors who have been in the same auctions as you. However if these competitors do other products that your company doesn’t do then it could be a costly exercise just adding the competitor brand name to your competitor adgroup.

How to add competitors to product areas

To get competitors around a specific product area follow the steps to the auction insights except go into a specific adgroup and select a keywords based on a product (if its a common product where the modals are the same then this makes life easier) select keywords around a specific product then under auction insights click on selected.

This will now give you a list of competitors who have shown in the auction for that product. Now download the competitor list to a spreadsheet and after the competitor name add the product name/modal the the easiest way if you have a number of competitors is to use the concatenate function. Upload the list to back into Google. This will make sure you’re only bidding on competitors who stock the product and are advertising it.

As always monitor findings and optimise accordingly.


Posted in How to, PPC.