As tools have progressed through the years, simple reporting tools are no longer fulfilling the needs of marketers professionals to know who, what, where, when and how people are using their websites. Analytics can answer this for you, but it still doesn’t answer another very important question:
What about my competition?
Google offers a little known tool called ad preview to verify your ads as if you were in each of the markets, however, it will also give you insight into what your competition is doing and who you are actually competing with in different markets.
You see what your competition is doing and here are the ways you can break them down:
Here is how to do it:
1. Go to www.google.com/adpreview.
2. Enter your search term. Click Go or hit Enter on your keyboard.
3. The search results and ads appear as they would on Google, except you cannot click the links on the preview page.
4. To see how your ad looks in other geographic locations, append one or more of the following parameters after &adtest=on:
note: for country codes, refer to this AdWords support page
note: for region codes, refer to this AdWords support page
note: for cities that are two or more words, use %2 for spaces
For Latitude and Longitude:
note: latitude and longitudes must be 8 characters in length
For Postal Code:
note: use only 5 digit postal codes, not available for non US queries
&gm=US metropolitan region code
note: for metro region codes, refer to this AdWords support page
You can use more than one parameter in the URL string, however, they cannot contradict (in other words, don’t ask for a US zip code and the country code for the United Kingdom).
It is an important thing to know how you are performing by using important tools like analytics, but knowing what your competition is doing may be able to answer the question: Why are my ads not working as well in LA as they are in San Fran?