Google has recently launched a new benchmarking feature for paid search campaigns. This can help you better understand campaign performance and where to focus optimization efforts.
The tool is found under the opportunities tab and provides insights on the metrics: clicks, impressions, CTR and average position. To make it relevant, the benchmarks are specifically comparing with other advertisers within your category (as determined by Google) and within this sub-segment, advertisers with similar performance to your own campaigns
When comparing the data it will show the performance for one out of about 50 top level categories (e.g., “computing”), which can then be drilled down to more specific sub-segments (e.g. “drafting and design software”). It’s advisable to drill down to the most specific segment possible to assure the comparison is highly relevant. By default it will also show performance across all markets using the keyword sets (e.g., blend data from US and UK), which can skew the data, so again it’s recommended to pick only the relevant market for comparison.
Worth noting is that although Google refers to the tool as a “analyze competition” feature, the data provided is anonymous and cannot be used for direct comparison with specific advertisers. Here’s a screenshot: