Re: Keywords[ Edited ]
October 2014 - last edited October 2014
Good question. I shall go first with a short answer, but I am sure you will get some excellent answers from the community and Top Contributors.
Before targeting a new keyword vertical, it's imperative to evaluate the difficulty of the market. This is done by analyzing keyword competition. You of course will not be able to see competitors KW lists, but you can certainly use the KW tool as an indicator of competition and likely ad rank needed (bid and QS). You may also consider looking at the auction insights for a particular kw to see who is bidding on certain terms and their impression share.
Please see the following help centre article https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2999770?hl=en
There are some external add on tools that may provide you with a search query scrape, which gives you indication of where your competition is advertising, but on the whole you have everything you need within adwords.
Hope that helps, a little
James and Clynton have already given some essential tools to help you understand your keywords and how competition is using them.
One more tool to use for existing ads is the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool:
Use this to see which competitors show up for a particular keyword and see how their ad compares to yours without incurring an "impression."