Knowing how complex a platform AdWords is, no one really wants to perform a comprehensive Google AdWords audit. But a PPC audit is a necessary evil that can help you generate new campaign ideas, determine which areas need improvements and uncover where money is being wasted. Use this guide to conduct a quick yet thorough AdWords audit in just seven simple steps.
Check Conversion Tracking and Basic Settings
PPC audit services providers see whether conversion tracking is set up on the right pages.
- Don’t ignore those ‘Thank You’ pages because that’s where users land after actually taking a conversion action.
- Make sure your AdWords account is linked to your Google Analytics account because this will allow you to run a wide range of custom reports and compare PPC data with organic site traffic.
- Check your basic settings such as Locations, Ad Schedule and Devices to make sure each one of your campaigns is aligned with the right targeting tools based on campaign objectives.
Dive into Ad Group Structure
Creating tightly themed ad groups can help you improve Quality Score and lower costs.
- When auditing ad group structure, white label PPC audit professionals examine whether an ad group has too many keywords and how similar keywords are.
- The idea is to have less than five similar keywords in an ad group – this will enhance ad relevance.
- Experienced PPC audit services providers recommend creating single keyword ad groups for higher level targeting and simplified account structure.
Check Ad Quality
PPC White label professionals check the number of ads there are in an ad group.
- For ideal performance, it is desirable to have three to five ads per ad group.
- While auditing ads, check whether they are up-to-date with relevant keywords and other information.
- Make sure they are free of spelling and grammatical errors.
Examine Landing Pages
- Each ad group and the ad should link with a dedicated landing page that matches ad messaging. If a landing page doesn’t deliver on an ad’s promise, users will get frustrated and bounce.
- Landing page experience is an important element of Quality Score and having optimized landing pages is a great way to improve Quality Score.
- Make sure links to landing pages are working.
- Landing pages should contain useful additional information, a strong call-to-action and a prominently displayed form field to capture leads.
Identify Negative Keywords
One easy way to reduce costs is to identify search terms that your ads are showing up for but are not likely to lead to conversions.
- Remember, you have to pay for every click, so scroll through your Search Terms report to identify poor performers. Add them to your negative keywords list to reduce wasted ad spend.
- Down the line, implementing negative keywords may help you decrease cost-per-conversion.
- Professional PPC services providers recommend using click fraud software to prevent malicious, bot-generated clicks that can drain your budget very quickly.
Review Ad Extensions
Many marketers implement ad extensions without rhyme or reason, hoping they improve click-through rates.
- During an AdWords campaign audit, make sure that only ad extensions that are currently relevant to your business, campaign goal or call-to-action are being implemented.
- For example, it makes no sense for an advertiser to implement call extensions if no one is going to be there to answer customer calls.
- Moreover, limit the number of ad extensions to two or three or else they may distract from the primary value of an ad.
Run Search Terms Report
A Google AdWords audit is the perfect time to run the search terms report and discover new, profitable keyword opportunities.
- Search terms are terms that you’ve converted on – these include keywords you may not be bidding on.
- By including these keywords in optimized ad groups and campaigns, you can increase click-through rates and conversions.
- Sort search term data by different metrics like clicks, CTR and conversions to determine their value.
PPC audits are vital to determine what needs to be fixed and discover new opportunities. Repeat these seven steps every few weeks or once a month to improve account performance, reduce costs and gain big wins!
Ajay Sharma is a contributing editor at TechWebSpace. Ajay writes about organic and paid online marketing topics including PPC AdWords, and also writes about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world user behaviour. He can be found on Twitter as @shandilyaajay.