Conducting a proper PPC audit is essential for businesses that use platforms like Google Ads. Successful PPC advertising depends on making adjustments and eliminating internal mistakes to achieve the highest possible ROI. The benefits of a PPC audit could include:
- Increased conversion rates
- Optimized ad spend
- Reduced spending “waste”
- Improved management organization
- Discovery of new opportunities
Here, we’ll explain how you can conduct a PPC audit for your business. Whether you’re looking at a PPC account for the first time, or you’ve been running it for years, this PPC audit guide will take you through the process step-by-step:
For ease of access and organization, it’s important that all campaigns, ad groups, and keyword groups are labeled appropriately. It should be easy for an account manager to move between campaigns and ad groups. Consider renaming any campaigns that have been labeled inappropriately or incorrectly. Note, if you choose to delete a campaign and start over, your quality score will reset. So renaming a campaign may make more sense than starting over from scratch.
PPC advertising success is predicated on data. As such, managers must have access to accurate metrics, and to achieve this, they need to focus on PPC tracking. Conversion rates that are very high (1:1 click-through rates for instance) or very low (virtually no conversions but high sales numbers) should give account managers pause. Use “Google Tag Assistant” to check your conversion tracking codes and double-check that they appear on the page after a conversion has taken place (ie. a form has been filled out, a purchase has been made, etc.). If your business considers phone calls as conversions, be sure to install call tracking on your website as well.
Remember to set the timing of your tracking data correctly. If you want to review PPC performance in context, it’s best to have data available from the last few months in order to gain a clear picture of your company’s trends.
Some businesses offer nationwide services; they have customers all over, from Maine to New Mexico and everywhere in between. However, many businesses are regional. In order to ensure that your PPC ads aren’t running in areas your businesses does not service, review your target location settings and be mindful of the location option you choose. This can quickly become quite nuanced. For instance, you can select to target “people in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations,” “people in, or regularly in, your targeted locations,” or “people searching for your targeted locations.” In addition, you can take a closer look at other targeting settings, namely mobile bid adjustments, demographic targeting, and audience targeting.
Ad Group Management
The accepted rule is that each individual ad group should contain no more than 20 keywords. Like most “rules” of marketing, there are exceptions. Yet, in the main, keeping the number of keywords within ad groups relatively low makes sense. Specific, long-tail keywords within ad groups allow marketers to gain a better idea of how to create more relevant ads based on those groups. Additionally, using unique keywords in each ad group will help you keep them separate. Consider consolidating or diversifying ad groups if you notice a lot of keyword repetition between them. Thankfully, Google will let you know if there are any repetitive keywords in your Ads account.
Keywords & Negative Keywords
Keywords are the bread and butter of any PPC campaign. How you generate and manage these phrases can have a big impact on the ultimate success or failure of a campaign. And they’re a big focus of any audit. When it comes to keywords, the first thing a PPC manager should do is identify relevant and long-tail keywords for use. Second, check the list of keywords within your account that have triggered clicks in the Search Terms report. With this list, you should be able to identify keywords that aren’t relevant to your brand or your campaign. Designate such phrases as negative keywords so that irrelevant searches will stop costing your company money.
At this time, you’ll want to take a look at certain keyword-related metrics. Marketers should consider pausing high-cost and/or low-conversion keywords that don’t provide value.
At this stage, it’s also a good idea to review keyword match types. Broad matches for keywords are great for conducting research, but they can produce inefficient sales results. For example, the difference between a yellow party bus and a yellow school bus is stark, but they may appear under the same broad-match term “+yellow +bus.”
Ad Content & Extensions
There is no universal way to create ad copy that resonates with consumers. Still, there are a few best practices that are worth following, such as:
- Using the desired keyword
- Applying correct grammar, style, and syntax
- Including a call-to-action within the ad copy
What’s more, marketers should A/B test ad copy in order to determine what type of messages produce the best results. Try a responsive search ad to determine which combination of headlines and descriptions creates the most impressions before you turn that combination into an expanded search ad.
Ad extensions are also crucial to the viability of a PPC campaign. They help your ad take up more space in the SERP listings and generate more attention as a result. By adding your phone number, a listing of your services, your reviews, etc., you can make sure a consumer has all the information they want before clicking on your ad. Forgetting or neglecting to include relevant extensions could cost your business lucrative leads.
Consider Audit Timelines
PPC results fluctuate on a daily basis. These changes, though, aren’t always representative of greater trends. To conduct an audit properly, you’ll probably need at least a few months of data to work with. Of course, this also depends on the level of ad spend; the more you spend, the more data you’ll be able to accrue. Keep this in mind before you get started.
Last but not least, landing pages must be synchronized with PPC ads in order to produce quality leads. Landing pages should, ideally, contain some of the same language used within the ad copy and match up in style, tone, and relevance. Landing pages should also have their own dedicated call tracking number to enable accurate conversion tracking.
At Agile & Co., we have years of experience managing PPC accounts, and we understand how to generate ads that deliver meaningful results. If you’re ready to take your PPC advertising to the next level, then contact our team today. Or, for more information on how PPC platforms like Google Ads works, check out our free eBook here: