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Google Ads PPC Audits | Everything you need to know

Posted by Stuart Walters on October 20, 2019

However, it’s not as easy as you might think and often PPC campaigns can be spending more money than they need to. If you have created your campaigns yourself, it might be worth getting an expert to take a look at how you can improve the campaign to increase your ROI and conversion rates and conduct a thorough audit. But what does a Google Ads PPC audit include? 

A PPC or Google Ads audit should be thorough and look at all aspects of your campaign including the ad copy, landing pages, targeting, bid strategy and much more. If you’re deciding on who to choose to do your PPC audit, you might want to know what the audit SHOULD include so that you can get the most for your money. We’ve put together a list of potential and important elements that any auditor should include in their report when looking at your PPC and Google Ads campaigns.  

Campaign structure 

One of the first things that the audit should look at is the structure of the campaign.  

  • What is your Ad groups structure like?  
  • What are your budget allocations like? 
  • Are all your campaigns named appropriately? 
  • Are your keywords distributed appropriately?  

The structure of your campaign is often the first thing you create and thereon after can be ignored and untouched. Sometimes the structure needs to be changed and updated in order to accurately optimise your campaigns. Other parts of your campaign structure you need to analyse are: 

  • Are you conversion actions defined? 
  • Are your KPIs defined? 
  • What are your ad placements like? Have you selected the best possible placements for your campaign? 

 

Keywords 

Your keywords are an absolutely crucial part of your Google Ads campaign, with the wrong keywords you campaign could flop and you cost waste a lot of money. 

  • Are your keywords relevant to your campaign? 
  • Are your keywords accurately group? 
  • Do you know what your competition is like for your selected keywords? 
  • Can you bid on similar keywords but with lower competition to improve your ROIs? 
  • Are you using the optimal match type for your ad group and campaign? 
  • Have you eliminated any keywords that are under-performing? 

As well as keywords, an audit should look extensively into your use of negative keywords. 

  • Are you using them appropriately? 
  • Are your negative keyword match types optimal? 
  • Have you adjusted them accordingly to optimise your campaign? 
  • Have you added any negative keywords since you started your campaign? 

 

Bid strategy 

Sometimes, your bidding strategy can be really affecting your campaign success.  

  • Are you using automatic bidding or have you optimised it yourself? 
  • Do you know the top of page bid and is your budget big enough to reach that point? 
  • Could your top bid be lower and save you money? 

It’s important that this side of your campaign is optimised in order to increase your ROI. Your budget can be optimised in various ways, you don’t always have to spend the most to get the most out of a Google Ads campaign because of the way the bidding strategy works.  

 

Quality score 

A big factor in the bidding process is your quality score. 

  • Do you know what your quality score is for each keyword 
  • Have you looked at how you can improve your quality score? 
  • Is your landing page affecting your quality score? 
  • Have you optimised your landing page for this reason? 

Unfortunately, some businesses overlook the importance of landing pages and Google Ads. It can drastically increase your quality score which can improve your ROIs enormously. Plus, with a clear CTA you can increase your conversion rates exponentially.  

 

Ad copy  

One of the most important things to look at and analyse in your Google Ads campaigns is the copy of your ads. Getting this right can increase your CTR and your quality score. 

  • Do your ads include your keywords? 
  • Is your grammar correct and you’ve checked for typos? 
  • Are your headings clear and concise? 
  • Have you tested different copy to understand what works best for your audience? 

 

Ad extensions  

Ad extensions can increase your CTRs and help conversions too. 

  • Have you checked your automatic extensions? 
  • Have you optimised your use of different extensions? 
  • Have you checked that your contact extensions are off outside of work hours? 

 

Targeting options 

As well as targeting people through keywords you can also use demographic and location targeting to define your audience a little further.  

  • Have you defined your target location? 
  • Have you defined your device targeting and check its performance? 
  • Have you defined your demographics? 
  • Can these targeting options be more accurately defined or optimised? 

Technical stuff 

Part of optimising your campaign is verifying that your tracking options are well defined.  

  • Have you made sure that your chosen tracking option works and is set up correctly? 

You can use remarketing to accurately target people who have already shown an interest in your site/brand. 

  • Have you set up your retargeting options? 
  • Are your coding and technical aspects correct? 
  • Have you used the tool correctly to optimise your campaigns? 

Using the data from retargeting and campaign tracking can help you to analyse your campaign performance and optimise certain areas of it. 

Performance analysis 

It’s important to understand how well your campaign is performing in order to accurately optimise different elements of it. 

  • Are you aware of your average CPC? 
  • Are you aware of your average CTR? 
  • Are you aware of your cost per acquisition? 
  • What is your return on investment? 

 

A Google Ads audit should answer these questions and propose areas for improvement. There is no campaign that can’t be improved in some way or another. Whether this is the ad copy, bidding strategy or coding aspects of your campaign tracking, adjusting different elements of your campaign can drastically increase your ROI.