PPC audit is an indispensable part of your entire PPC activity.
Your account may be running in a great position or lagging with a poor score, in both situations PPC audit is important.
There is no such benchmark where you can stop thinking about your well-performing account.
In PPC, there is always scope to surpass your previous achievement.
As market environment and user behavior change fast, parameters often change their position towards bad.
On the other hand, if your PPC account is going through a rough patch then a comprehensive PPC audit can provide you detailed analysis about where it actually losing valuable money.
During audit what auditor does is he compares you’re your account with a similar but well-performing account.PPC audit is basically a health check up of your PPC account. Click To Tweet
What a PPC Audit Should Focus on
The success of a PPC audit resides in its ability to show areas where the advertiser is losing his money and where he can make more money.
It’s about knowing whether the keywords or phrases you have chosen are fulfilling their respective jobs or not.
Setting exact matches, phrase matches, and broad matches in the right manner are important.
The ad text plays a crucial role in reaching the potential clients. The keyword must be there in the ad copy and headline.
In AdWords, you get a chance to showcase your ad in different networks; Not just in Google network but also in its partner networks too. Being two different mediums your PPC campaign will require two different strategies.
Ads are displayed in two different networks- display and search network. Here too ad campaign must be designed to work to their full potential.
The placement of an ad in the right network also plays a decisive factor in the success of an ad campaign.
A complete PPC audit focuses every aspect of an account responsible for making the conversion happen.
Google Analytics and different webmaster tools offer vital information about how your account is performing. These tools tell how many clicks have been received and what each of the visitors after entering the website.A complete PPC audit focuses every aspect of an account responsible for making the conversion. Click To Tweet
PPC audit does not change things overnight rather it shows where your efforts are going wrong and in which areas you should focus and work hard:
- The number of people who saw your ad
- The amount you paid for each click
- How many people clicked on the ad
- Which clicked turned into conversion
- What is the average position of the ad in the page
- Amount that you earned from the conversion of the ad
All these facets at the center around one coveted performance indicator and that are the quality scores.
The quality score in AdWords plays vital score in both in terms reducing ad spend and gaining more relevance towards potential customers.
To reap the benefits of a PPC audit you should provide as much information you can. The more information you provide the more coherent report you get.
At least 90 days of account history should be there to conduct a meaningful and comprehensive PPC audit.The amount of submitted data for audit is proportionate with the accuracy of audit result. Click To Tweet
Who Should Perform the Audit?
If you are aware of the situation that which section of your account is not working to its full potential then you can dig into it yourself.
But when the entire account is in question then a professional account manager should take the place.
An auditor should have an objective outlook towards changes he has made in the account. He must be blunt in removing the changes he made in the account. During every audit checking basics should never be avoided.
Simple things often put a huge impact on the account performance. So, always get your basics right.
Hiring a professional for this task can be highly rewarding as well as enlightening. An expert can provide deeper analysis and implications of the different aspects of PPC advertising strategies.
PPC audit is expensive but you can use some PPC tools to fulfill your requirements to some extent.
Experts also use these tools to provide an extensive report of your account. But at the end of the day, you would lack the experience which an expert PPC auditor has gathered throughout his career.
On the internet, you will find many PPC agencies are offering a quick audit of your account but they do not provide in-depth analysis.PPC expert can provide deeper analysis and implications of the different aspects of advertising. Click To Tweet
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is an effective tool for every AdWords user. It gives a detailed investigation of the average monthly, annual trends, your competition and a suggestion of keywords bid ideas. Here you can put the information of your target location.
Google AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool
It ensures whether your ads are showing or not and also how they are appearing. It also makes that you do not get your AdWords impressions wasted while checking the ads.
WordStream Keyword Niche Finder
Head keywords are lesser profitable than long tail keywords. WordStream Keyword Niche Finder helps in finding long tail and niche keywords.
It is a keyword suggesting tool that suggests a keyword that might prove profitable for your business. You can also filter keyword by country, search type (shopping or web) etc.
This tool comes really handy in competitor PPC research. It lends a hand in finding your competitors keywords, positions, CPCs, cost and traffic in Google AdWords PPC. Moreover, it gives you a deciding edge in what keyword company might go for bidding.
Another competitor analysis tool provides quite an amount of information around its ambit of the free version. The information it provides comes along with competitors ranking information.
Brings out specific information regarding competitor’s keywords. You may also view the actual copies which your competitor is running.
The paid version Spyfu offers other information like advanced keyword statistics, CPC estimate, and your own performance tracking report.
Various free tools and free account audit opportunities are available on the internet. You can also choose them but nothing comes in comparison when it is done by an expert.
Hence, before starting the audit you must have a clear idea about what is your actual goal of the PPC practice.
The central idea may be increasing the volume of relevant traffic or making your account cost effective or increasing profit.
Follow these steps to perform a coherent and detailed PPC audit
1. Campaign Settings
Check your campaign setting.
Make sure you select these campaign settings as per your business goal:
Search or Display Network or both.
Where you want to show your ads?
Decide where you want to show you ads. Do you want to show your ads to the entire country or state or city or only 10 miles around your shop?
Mobile bid adjustment:
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly or exclude mobile devices from bidding
How many days of the week you want to show you ads and at what time of day you want to show your ads.
Select ad rotation as per your campaign objectives. You can choose ads rotations for clicks, conversions etc.
2. Remarketing Campaigns
The common mistake made in remarketing is advertisers often target only the people who visited in the past.
The right approach is to create different lists for products or services. Create different website audience segments to increase conversion rate.
Make sure you’re using good banner ads for remarketing campaigns. Studies have shown banner ads work better than texts ads on display network.
Each network requires different bid pricing and the intent of the user is also different.
3. Automatic Bidding Campaign
If you look from the point of view of an AdWords expert then he will ask you to refrain from using automatic bidding. Many marketers use this feature when they cannot gauge the right bid amount or keywords for their campaign.
It automatically chooses optimal bid considering your set budget and tries to fetch you maximum click. If you have one or more automatic bidding campaign then check if the automatic campaign settings need any change.
4. Location Targeting Set Up
You must also run your ads in locations where your potential customers are.
Many advertisers receive clicks from the wrong location which inevitably ends valuable clicks without generating desired conversion rate.
AdWords allows advertisers to set target location in the settings tab.
At Location options (advanced) you can select
- Searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location.
- Who show interest in my targeted location or are searching for it.
- People in my targeted location
5. Ad Group
Each ad group should not have more 10 keywords.
You can also create one keyword per ad group to make them more themed.
Using a negative keyword in each group is essential to avoid traffic overlapping. The theme of the Ad Group and Ad category should be more targeted.
If an ad group has more than 10 keywords, you can break them down and create similar ad groups.
The good thing is they will emphasize on the same topic.
Find out which groups are performing well. Who are bringing more impressions and clicks?
Moreover, make sure you center your budget on them taking your money away from low performers.
6. Check CTR
CTR is a key indicator of how your ad is performing. This metric indicates the ratio between the number of times an ad appears and it is clicked.
While conducting an audit checking CTR is of prime importance. You can check it manually or by using any tool. What you should check is whether the chosen keywords are yielding desired CTR or not.
Your CTR is directly responsible for determining the profit you earn. Closely check the CTR of each ad group and the campaign even of individual ads.
You can also disable the ads or ad groups which are listing low CTR. Your CTR is directly proportional to the quality score.Increased CTR fuels quality score which in turn reduces CPC. Click To Tweet
7. Device Level Audit
You must also do a device level audit.
You must check how your ad is performing in desktop, mobile, and tablets. Each medium has different types of customer who react differently to ads.
Each medium has different types of customer who react differently to ads.
As mobile has become a rising dominant device, many marketers want their ad to appear in mobiles too. So in AdWords, you can adjust your bid amount for each device separately.
While auditing your responsibly is channelizing your resources towards better performing device.
If a tablet is getting you more CTR and conversion then increase the bid amount for the tablet. You can also do this in Bing Ads and Adwords is also confirmed
You can also do this in Bing Ads and Adwords also confirmed bid adjustment for tablets.
One of the reasons for not performing well in mobile can be website responsiveness.
You can also use Google mobile friendly tool to check your website mobile friendly design.
8. Advertise Extensions
Ad Extensions are critical to the success of an ad campaign. Extensions make ads much more interesting and appealing to the visitor.
Furthermore, these extensions are designed to increase the relevancy of ads.
These also come in aid of increasing the user friendliness of search experience in both Google and Bing. It also helps in tracking the interest of the visitor.
Some useful ad extensions are-
- Call Extension
- Site Link
- Review Extension
- Callout Extension
- Location Extension
- App extension
Check whether extensions are doing anything in bringing more conversion or just eating your money.
If call extensions are in use make sure you have mentioned when the visitors will find assistance over a phone call.
Most of the time advertisers do not mention calling times and many customers get bitter when they get no answer.
You can also set the location where your product and service has ample customer to bring a large amount of conversion.
Extensions generally lauded for their power of increasing click through rate that is they are the crucial aspect of PPC audit.Ad Extensions are designed to increase the relevancy of ads. Click To Tweet
9. Keyword Grouping
Having keyword right grouping is important for each ad group. It works in aid of improving quality score. Good Quality score reduces ad expense.
Moreover, Grouping keywords in a tight theme help in increasing CTR. Again CTR plays a big role in increasing quality score and reducing the cost of advertising.
Using exact, broad and phrase match should be placed in a right manner. If the account is largely dominated by broad keywords then you must have neatly weaved negative keywords.
Furthermore, you can also use search term report to check keywords effectiveness.
10. Keyword Bids
Keyword bidding process can make or break your entire PPC endeavor.
Are you sure that you have set right bid amount on each keyword by gauging its true potential?
First, decide what is your target in doing PPC?
Do you want to increase the number of clicks you currently receive or want to focus on being profitable?
Moreover, these questions are deciding factor in selecting write keyword bidding strategy for your advertisement.
If you are running on CPA bidding then you must stop all your unprofitable keywords at once. They simply increase your daily budget unnecessarily.
You can also do a test to know how different CPA goals affect your conversion volume differently.
They simply increase your daily budget unnecessarily. Do a test to know how different CPA goals affect your conversion volume differently.Test to know how different CPA goals affect your conversion volume differently. Click To Tweet
11. Search Term Report
Search Term report is an important tool for checking whether the advertiser is spending on right keywords or not. However, many a time advertisers spend their valuable bucks on keywords which are not 100% relevant.
Search term report looks after-
- One word broad match Keywords
- Exact match negative keywords
- Long Tail Keywords
12. Quality Score
Quality score is that coveted score which every advertiser and PPC expert is chasing.
It is actually a combination of relevancy and CTR of the advertisement.
Also, a poor quality score can shatter your dreams of reaping the hefty profit. To improve this score there is no single way around. Use few key reports to analyze it.
Always save all the details of your account report so that after months of auditing you can check the how many things have improved or worsened.
You can also read more about how to improve quality score in our earlier blog post.
13. Check Daytime Report
AdWords provides reports on different time segment. You can check the data on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and on the hour on the daily basis.
Each set of data reveals a different dimension of your ads performance.
Furthermore, time is a crucial factor in any ads performance.
Monitoring day parting reports, seasonal and historical data allows you to find out the prime time of your product.
You can also discover when customers are more likely to click on your ad and make a purchase. Different products work well on different time slots.
Also, following day time report is a crucial part of PPC audit.
14. Landing Page Checking
After initiating PPC audit, your first and foremost responsibility is checking the landing page.
If your landing page is not relevant to the requirement of your potential customer then it will list high bounce rate.
Hence, the easiest way of checking the effectiveness of your landing is connecting it with Google Analytics or any other relevant tool.
If your landing page is not registering good result then give it an overhaul with improved graphics and relevant copy.
15. Display Network
Display network is a highly potent medium.
Whether you put the ad in display network or not, in both the cases you must enquire how it affects your campaign.
Do you really need it or it actually put any difference in increasing conversion.
Display network campaign requires accuracy of targeting to bring out the result.
Many advertisers forget placement of topic and stress more on the keyword. Therefore, to take advantage of all available options you must you must do custom targeting.Display Network is a highly potent medium for PPC ad. Click To Tweet
Common mistakes you should avoid during PPC audit
Running after efficiency can be misleading.
Do not get mad to attain overall goal.
Just dig into keyword level data on a regular basis and it will show you big issues which you can resolve with time. Not many check this data regularly.
Do not place your keywords haphazardly. Also, stay calm and do the job with utmost care.
Do not chase the position 1. It may not be good for you. Stay in the ambit of your budget
Do your homework properly. Google keeps suggesting ways improve your account. It is you who has to decide after much weigh and consider which suggestion you need to accept.
Moreover, not using product extensions is just a crime. This is something which can increase CTR manifold. If you have not something suitable for your product then please wait.
PPC auditing is like regular health check. We go through health checkup year irrespective of the fact that we are physically well or unwell.
PPC auditing is a similar practice that does an overall check up of you PPC account and shows where problems are persisting. Moreover, Going through PPC audit is essential at least twice a year is essential.
Dinesh has been doing digital marketing since 2007. Now he manages a team of digital marketers, developers, and project managers. As the CEO of Ads Triangle, Dinesh has helped hundreds of businesses to grow their revenue through digital marketing.