How to Do a Google AdWords Audit

Are you considering auditing your Google AdWords account, but don’t know where to start? Whether your account is new or old, small or large, performing regular PPC audits can help ensure your campaigns continued performance.  Here, we discuss a few basic ways to take a deeper dive into Google AdWords.

Step 1 – KPIs

The first step in performing a pay-per-click audit is to determine the businesses KPIs.  KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators.  Knowing the businesses goals helps you to know what you are optimizing for.  Is it a plumbing business wanting phone calls?  Or is the goal lead generation or a form fill?  Asking yourself these questions can help you begin performing a successful PPC audit.

Step 2 – Account Settings

The next step in the PPC audit process is to check the account settings.

AdWords Settings

Check the following areas:

  • Locations – Do you have the proper geo-targeting set up? Are campaigns broken out by specific location, targeting the correct zip codes?  Are you targeting specific states or do you want your ads showing nationally?
  • Ad Scheduling, Ad Delivery & Ad Rotation – Are you optimizing your ads based on performance during a certain time of the day or week? Are your ads rotating evenly?  Do you want frequency caps?
  • Device Targeting – Have you made the appropriate bid adjustments to maximize performance? Are these adjusted to increase or decrease bids for mobile, tablets and computers?

In the settings tab, you can also input tracking templates or custom parameters.

Step 3 – Account Structure

Next, check your account structure.  You will want your campaigns structured for simplicity, relevance & other best practices for general organization.  Here are a few tips that we have found successful for an optimal PPC account structure:

  • Campaigns contain Ad Groups that are broken out by keyword type.
  • Campaigns have the appropriate naming conventions, and are separated by type / topic / service, etc. An example of this would be having a Branded campaign for your business name and then having specific campaigns for services such as PPC & SEO.
  • Each Ad Group contains a small number of keywords.
  • A minimum of 2 ads per Ad Group are running for the appropriate A/B testing.

Step 4 – Ad Extensions

The next step in the PPC Audit process is to make sure that the account is making good use of ad extensions, and that all appropriate extensions are being utilized.  Here are the types of Google Ad Extensions and uses for each:

  • Sitelink Extensions – Links people to specific pages of your site. If possible, add 4 or more sitelinks to your ad.
  • Callout Extensions – Call out services or features. Such as ‘Free Estimates’ or ‘Award Winning’.
  • Structured Snippets – Show important info to potential customers such as style, type or service.
  • Price Extensions – Allows users to browse products and see pricing.
  • Review Extensions – Show reviews from published sources to help your ad gain consumers trust.
  • Call/Message Extensions – Encourage searchers to contact you.
  • Location Extensions – Encourage site or store traffic.
  • App Extensions – Links people to be able to download your app, if applicable.

Here is an example of an ad that is utilizing multiple types of ad extensions:

AdWords Ad Extensions

Step 5 – Conversions

Now you will want to look at your pay-per-click campaigns conversions.  Check to see if these are being properly tracked and counted.  Is your AdWords account linked to Google Analytics?  You can check this by accessing the gear icon in the upper right corner of your browser and selecting Linked Accounts.

Google AdWords and Analytics Account Linking

Have goals been properly set up in Google Analytics and imported into AdWords?

Under Tools > Conversions you can see all set up conversion actions as well as the source and category that was set up.

The steps above represent just a few basic ways to audit your Google AdWords account for the proper set up, comment below with your favorite or go-to steps for performing PPC audits!

To learn more about PPC advertising, or to have Big Leap perform a more extensive free PPC audit of your AdWords account, visit http://www.bigleap.com/paid-media-ppc/.

Jessi Duffin
Digital Marketing Director
Jessi Duffin works as the Digital Marketing Director over the partnership team at Big Leap specializing white-labeled relationships. She is passionate about all aspects of Digital Marketing. In her free time, she enjoys photography, design and cooking. She can also single-handedly cook Thirty-Minute brownies in twenty minutes.