Performing a PPC Audit

Performing an audit of your PPC account on a regular cadence is crucial to the health of your account.  Think of it as a regular check-up!  In my mind the audit has two functions: first, make sure your account is updated with the latest features and, second, ensure that each element of the account is set up with intent.

Setting up your account with intent

This is the most important part of an audit, and is a chance to review your account to make sure that it is set up with clear intent.  If it is a new account, the intent should be based on your business and best practices.  If it is an account with more history, the set up should also factor in historical knowledge.  Below are common questions I ask myself when auditing an account’s settings and structure:

Settings

  • Do I have enough data to set custom modifiers for certain locations, demographics, hours, devices?
  • Do I want to target people only in a certain location, or include people who might be traveling or moving to that location?
  • Do I want more control with my bidding or do I want Google’s algorithm to optimize it for me?
  • Do I want more control with my ad delivery or do I want Google’s algorithm to optimize it for me?

Structure

  • How do I want to segment out my campaigns?
    • Based on how I want to control my budget?
    • Based on business line or product?
    • Based on high-performers and low-performers?
    • Based on location?
    • Based on brands?
    • Based on the network I’m targeting?
  • Do I want to share my budget across campaigns?
  • How granular do I want to get with my keyword break-down?

Ads

  • What are key features or calls to action I want to incorporate?
  • Do I want to dynamically fill in elements that change frequently, such as price, date or location?
  • Do I need to localize my ads?
  • Do I need to customize my ads to the user’s device?
  • Do I have at least 2 ad variations I am testing?

Extensions

  • Are my sitelinks enhanced?  Do they have unique messaging from my ad copy?
  • Am I using all other extensions that are relevant to my business?
  • Are there other extensions that I am eligible for but haven’t set up?
  • What are the newest extensions out there that I can test out?

Tracking

  • Do I have all of the components that I want to track, such as campaign name, keyword, device?
  • Can I use custom tracking parameters?
  • Can I use UTM parameters?

Advanced

  • Are there automated rules I could use?
  • Are there scripts that could be useful for the account?
  • Am I utilizing remarketing audiences effectively?

Staying up-to-date

This portion of the audit is ever-changing.  Reach out to your account representatives and read up on blogs to discover the latest features and new test results that experts are sharing.  Of recent, extensions I make sure to set up in my accounts are callout extensions which can be used for many types of businesses.  In addition, I focus on mobile-optimizing my account, ensuring that we have mobile-preferred extensions and ads that are customized for the smaller screen.  With recent changes to the Google search engine results page to remove the right-hand rail ads, I have done more position-based ad testing to find the “sweet spot” which varies from account to account.  Below are a few options to get you started:

Extensions

  • Sitelinks (enhanced)
  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions
  • App extensions
  • Review extensions
  • Callout extensions
  • Previous visits
  • Consumer ratings
  • Seller ratings
  • Dynamic sitelink extensions
  • Dynamic structured snippets

Bidding strategies

  • Manual CPC
  • Enhanced CPC
  • Target CPA
  • Target search page location
  • Target outranking share
  • Maximize clicks
  • Target ROAS
Evelyn Baek About the author

Evelyn Baek is an Account Director at Point It Digital Marketing in Seattle, with a passion for developing advanced marketing strategies for the agency's larger clients who want to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of digital marketing. She enjoys leading teams that work collaboratively to deliver results for their clients. Outside of Point It, Evelyn loves exploring the Pacific Northwest, rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins (Go Pens!), cuddling with her little pup, Tifa, and cooking up a storm.

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