PPC Audits – The Essentials

Blog > PPC Audits – The Essentials

Managing a PPC account can mean juggling a lot of different plates. From monitoring budgets to assessing ad performance and much more. It can feel like a daunting task at times, which is why successful account managers will often have audit routines to make sure nothing important is missed. This blog will highlight various areas of a PPC account that a comprehensive audit should cover. 

Budgeting

Potentially the most important area to check when conducting an audit of an account is to check how much money has been spent vs how much has been budgeted over a given period. By making regular checks it’s possible to adjust the daily budget accordingly to make sure your spend stays on track.

KPIs

Making sure to make regular checks on KPIs should always be near the top of the list of priorities when carrying out audits. By doing this account managers are able to identify if changes need to be made in order to hit objectives. For instance if a KPI is to achieve a certain ROAS it may be possible to adjust a campaigns strategy to ensure the KPI is achieved. 

Another thing to keep in mind when assessing performance is the time period you are judging performance against. Taking into account both yearly and monthly comparisons helps provide a better overall picture of where you stand. By doing this it can help ensure that snap decisions aren’t made.

Campaigns 

When auditing an account it’s important to see what is driving certain metrics. To do this a good idea is to assess how important certain campaigns are to an account through metrics they deliver. For instance by comparing the amount of conversions generated by certain campaigns compared to others you can make informed decisions around things such as where budget should be allocated to maximise performance. By comparing campaigns you will also be able to identify the weaker parts of an account which may need more attention

Keywords

After discovering which campaigns may require more attention the next logical step is to look into the ad groups and discover which keywords are performing well. By identifying the most effective keywords which are providing a profitable return account managers can take steps to maximise this further by potentially broadening the search parameters or creating a separate campaign with the successful keywords allowing more budget to be allocated towards them.

On the other hand account managers will also be able to identify keywords that are underperforming. By finding the keywords that are dragging down performance it is possible to make a choice around whether it would be beneficial to either pause the keyword or look at narrowing the keyword parameters to focus on more targeted search queries. For instance broad keywords can often produce undesirable search results so double checking this is important and can help improve keyword performance.

Search Queries

Another useful practice when conducting an account audit is to run a search query audit. By looking back at the queries which have generated the most clicks over a certain time period, you will be able to spot queries which are irrelevant to your account. As a result it is then advisable to add these queries to a negative keyword list, freeing up budget to be spent on more effective queries. 

Conversely by carrying out a search query audit you will be able to find terms that are performing unexpectedly well and are being generated by broad match keywords. By identifying these terms you can potentially look at adding the terms as more targeted keywords.

Targeting

Looking at an accounts performance should also include assessing the performance of a variety of targeting methods available in Google Ads. By looking at previous device, location, time and audience performance account managers can make bid adjustments based on real data. For example you may find that mobile users from London who have previously visited the website convert better than the typical user. As a result account managers can make informed bid adjustments for both positive and negative performance.

Display

Display campaigns will often only account for a small portion of a Google Ads account, however it’s vital to ensure time is set aside to assess the performance of display campaigns. The key things to consider when auditing display performance is audience and creative performance. Recognising which audiences are underperforming means an account manager can look at creating new audiences which may be more effective. Similarly it’s important to look at which creatives are achieving the best results, as a result you will be able to make recommendations about potentially pausing or trying new creatives.

Microsoft Advertising

Now you have successfully audited your Google Ads account it’s important to make sure the changes are reflected in different advertising platforms you may be using. This can be done by importing recent changes across to platforms such as Microsoft Advertising once you have linked the accounts. Importing changes across is a useful best practice for accounts which spend the bulk of their budget within Google however if Microsoft advertising takes a large portion of the client’s budget it would be beneficial to repeat the previous steps separately within that account.