Over 64% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking for a product or service online.
This offers up a lot of potentials to attract new customers. Are you getting the most out of the pay-per-click ads you are using? No, really. Can you remember when was the last time you looked closely at how much you’re spending and where you might be able to extract more benefits? Here are some techniques to help you conduct a proper PPC audit.
What is a PPC audit?
A PPC audit is the assessment of the performance, costs, and returns of your ad campaigns, ad groups, and individual ads. This will help you understand how your paid advertising strategy is doing and where you can improve.
Why should I conduct a PPC audit?
If you are running your first PPC campaign, you may have heard people say to conduct an audit. But, what is the true value of auditing your campaign? Here are a few of the benefits you will get from doing this.
- You’ll see how your strategy performs over time: If you are investing your time and money into a marketing campaign, you will want to know what is working and what isn’t. A PPC audit lets you see how well your strategy works over time and what you can do to improve.
- You’ll discover performance issues: It’s important to constantly monitor and update your campaign to reach maximum potential. A PPC audit will help you notice the issues in your strategy and fix them; however, you can. Without an audit, you won’t know what you are doing wrong.
- You’ll see how you stack up to your competition: PPC audits give you a deeper insight into your campaign’s performance. You can use this information to compare jut show well your ad is doing.
- You’ll discover where you can improve your campaign: No matter how well your digital marketing campaign is doing, there is always some room for improvement. A PPC audit will help you discover exactly how you can optimize your campaign to improve the performance.
· You’ll learn about your audience: A PPC audit will help you understand exactly how your target audience interacts with your ads. Then, you will know what your audience likes and what parts of your ad you can improve for better customer experience.
The PPC audit checklist
Are you worried about never having done a PPC audit before? Don’t fret; our professional team is here to help you. We have created a small checklist to help you start and finish your first PPC account audit.
1. Choose a date range.
The first step to a successful PPC audit is to set the date range to ensure you have enough information to analyze. If you look at a small set of data that spans only over 30 days, then this isn’t great. You won’t have enough data to see how your changes are taking effect. It’s best if you choose a broader set of data to be able to measure results accurately.
You are going to need about three months’ or more worth of data to analyze. This will be enough to see if your strategy is working. Of course, you can also look at more data for a fuller scope of your marketing campaign, but three months is the minimum.
2. Download your data
Since you are going to be analyzing lots of data, you will want to download the data for easier analysis. You can simply export your information by entering your Google Ad’s account. By doing this, you can choose to download all your PPC account data, data from specific campaigns, or set custom exports. If you are using Bing ads, you will also need the data from these ads. Once you have both these data sets, you can compare to see which one is doing better and try to understand why. You can input all this data into an Excel spreadsheet to keep it organized.
3. Plan out your budget
When you’re conducting a PPC audit, make sure you know how much you are spending on all your campaigns. Record this data, so you know how much value you are getting compared to how much you’re spending. Track your cost-per-click (CPC) and see how many clicks you are getting for your budget. This is crucial to know when you are setting up an audit as it helps understand the success level of your campaign. This is important information to know when you’re setting up your audit because it will help you understand how successful your campaign is.
4. Look at your ads
This is one of the only non-calculable aspects of your PPC campaign that you must monitor. Looking at your ad content is very important when you are analyzing your campaign. Your ad content is what strongly impacts your audience and how they react.
Firstly, you must check that your ad is targeted to a certain group of people. You must have a target audience in mind when you design your campaign. If you don’t know exactly who you wish to target, take the time to think of a group of people you think will enjoy your product or service.
Then, see if your ad content covers the question “what’s in it for me?” When people look at your ad, they should immediately understand what they will get when they choose your business. Your ad must list the benefits and features of your products or services.
In addition, make sure there is a clear call-to-action on your ad. CTAs are valuable for converting leads.
When you are looking over your PPC ad, make sure you have keywords integrated on your page. If you want to increase your ad relevancy, you must be using relevant keywords.
This is actually one of the most important steps in your checklist, as ad content is what customers see and what attracts them to your products or services.
5. Check and note your quality score.
Next on our checklist is the quality score of your PPC campaign. Along with a maximum bid, this is what determines the placement of your ads. If you want to better your ad placement, you must increase your quality score.
Factors like ad relevancy and click-through rate are what determine your quality score. If your ad is relevant to someone’s search query, they are likely to click on it.
Pay close attention to your quality score when conducting a PPC audit. If your quality score is low, then you must work on improving it, which will lead to a better overall performance of your ad. If your quality score is good, then you can continue with the methods you use to keep the rankings.
6. Edit your keyword targeting
As you go through with your PPC audit, you will need to audit your keyword choices. Keywords are the driving force of your PPC success. If you want to bring the right leads to your ads, then you must select relevant keywords.
A small tip is to always opt for long-tail keywords that contain at least three words. For example, “book shops in Harrisburg, PA.”
Long-tail keywords will drive more leads to your page, and you will be more likely to be clicked on. Too many people use broad keywords, so you must be specific in order to stand out. If you aren’t using some long-tail keywords in your strategy, then now is the time to optimize to create a more effective marketing campaign.
7. Analyze your click-through and conversion rate
Next, in our PPC audit checklist, we have combined two metrics that go hand-in-hand with one another. The CTR on your ads will influence your conversion rate optimization, so you must look at them both.
CTR is an important factor in your ad’s success. Monitoring it is vital to understand if people are interested in your ads. You will have the opportunity to see just how many people look at the ad in their search results and click on it.
If your CTR is low, you must rethink your ad. Something must be modified to have more people see it and click on it.
But, just having a high CTR isn’t enough. If your CTR is significantly high, but your conversion rate isn’t, which means customers don’t like what they see after they click on your ad. So, your landing page somehow isn’t relevant to your ad.
In the end, your goal should be to have a high CTR along with a high conversation rate. So, not only will people see your ad, but they will also convert. Monitor both of these factors together to see the areas where you can improve.
8. Review your bids
When you are running your PPC campaign, keep track of your bidding amounts. You should monitor this amount to see how much you spend to get leads for your business. Be careful not to overspend, so that there is still enough room to make a profit. If you spend 15$ each time a person clicks on your ad and they buy a $20 product, then your profit margin is thin. Instead, maybe take the time to reevaluate your campaign strategy to lower costs for more profit. Analyzing your bidding amounts will help you see if you are getting what you are paying for.
9. Check your location targeting.
Location analysis is a very valuable tool for any PPC audit. When you are running your PPC ads, these may appear in the search results for different cities or states. This is more true if you have a significant online presence and sell your products all over the country.
With location analysis, you will be able to see exactly where your ads are performing best. You can see the different cities where your ad is visible and how they appear. It’s a good way to understand where your target audience is and where your business is booming.
You can also see where you should increase ad spending. If certain locations drive better results, then maybe you should allocate more of your budget to target people in those cities because you know you will get your money’s worth.
Location analysis helps figure out where to move funds for successful campaign results.
Bonus: Compile areas of wasted spend
Companies don’t like wasting money. So, if you plan to invest your time and money into a digital marketing strategy, then make sure it is worth it. If your campaign isn’t optimized properly, you risk having lots of wasted spending.
Wasted spend is how much you are losing from your Google Ad’s campaign. It will show you the aspects where you miss out on conversions or spend too much money on leads.
One of the biggest culprits of wasted spend is irrelevant keywords. Many times, you will have great keywords, but there are some irrelevant keywords that make your ad appear where it shouldn’t. People will click on your ad and end up on an irrelevant page, leading to a low conversion rate.
For example, let’s imagine you are operating a bakery, and you created a PPC ad to advertise your carrot cake to party-throwers, brides, and more. Your long-tail keyword is “carrot cake.” Now, imagine someone is searching for carrot cake pops. Even though you don’t sell cake pops, your bakery ad may show up. This will lead to people clicking on it but leave your page after they see that it is irrelevant. You end up wasting your money on ads that leads won’t find useful, and your campaign will be pointless.
This is where negative keywords can solve this problem. These are the words that are related to your other keywords but aren’t relevant. In this example, “pop” can be a negative keyword to ensure you don’t show up in search results for cake pops. This trick can help you reduce your wasted ad spend by a lot.
As you can see, conducting a PPC audit isn’t as hard as it seems. Contact Mirdon Production today at 888-308-0008 or online. We always tell our clients that It is essential for any successful digital marketing campaign, as it will help you see what you are doing right and what still needs some improvement. So get out there and start auditing!