PPC campaign audit is a process that many account managers overlook. Neglecting the audit, however, most of the times comes back to haunt them in the form of heaped ad spend, which they cannot account for. Experts, therefore, advice to perform audit periodically; it is a check that campaign managers need, which, if done, comprehensively can help them identify the deficiencies and lagging attributes of a PPC campaign.
Many professionals consider auditing as a separate procedure from the optimization—which to some extent is not wrong. However, veterans in the field see Google AdWords audit as an integral part of the optimization, and which should be done from time to time.
When a PPC audit should be done?
It is hard to answer the question, as all PPC campaigns are different from each other to a great degree, and thus, offering an answer that fits all situations is somewhat misleading. However, it can be answered when audit becomes absolutely necessary: Perform the PPC audit when the performance saturates. And as a standard, it is recommended to carry out an internal audit quarterly and at least get PPC audit services annually and bi-annually.
The second question that is asked ubiquitously is how to perform a PPC audit. And that is what we discuss in the present article. We have segmented the audit in the three categories, which people ignore while doing the audit.
1. Ad Extensions
It is well established that ad extensions improve a campaign’s click through rate, which further provides advantage on the ad rank. However, given the number of extensions available, including site link extensions, callout extensions, review extensions, structured snippet extensions, location extensions, call extensions, new message extension, and app extension, it sometimes gets overwhelming to manage the extensions, which makes audit important.
What to audit in ad extensions:
- Review the automated extensions; many of them fail to bring results and at times offer information which is irrelevant, find such extensions and disable them.
- Check if text ads have appropriate extensions
- Ensure that content is not recurring in the extensions
- Confirm if the ad extensions are live, at times, for some issues, they remain inactive
2. Expanded text ads
It is a relatively new feature that allows you publish extra information and call outs. The new ad format allows two headlines, each of 25 characters, and description of 80 characters.
While performing PPC campaign audit focusing on expanded text ads ensure:
- That old text ads are changed as per the new guidelines, as soon one cannot edit the old text ads
- That the headlines are error free; grammar and language should be suitable, and call outs should also be embedded smartly.
- That the ad rotation settings are adjusted, so that changes do not drag the performance down
- That the budget is capped, as extended ads tend to attract more clicks
3. Bid modifiers
First launched to manage mobile bids, however, at present, Adwords offer bid modifiers for all devices. Therefore, while doing Google AdWords audit.
It is essential to check:
- The campaign data for conversion metrics for different devices
- If the conversion spreads uniformly across the device, lag in performance of a specific device reveals poor landing page and content.
4. Remarketing Lists for Search Ad (RLSA)
Many fail to leverage remarketing successfully, as it involves collecting information over and time defining list, along with ads, for showing well-crafted call outs cum ads to a known user.
While auditing remarketing
- Check if search and image networks are enabled
- Ensure lists, based on the behavior, are created after collected data for mandatory 90 days
- Discontinue lists that are failing to bring result
These are four areas that you have to focus upon while performing a PPC campaign audit; for a more comprehensive audit, it is suggested to outsource a PPC management agency.