While there are many automated tools and services that provide algorithmic-based audit results and grades for your account, they often lack the context of your marketing goals, audience focus and unique desired results of your PPC efforts.

The key to a good audit:

  • Identify what to review and understand its importance.
  • Review and document the status of each item in the audit.
  • Take detailed notes and provide examples of items that need to be revisited or addressed in the post-audit action plan.

Auditing itself is not about making account or campaign updates. It is important to enter, complete and exit the audit process by providing a report and results that can be put into an action plan for processes for one-off follow-up activities and ongoing management adjustments. What you will want to do

Why Do You Need a Google Ads Account Audit?

Whether you are taking over an account from a client, another vendor or as part of a new role within your company, it is crucial to know where things stand before investing significant time and money.

There are also benefits to periodically auditing your fine-tuned campaigns, which gives you time to take a step back and look at things that might be overlooked in day-to-day management.

Here are some of the benefits that a Google Ads audit can provide:

  • Availability of expenditure waste sites.
  • Identify new opportunities for expansion.
  • Improvement of ongoing management processes.
  • Gain audience insights that can be applied to the account and other marketing channels.
  • Validation of assumptions.

Step 1: Review Goals

Before moving to a Google Ads account, the first step of the audit is to review the business and account objectives to make sure we understand what your focus and goals are.

There may be multiple transformation objectives. Understanding what these are and the performance outcomes you are looking for will set the tone for the rest of the audit process. Defining your objectives and focus makes it easier for you to audit the account objectively. Here are some questions to ask about objectives:

  • What are your transformation goals for the company?
  • What are your transformation goals for the company?
  • Have your goals changed?
  • Can you track performance beyond ads (for leads, sales or traffic)?
  • Has your target audience or group of people changed?

Step 2: Reviewing the Account Structure

Having the right hierarchy can positively impact the time it takes to manage campaigns and provide better data for decision making. There are many ways to structure campaigns and ad groups by organizing your usage:

While there is no “right” way to configure your account, we can do it in a way that gives you as much control as possible over the details of the bid, budget, ads and overall management.

Aspects of the account structure to be evaluated are:

  • Do campaigns represent different campaign setting level segments (geo-targeting, day segmentation, campaign level offers, campaign level budgets)?
  • Do campaigns provide meaningful aggregated reporting for the ad groups they cover?
  • Is it easy to compare campaigns and balance budgets?

Step 3: Account and Campaign Settings

In most cases, you can quickly review your campaign settings and move on. However, you may eventually need to return to these settings to make adjustments based on your review and decisions about changes in other areas of the audit.

Before making performance-based updates, here are the specific items to review:

  • Is geo-targeting appropriate and accurate? Do you see any countries or regions in the “Places” tab that you do not want to target?
  • Is device targeting appropriate?
  • Are you sure you have advanced location settings configured exactly how you want them for your target audience?
  • Is the bidding strategy, budget and ad delivery methods what you want?
  • Do you have the right daypart in place?
  • Do you use dynamic search ads and if so, are you aware of it and are you using them for the right reasons?

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