Google AdWords PPC Audit - Campaign Level

Whether you are reviewing the work of your PPC agency, running regular PPC audits, or managing in-house PPC campaigns, this list of tasks will help you on your way to improving your performance through Google AdWords.

Google AdWords PPC Audit - Campaign Level
Author: Jamie Hallitt
Date: 5th March 2017
Categories: Pay Per Click Advertising, Google AdWords, PPC Management

Campaign-Level PPC Audit

When optimising and carrying out audits of your PPC campaigns, there is an extensive list of optimisation tasks and checks that you need to carry out. You can find a comprehensive list of these tasks here.

Don't have time to audit your campaigns yourself? We'll do it for you free of charge & give you the chance to have dinner & cocktails with us at The Shard! Find out more here.

If you just need to carry out basic, campaign-level checks, here are the main tasks you need to do:

Budget Management

Your budgets are set at campaign-level, so you need to make sure that you are:

  • Setting the right daily budgets in order to hit your total spend targets
  • Allocating budget to your campaigns based on their historic performance and value

Network targeting

Google gives you the option to include your ads on Search Partner sites as well as on Google’s search results. Essentially, this is asking you whether or not you are happy for your ads to appear on other websites that are selling ad space to Google, in a very similar as sites within the Google Display Network does. The impact of opting-in depends on a whole range of things, for example:

  • Is your budget already restricting your campaign?
  • Are you happy for your ads to generate more impressions & clicks, but achieve a lower conversion rate?
  • Would generating more traffic from this campaign help you achieve your objectives quicker?

Realistically, unless you have a much larger budget than you actually need in order to achieve your objectives, there is little value in opting your ads in to the Search Partners network. If, however, you do have additional budget to spare, this could be a good option for you to help you achieve your objectives quicker. Find out more about the Google Search Partners Network here.

Location targeting

Targeting users by location - and delivering a relevant ad and landing page for users in each target location - is key to the success of most lead generation campaigns. To check whether impressions and clicks are being achieved in the locations you are targeting, refer to the User Locations report; this will show you all of the locations in which your impressions, clicks and conversions have occurred.

Tip: Check your advanced location targeting settings. By default, this is set to show ads to users in, viewing pages about, or showing an interest in your target locations. In other words, your ads can actually be shown to users in any location. We recommend that you change this to improve your ROI if you haven't already.

Language Targeting

Your location targeting settings will most likely determine the language targeting settings you put in place; ensure that your ads are in the same language(s) that you're targeting and use your search terms report to check that users are searching in the same language.

Ad Scheduling

Schedule your ads to appear on specific days and at certain times based on your target market's needs and your organisation's capabilities. For example, if your target market needs to be able to phone you to make a purchase, make sure your ads are only schedule to appear during your office hours, otherwise you may waste some of your budget and not provide the user with what they need.

Once you have segmented your ad schedule and accrued enough data to make an informed decision, you can start to adjust your bids for each day/time in your schedule based on obvious trends in the data.

Device Targeting

If you have active PPC campaigns, chances are you also have a fully responsive website or mobile site; if you don't, then you could be wasting a lot of your budget. We recommend that you exclude mobile users if you don't have a responsive website or mobile site.

You can set up bid adjustments for each device category to help improve ROI; remember that each device may have a different maximum number of ads appearing in search results. Therefore, the position you need to achieve to generate a high click through rate (CTR) on a mobile search may be different to a desktop search. Analyse the data and use it to figure out what your bid adjustments should be.

Ad Extensions

Quality Score is important now more than ever with the recent changes to Google's text ads. The transition to Expanded Text Ads means that advertisers can include more content and take up more space in the search results, which is resulting in higher average CTRs and improvements in Quality Score.

Ad extensions are vital to the improvement of CTRs and Quality Score, so if you aren't making the most of all the available ad extensions, you're missing out.

Campaign-level ad extensions will be applied to all of the ad groups within that campaign, so you need to ensure that they are relevent to all of the ads that they are eligible to appear alongside. 

If you are struggling to find the time to carry out these checks and tasks, we would be happy to provide you with a free PPC audit. Request an audit from us before the 31st March to be in with a chance of winning an evening of dinner and cocktails at The Shard – find out more here:

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