Google AdWords PPC Audit - Account 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 - Account Level
Author: Jamie Hallitt
Date: 4th March 2017
Categories: Pay Per Click Advertising, Google AdWords, PPC Management


Account-Level PPC Optimisation Tasks

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, account-level checks, here are the main tasks you need to do:

Review your AdWords account structure

Your account structure determines how granularly you target your audience and, as a result, can heavily impact the success of your campaigns. There are lots of different methods of structuring your account, but what’s important to remember is that all of the following settings are set up at campaign-level:

  • Budget
  • Geo Targeting
  • Network Targeting
  • Language Targeting
  • Ad Scheduling
  • Device bid adjustments

If you usually segment your target market by location, for example, then you may wish to create a campaign for each major location you target, so that you can assign them all a different budget. Similarly, if you usually assign different proportions of your marketing budget to different industries and sectors, you might want to segment your campaigns in this way so you can also assign different budgets to these industries and sectors. You can find out more about AdWords account structures here.

Check that GA & AdWords are (still) linked

By linking your Google Analytics account to your Google AdWords account, you will be able to import your GA goals, transactions and remarketing audiences into AdWords and see relevant GA data in your AdWords reports. This makes life much easier when setting up conversion tracking, creating remarketing campaigns, and reviewing your campaign performance. Google explains how to do this here if you haven’t already.

Test conversion tracking

You should already have conversion tracking in place, but if you don’t, then it is imperative that you get it set up as soon as possible. Conversion tracking allows you to see how effectively your traffic leads to valuable customer activity such as enquiry form completions, online purchases, content downloads, newsletter signups and phone calls. Google explains how to set up conversion tracking here.

To check whether or not your conversion tracking is working, go to Tools in AdWords and choose Conversions from the drop-down menu. In the conversions table, you should see the “Tracking status” column – this will tell you whether or not a conversion (if set up in AdWords) is tracking conversions. You can find out more about your conversion tracking status here.

Track your Quality Score

Quality Score plays a huge part in determining how profitable your campaigns are and how efficiently you can achieve results. In order to improve your Quality Score, you first need to check it and track it over time – the trouble is, Google doesn’t provide historical Quality Score data in AdWords, so you need to implement a script to help you do this. Here is a script that will enable you to track keyword Quality Score over time. If you simply want to check your keyword-level Quality Score, you can use this link to help you.

Review your Change History report

If you don’t manage your campaigns yourself and want to see the changes that other people have made to your campaigns – or if you simply want to find out if a certain change has been made – you can find this information in the Change History report, under Tools. This report is extremely useful if you want to understand how your agency or employees are managing your campaigns; how often are they making changes to you campaign, how many changes are they making and are the changes likely to achieve the desired results? Google explains how to use this tool here.

Check your billing status

If you don’t stay up to speed with your payments to Google, your account will be at risk of being put on hold until you pay any outstanding payments. There can be a long delay in getting your campaigns back up and running if this happens and it will most likely affect your campaign performance for at least a short period. Similarly, if your credit card expires, it can also take a few days to update your payment method, so make sure you stay on top of your billing information and plan ahead for any changes you need to make. Google explains how to manage your payment methods here.

Check Auto Tagging is enabled

In order to report on your performance using Google Analytics, you will need to enable Auto-tagging if you haven’t already done so. This is one of the most common causes of loss of information between AdWords and GA, so check that this is enabled before you explore other reasons for data not being imported. Google explains Auto-tagging in more detail here.

Free PPC audit + dinner & cocktails at The Shard

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: http://ppcaudit.thelda.co.uk/.

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