Every now and again, it will be necessary to take a step back from your paid search marketing efforts in order to carry out a PPC audit. Even if you’ve carefully planned out a coherent campaign, optimised it according to best practices and even started to see positive results, there is a strong chance certain aspects can still be further improved upon.
What’s more, being so heavily involved in an account or campaign often means that you’ll have overlooked and left out certain crucial aspects. Therefore, a systematic review of even the most basic elements is a great idea.
If you’ve only just implemented a new campaign or recently changed your strategy, there probably isn’t much point in carrying out an audit, as information won’t be entirely accurate or reliable. But for those with access to a significant amount of data that can be collected and curated, here are some essential steps and solutions for a successful PPC audit on Google AdWords.
Search Term Report
This will quickly tell you whether the keywords that you’re bidding on are worth the price you’re paying. On top of that, the search term report also provides insights into whether the keywords are retrieving relevant terms.
Advertisers often invest good money on keywords that aren’t delivering the most suitable or successful results. Therefore, be sure to look at one word broad match keywords, exact match negative keywords and long tail keywords in order to gain a truly comprehensive and detailed overview.
Being able to target customers according to their own geographical location is one of the most beneficial aspects of PPC advertising. But when carrying out an audit, you could find out that a campaign is receiving clicks from a location that you are really not interested in targeting.
Don’t worry, as this is a fairly common mistake and can be easily rectified. Go into your campaign settings and select the ‘People in my targeted location’ option. This way, you’ll avoid receiving traffic that is unwanted and irrelevant, traffic from the wrong part of the world.
There are various different extensions that are at your disposal, which are of critical importance and can be the difference between a successful and disappointing campaign. As well as site links, you can include call, location, social and review extensions to your PPC campaign.
Not only can these extensions provide more value for money and information for visitors, Google is now considering including these additions as an element of the actual quality score formula. Therefore, it is a good idea to starting utilising them sooner rather than later.
Destination URLs and Landing Pages
If a PPC account isn’t delivering the desired results, it could be because of the overall user experience. When a visitor clicks your ad, they may not be satisfied with your website’s content or offering. While a PPC audit might seem primarily concerned with settings and statistics, destination URLs and landing pages have a lot to do with it too.
Traffic that comes in from a PPC campaign should be greeted by specific landing pages, which directly correlate with the advertisement’s keywords and promises. If you’re struggling to secure conversions, consider a change in value proposition or alter the layout of the site. Carry out some a/b and usability testing to figure out the best course of action moving forwards to drive a better Return on Investment (ROI).
Conversion, Phone and Email Tracking
It is absolutely essential to set up conversion tracking in order to see which keywords, advertisements and landing pages are delivering the best results. This way, you’ll gain a stronger and more reliable perspective on both revenue and ultimately, ROI.
After a campaign has been set-up and implemented, advertisers may well believe that subsequent leads via telephone calls and emails are all coming from PPC, even though other forms of publicity and promotion may still play their part. To explicitly know whether PPC is generating interest and enquiries, you can use unique traceable phone numbers and email addresses on campaign landing pages, track for success!
Remarketing and Retargeting Campaigns
Have you ever set up a campaign that specifically targets people who have visited your website in the past? If not, then it could be incredibly advantageous, especially for PPC accounts with high volumes of traffic.
In order to capitalise on those many lost sales and leads, you can implement a remarketing campaign that enables your advertisements to follow a customer or client as they browse other sites. Try to target visitors by product or service and segment these into various different lists in order to stand the best chance of increasing conversions.
Organise your Ad Groups and Keywords
Have you developed strong common themes between keywords and ad groups? How well are these two structured? Is there even any organisation at all? Your quality score could suffer if you’ve used one ad group for every single keyword.
Even if you have very similar keywords that clearly mean the same thing, Google does not recognise this and is more interested in relevancy. Therefore, be as specific as possible and put everything in a precise order. You’ll benefit from higher quality scores, better ad positions, greater click-through rates and lower cost per clicks.
Utilise The Display Network
It is common for PPC campaigns to target both the search and display network. But the vast majority of account holders only want their advertisements to show up on Google and ignore the many potentially influential alternatives.
Even though there is the opportunity to generate a good Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), you’ll need to pay close attention to correct and relevant targeting. One big mistake is targeting the display network with keywords alone and disregarding the importance of placement and topic.
PPC audit summary
Every single online marketing technique and process requires analysis from time to time and PPC is actually no different. Before starting an audit, the sheer amount of variables that you’ll be confronted with can feel a little bit daunting, but sometimes getting your hands dirty is absolutely necessary.
Bear in mind that this analysis and assessment really can save you lots of time and money. By making PPC audits a regular occurrence, you’ll inevitably keep improving and ultimately develop the best campaign possible ultimately getting the highest imaginable bang for your buck!.