Are you wondering if your Google Ads are performing as well as you think? Although everything may seem to be running smoothly, there are always improvements to be made. If you’re looking to take your online marketing to a whole new level, you may want to consider completing a regular Google Ads audit.
The Definition and Importance of a Google Ads Audit
You’ve probably already heard of an IRS audit (and you’re probably cringing reading that too), but did you know that Google Ads has audits too? However, this is one audit you can choose. And it’s one that could significantly benefit you if done correctly.
So, what is a Google Ads audit? A Google Ad audit is essentially a thorough assessment of your Google Ads account(s). In it, you’re measuring effectiveness, uncovering hidden problems, and finding viable solutions to these problems. You may find that your conversion tracking is off, you have a spelling error on an ad that’s running, your targeting settings need to be adjusted, or you’re spending way too much per campaign and need to cut back. There are many things an audit can unveil.
Sometimes certain tasks get lost in day-to-day campaign management. After all, Google Ads is a complex platform with millions of moving parts. It can be incredibly difficult to keep track of them all. Whether large or small, errors, mistakes, and dropped balls can start to add up over time and negatively impact your ad campaigns. Audits are an excellent means of reviewing what’s working and what’s not in your accounts, and can even be your saving grace during more urgent situations. Overall, understanding the status of your Google Ads account plays a critical role in how you invest your effort and hard-earned dollars.
The sooner you find the issues, the sooner you can fix them! If you want to get results, you should periodically conduct a Google Ads account audit. It’s usually recommended to do this on a quarterly basis.
The Advantages of a Google Ads Audit
An in-depth Google Ads audit not only detects areas of concern and other red flags within your accounts; it also helps you fine-tune so you can improve revenue flow using less time, energy, and finances. Here are just a few of the many advantages a Google Ads audit has to offer your business:
Obtain Valuable Data & Insights
We promise that a deep dive into your Google Ad accounts won’t be in vain. You’re sure to stumble across valuable data and insights that you can apply to your SEO strategy and keep in mind for future ad campaigns. Remember, knowledge is power!
Discover Wasted Dollars
Did you know that only 29% of Google Ads accounts track conversions correctly? If you don’t have proper tracking in place, you’ll be wasting company dollars left and right. Wouldn’t you want to know if you’re throwing money at the wall? An audit can open your eyes to what’s being spent and the results you’re seeing or not seeing.
Find New Expansion Opportunities
Maybe you’re missing out on a popular new keyword or phrase that’s relevant to your products or services. Perhaps one of your campaigns could benefit from targeting adjustment, as your target audience’s preferences have changed. No matter the issue, a Google Ads audit allows you to find ways to expand and grow within your campaigns to get the results you want.
Developing Operational and Management Processes
When you get into the habit of doing regular Google Ads audits, you’re setting the stage for ongoing success. Although it may seem like a pain to have to meticulously comb through your accounts, your company will only benefit in the long run and maximize ROI.
How To Conduct a Google Ads Audit
There are a variety of ways you can conduct a Google Ads audit. Having a solid Google Ads audit template to reference is helpful when you’re ready to start digging in. Here are seven things you should be checking when it’s time for some good, old-fashioned auditing.
Identify Your Goals
Before going straight into the audit process, you need to determine your company goals. What is it that you’re after exactly? We recommend asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to accomplish in this audit?
- Are you doing an overall audit or zeroing in on one specific area?
- What are your company goals? Have they changed recently?
- What are your conversion goals? Have they changed?
- Has your target audience changed at all? (demographics, location, etc.)
- What type of tracking mechanisms do you currently have in place?
Note Your Account Structure
The next thing you’ll want to do is take a look at your account structure. You’ll need to ensure that ad groups and campaigns are organized properly, reporting is accurate, your campaigns are obtaining results, and that location settings and other targeting tools are active and working as they should. There are many different ways you can set up your account, so remember to do what’s best and easiest for you. However, you’ll want to allow yourself the utmost control when it comes to the budget, the ads themselves, and campaign management as a whole.
3. Examine Your Budget
The last thing you want to do is pay too much and gain too little in return. Check out your allocated funds. Where are they going? Is your money actually earning results or is one or more campaigns at a stand-still? Maybe you’re not spending enough on some ads and spending too much on others, or perhaps you’re using the wrong bidding technique. Either way, look closely at your cost per clicks (CPS) and make sure you’re not wasting money.
Check Your Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is using too many, not enough, or the wrong keywords. Remember your company goals, especially in this step. Keep in mind that you want to focus on each campaign and the specific search intent involved and look for patterns in the bigger picture rather than on a smaller level (save that for the editing session after the audit). Usually, you’ll want to stay at or below ten keywords per ad group.
Some things to consider when examining keywords are:
- Are the keywords you’re using still relevant for your target audience? What about for your products and/or services?
- Which keywords are scoring the lowest? The highest?
- Are any of your keywords that are negatively impacting your cost-per-clicks, conversion rates, or click-through-rates?
- Are you including any negative keywords?
- Are your ad groups complementing instead of competing with each other?
Inspect Your Ads and Campaign Performance
The biggest and easiest flaws to spot are low-performing ads or those that don’t seem to be up to par with the others. Check not only the statistics of each ad, but also the copy and presentation. Make sure that each ad has a strong call-to-action (CTA) and is completely relevant to the target audience and topic. Some additional questions to consider include:
- Does the image or video fit with the accompanying ad copy?
- Are there any grammatical errors or issues with mobile friendliness?
- Does the landing page link work properly?
- Does your landing page include relevant and clear information with a CTA?
- Are you tracking conversions correctly?
- Does the ad look appealing?
- Is your ad copy concise and attention-grabbing?
Review Your Settings
Chances are, you’ll have plenty of adjustments to make once you’re done with your audit. However, during the audit, you’ll want to examine your account and campaign settings to ensure that things are performing at the highest level possible. Your Google Ad settings can span everything from targeting and ad schedule to bid strategy and ad format. When conducting your Google Ad audit, you’ll want to take a look at the following things:
- Are you targeting the right devices for your audience?
- Are the type of ads you’re using currently working? (dynamic search, display, etc.) If not, what makes the most sense for your goals?
- Are you targeting the correct geographical locations? If not, what locations should be removed?
- Are your budget, bidding, and ad delivery settings configured the way you want them?
Improve Your Ad Performance With a Professional Google Ads Audit
Is it time to examine your Google Ads accounts, but you’re still not sure where to start? Or maybe you simply just don’t have the time to handle it throughout your insane schedule as a business owner. Thankfully, the team of digital marketing specialists at Higher Ranking has the necessary experience and track record to take care of your audit for you. We’ll dig deep into your accounts, pinpointing problems and offering smart solutions that are always in your best interest. And not only that, but we’ll keep your Google Ads running at the optimal level from start to finish.
Here at Higher Ranking, we offer a variety of online advertising services such as pay-per-click and display advertising with a focus on constant improvement. We believe that SEO and advertising aren’t one-and-done strategies; they require a great deal of time and energy to be successful. Our team also believes that one of the best things a company can do is conduct regular Google Ad audits to discover and solve problems, gain valuable insights, and make improvements to benefit business.
Overall, we are results-oriented and passionate about helping our clients be on the top of their game, whether it’s helping out with keyword research, enhancing social media ad strategy, optimizing websites, or one of our other service offerings.
Are you ready to go higher? Send us a message online today or give us a call at 03 9399 1469.