Pay-per-click campaigns need to be constantly updated and audited in order to reach your marketing goals. Businesses often make the mistake of creating a campaign, setting it to run, and seldom reviewing the account to make the necessary optimizations through systematic campaign audits to improve performance.
Auditing your pay-per-click campaigns is one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your accounts’ performance, lower cost per clicks, increase click through rates and conversions. So what does it mean to perform an audit to your per-per-click campaign? The answer to this question may depend on whom you are asking, as well as their specific marketing goals. However, there are six main audits that can be completed to ensure your campaigns are operating at peak performance.
Account Structure & Organization Audit
The highest level, and possibly most important, audit you can perform is an account structure & organization audit. The purpose of this audit is to review and ensure you are targeting the right locations, users, and keywords. During this audit you will also be checking for duplicate keywords, ad text variations, and keyword match types. When auditing your account for organization, it is important to take note of duplicate keywords and inappropriate match types and fix them immediately. The longer you have keywords and match types incorrectly implemented, the more opportunities you might be missing out on.
Campaign Settings Audit
After you have completed the account structure & organization audit, the next audit that should be performed on your campaign is a settings audit. While auditing your campaign’s settings you will be checking your ad rotations, shared budgets, and determine appropriate bid modifiers.
The third most important audit for your pay-per-click campaign is an ad audit. The reason you want to audit your ad text is to find which ad variations are underperforming and which are driving a positive return. Once you have determined which ads are underperforming you can begin to optimize your ads based upon the top performing ad variations.
Keyword & Matched Queries Audit
The next audit, and possibly the most time consuming, is the keyword and matched keyword search query audit. During this audit you will review every keyword you have in your campaign and determine which keywords need to be segmented into other groups. You will also review the matched search terms for each of your groups and look for any new opportunities you weren’t targeting before. Additionally, be sure to pay close attention to keyword attributes being used like broad match, phrase match, exact match, and broad match modified. Ensuring that you have paired the best keyword and match type with the appropriate ad is imperative.
Ad Extension Audit
Finally, you will want to perform an ad extensions audit on your pay-per-click campaign. Google AdWords has five different extensions that may be used in conjunction with your ads as no additional cost. These extensions are; Site link extensions, callout extensions, call extensions, location extensions, and review extensions. These extensions are simple and effective ways to increase your ads’ visibility and drive more traffic. If you are currently running a pay-per-click campaign and do not have any ad extensions implemented, you will want to take the time to go through each extension and apply them to your ads. If you are running ad extensions, then you should go through each extension type individually and pause any under performing extensions and replace them with other variations. Having more than one of each extension type is important if you want to A/B test and find the top performing extension text.
These audits may seem time consuming, but they are necessary if you want your campaigns to run at peak performance and drive the highest ROI possible. Many of these audits also require a fair amount of data to appropriately determine top performers from poor performing ads and extensions. With that said, these audits do not need to be performed every week, but once a month is necessary if you want to ensure you are running the most effective campaign possible.