Your Complete Google AdWords Audit

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management

Oct 29

Complete your Google AdWords Audit to see where you can improve your campaign performance. Anyone looking to promote a website understands that Google AdWords can be an excellent way to drive traffic and increase your sales if done the right way. It can also be a very expensive way to fail if you don’t manage your campaigns.

Google AdWords ChecklistManaging a PPC campaign can be rather exciting and very rewarding when it all goes well. It can also become very costly if it is not done properly.

Here is a great way to start by finding out if your campaigns are set up for success. Simply follow the checklist below.

General Campaign Strategy

  • Do you organize your campaigns with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you making the most of targeting settings? You should leverage devices, location and time of day.
  • Do you have remarketing specific campaigns?
  • Do you include ad extensions? This is now part of Google’s new algorithm for its ad rank calculation.
  • Do you have campaigns specifically for branded terms? If you are not bidding on your own brand odds are your competitors will.
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary clicks?
  • Do you have your campaigns separated by Search and Display? These are two very different types of campaigns and should never be combined. Besides being able to control your bids effectively you must also consider the difference in your visitor. A click coming from search is already looking for what you have to offer. A visitor coming from a display network may have never heard of you before seeing your ad and therefore requires a different type of landing page/offer entirely.
  • Do your display ads include a variety of banner sizes?

Must Haves for Ad Groups

  • Do you organize your ad groups with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you taking advantage of ad group settings?
  • Do you limit your keywords to 20 or less to promote themes with ad copy?
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary overlap between ad groups?

Ad Essentials

  • Do all your ads align with your keywords for relevance? Does the ad clearly promote the keyword?
  • Have you checked all of your destination URL’s for landing page relevance? Does the landing page follow the theme?
  • Do you include proper analytic tracking for your destination URL’s ?
  • Do you include at least two ads in each group for A/B testing?
  • If you are using a display ad have you included ads for all available sizes?
  • Do you monitor for ad position and CTR’s?

Keywords Mechanics

  • Do you use keyword research tools to discover competition, # of searches and costs before you implement them?
  • Are you leveraging the right match types to achieve the desired results?
  • Do you monitor your Quality Score for each keyword? QS includes Landing Page Relevance, Click Through Rates, Ad to Keyword Relevance and several other miscellaneous factors.
  • Is your landing page to keyword relevance where it should be?
  • Do you use query reports or negative keywords tools to discover possible negative keywords that should be added?

Landing Pages Fundamentals

  • Do your landing pages follow industry best practices?
  • Do you have multiple landing pages for A/B testing?
  • Does your offer and call to action do the job?
  • Does your landing page pass the blink test? If you can’t clearly identify the intent by the time you blink you should consider improving your landing page.
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of offer?
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of device?

Analyze and Understand Your Metrics

  • Do you have a regular schedule to analyze your reports?
  • Does your average cost per click align with your company goals?
  • Do you understand your conversions?
  • Do you measure clicks vs. conversions?
  • Do you look for changes in key areas such as cost per click, position, click-through-rates?
  • Do you analyze your landing page activity to look for improvements?

We understand that managing PPC campaigns can be a complicated and challenging endeavor. If you start with a good foundation you greatly increase the odds that your ads will perform well. Having a well organized campaign will also reduce the amount of time required to maintain your campaigns which will make everyone happy!

You may also download the PDF version, here.

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About the Author

Laura Kimball is the CEO of Click Measure Media. She combines internet marketing with software development expertise to deliver PPC automation tools designed to save ad buyers time and money managing their campaigns. Follow on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn

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