Did you know that the top three paid spots in Google Ads get about 50% of all the clicks on a page? Thus, it does not really matter how well-developed your SEO strategy is, since paid clicks anyway have a high chance to outnumber organic clicks.
Therefore, it is exceptionally important to create an effective PPC campaign. But how can you do it? Well, start with a PPC audit checklist that might be found in the article below. Let us check it out together!
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About PPC Audit in a Nutshell
So, what is a PPC audit? Why do you need it? And how to run it? Let us find answers to these questions right away.
What Is a PPC Audit?
In simple words, a PPC audit is the analysis of your paid advertising strategy. More precisely, it is the process of assessing the short- and long-term performance, cost, and returns of your advertising campaigns (including advertising groups and individual advertisements).
It is essential to run a PPC audit of your ad group and individual PPC ad on a regular basis. This way, you will be able to get the maximum out of your PPC strategy and, therefore, effectively promote your business.
Why Do You Need a PPC Audit?
The most obvious answer to the question of why conduct a PPC audit is because it promotes your business. Namely, going through a PPC audit checklist from time to time is useful while achieving the following goals:
- Evaluation of your advertising campaign performance. By running a PPC account audit, you will be able to evaluate how well your advertising campaign performs. This way, you will be able to make sure that you are investing your time and money wisely (and, if needed, correct your advertising strategy);
- Definition of your advertising campaign performance issues. A PPC account audit will also come in handy when it comes to defining the issues of your advertising campaign performance;
- Discovery of ways to improve the performance of your advertising campaign. Last but not least, a PPC account audit will help you to fix the issues in your advertising campaign settings and, therefore, make them better.
Apart from evaluating, defining, and fixing your PPC campaigns, a properly performed audit will also help you to get to know your audience better. With its help, you will be able to learn more about the way your potential customers interact with your advertisements and, therefore, provide them with a better experience.
How to Run a PPC Audit?
There are several ways to run a PPC audit. Namely, you might either perform it yourself (if you are a confident user of PPC ad extensions and know how to work with PPC ad campaigns) or rely on digital marketing experts who will work on your PPC advertising from A to Z.
In both cases, it might be a good idea to use a special PPC audit template, which you will either develop on your own or get from a digital marketing company you are cooperating with. By using such a template from time to time, you will be able to track the dynamics of your PPC campaigns.
Professionally performed PPC audits might boost your business to an absolutely new level. Namely, they will help you to conduct special keyword research (to define negative keywords and relevant keywords), develop effective remarketing campaigns, and create original text ads to lead your customers to your landing page.
1o Steps of an Effective PPC Audit: Checklist
Below, you will find a checklist with 10 steps to run an effective PPC audit. Feel free to use them to make your own PPC audit template that will help you to promote your business and reach its target audience easier.
Step #1. Select the Data for Analysis
The first thing to do in the PPC account audit checklist is to define the data you are going to analyze. Here, it is essential to mention that you need to have enough data for the analysis (the wider span of data you analyze, the more accurate your results will be).
Namely, please remember that a one-month span of data is not enough for proper PPC auditing. At the very least, make sure to analyze the span of data which equals three months to get reliable and useful results.
In the case of analyzing a large amount of data, it might be a good idea to download it. For instance, you might export it from your account on Google Ads and transfer it to an Excel spreadsheet. This way, you will be able to keep it well-organized during your analysis.
Step #2. Define the Budget
While analyzing the performance of your PPC campaign, pay attention to the budget you are spending on it. Also, record your cost-per-click and define how many clicks you get for your defined budget.
By doing the above-mentioned calculations, you will be able to measure how successful your own campaigns are (and if needed, think about the measures you might take to make them more cost-efficient.
There is no universal budget for all PPC campaigns. It is essential to understand that the amount of money you might want to pay for each ad group or individual advertisement strongly depends on a combination of different factors, starting from the peculiarities of your business and ending with your desired results.
Step #3. Analyze the Content of the Ad
While analyzing your display campaigns, pay attention to their content. Remember, “content is king,” since it has a huge impact on the way your actual and potential audience responds to your advertisements.
According to the most popular PPC audit guides, it is important to look for answers to the following questions while analyzing the content of your ads:
- Is your ad targeted to a specific group of people (or, in other words, does it stay in tune with your target audience)?
- Does your content help your target audience to understand what benefits they get by choosing you?
- Is there a clear call to action on your ad?
By finding answers to the above-mentioned questions, you will be able to find out the strong and weak points of your content and, thus, come up with ideas of how to make it better.
The content of a display campaign can both encourage and discourage people from buying from you. Therefore, make sure it works for you (and not vice versa).
Step #4. Check Out the Quality Score
Believe us or not, the quality score is exceptionally important for any PPC campaign. The main reason for it is that it determines the placement of your ads (and, therefore, has a direct impact on how well your ads perform).
Thus, make sure to analyze your quality score when running your PPC auditing. Remember that a good quality score might substantially improve the ranking of your landing pages and do everything you can to improve it.
The quality score is determined by ad relevancy and click-through rate. Therefore, pay enough effort to make your ads as relevant as possible after doing your PPC audits.
Step #5. Go Through the Keywords
The analysis of your keywords might also be quite helpful while running your PPC audit. Thus, make sure to go through your broad-match keywords, narrow-match keywords, well-performing keywords, and poor-performing keywords.
During your keyword research, feel free to use a wide range of PPC audit tools to come up with your keyword list. Remember, properly selected keywords serve as a driving force of your PPC campaign success.
There are many aspects to pay attention to while analyzing your keywords. For instance, you might come up with your negative keyword list, configure appropriate match types on your keywords, or work with suitable long-tail keywords for your business.
Step #6. Take Part in the Click-Through and Conversion Tracking
One more essential step of all PPC audit programs is to track your click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. Due to the fact that they are closely related and have a great impact on one another, it is preferable to analyze them in combination.
By means of monitoring your CTR and conversion rate, you will be able to define whether your target audience gets interested in your ad or bypasses it. Thus, the success of your PPC audit results directly depends on whether you have been paying attention to your click-through rates or tracking conversions.
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While analyzing your PPC campaign, make sure each account of yours has a conversion tracking code. This way, you will be able to monitor your conversions in an easier way.
Step #7. Review the Bids
Also, it is important to keep track of how well your bid strategy performs. Thus, analyze your bid adjustments and amounts to be aware of the money you spend to generate new leads for your business.
Moreover, feel free to test smart bidding options in order to prioritize conversions and see how well they perform in your individual case. It is an interesting and effective way to improve your bidding strategy.
The detailed analysis of your bid amount will help you to define whether you can lower it and, therefore, bring more profit to your business.
Step #8. Examine the Location Targeting
Furthermore, it might be worth using your PPC audit tool to examine your location targeting. The thing is that your PPC ads might perform differently in search results for different geographical locations.
Therefore, pay attention to your location targeting and check if your location extensions are working properly. This way, you will be able to adjust your landing pages in accordance with the peculiarities of the geographical locations you are targeting at.
The examination of your location targeting might help you figure out where to move funds to achieve the best possible results for your Google Ads campaign.
Step #9. Define the Areas of Wasted Spend
On top of that, you might also want to define the areas of wasted spend while analyzing your search campaigns and search terms. In other words, you might want to take a look at the amount of money you are losing from your Google Ads campaign (by either missing out on conversions or spending too much money to generate new leads).
By means of spending time on defining the areas of wasted spend, you will be able to save a substantial amount of money. This way, you will manage to prevent yourself from losing too much of your budget for a certain campaign.
One of the greatest problems that might lead to wasted spend is the inappropriately chosen irrelevant keywords. Therefore, it is preferable to conduct keyword analysis and wasted spend analysis by drawing parallels between them.
Step #10. Come Up with the Audit Summary
Last, but not least, come up with your PPC audit summary. Try to include all the relevant information you have come up with during your analysis (starting from the list of negative keywords relevant to your ad group and ending with the aspects you have to change in your account structure).
Only by writing the PPC audit summary, you will be able to arrive at concrete problems you would need to work on to improve the performance of your PPC campaign. As well, it will provide you with a clear vision of how to improve the online presence of your business and generate more sales.
The analysis of any ad group or individual advertisement has to end with a clear and concise summary.
Hopefully, the description of the above-mentioned steps has helped you to find your own answers to the question of how to do PPC audit. So, analyze your PPC campaigns thoroughly and let your business grow!