Have you had a PPC audit recently? If so, how do you know it was done correctly?
In this post, we point out how you know if your PPC audit was done by a rookie.
And when it comes to PPC, it’s very easy to waste money.
Here are 25 signs that your most recent audit isn’t going to help you improve.
No Campaign Theme Analysis
Many PPC ad networks organize ads by ad groups and organize ad groups by campaigns. That’s certainly the case with search engine marketing channels, such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
A great PPC audit will evaluate those campaigns to ensure that they’re optimized.
For example, each campaign should have its own theme. Also, branded keywords should be in campaigns separate from non-branded keywords.
If you didn’t get any feedback about campaign themes, it’s a sign that your PPC audit wasn’t handled by a professional.
No Budget Analysis
When it comes to investing in any aspect of your business, you’re looking for a positive return on investment (ROI). Online advertising is no different.
That’s why a good PPC audit will let you know if you’re spending money efficiently. It will show you how much money you’re wasting and how much more you could add to your bottom line by adjusting your ad spend for certain campaigns.
No Network Analysis
What networks are you running ads on? A great PPC audit will tell you where your ads are appearing. That includes search networks, display networks, or both.
No Location Analysis
Where are your ads performing best? In the Southeast? In the Midwest? In specific states or cities?
A good PPC audit will show you where you’re likely to get more business with increased ad spend. It will also tell you where you should avoid spending marketing dollars so that you don’t waste money.
No Bid Analysis
Part of the challenge on many PPC networks is finding just the right amount to bid. If you bid too much, you waste money. If you don’t bid enough, your ad won’t appear very often.
If you hired a top-notch PPC audit team, your report will include details about how you can adjust your bidding to maximize your ROI.
No Device Targeting Analysis
Perhaps your ad performs better for people on a tablet than people on a smartphone or desktop. You won’t know that, though, if you hired a rookie PPC audit team that doesn’t even look at ad performance per device.
No Ad Scheduling Analysis
You also need to know when your ad performs best. It might be during business hours or it might be during non-business hours.
A good audit team will deliver a report that shows you when people are likely to click on your ad.
No IP Exclusion Analysis
Do you want to see your own ad when you search for a term related to your brand? Probably not.
That’s why it’s a great idea to use IP exclusions. You can exclude your own office network from showing your PPC ads.
When you do that, you’re saving ad impressions for those who really matter: potential customers.
A rookie PPC audit won’t give you any info about IP exclusions.
No Evaluation of Ad Content
Some audits focus on facts and figures but not on the actual marketing itself. If that’s what your team did, then it’s likely they’re part of a rookie outfit.
A great audit, on the other hand, will also look at your ad copy. It will answer questions like:
- Does it appeal to people in a specific market segment?
- Does it answer the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) question?
- Does it have a clear call to action (CTA)?
- Does it make proper use of keywords?
- How does it stand out from competing ads?
- Are there any typos?
- Are there any grammatical errors?
No Display URL Analysis
Although you should include your keyword in your ad copy, that’s not the only place where you should include it. You should put it in your display URL as well.
A rookie audit team won’t tell you that, though.
No Landing Page Analysis
In addition to skipping out on the audit of the ad copy and display URL, a novice audit team will also neglect to evaluate your landing page.
Why is landing page analysis important? Because your landing page is where you “seal the deal” with people who’ve shown an interest in your ad.
A good audit will show you the current conversion rate of your landing page and offer actionable insights about how to improve it.
No Ad Rank Analysis
Your Ad Rank determines where your ad appears in the search results. You can check it by looking at the average position column in Google AdWords or Bing Ads.
If your ad is ranking below the second position, it’s probably not getting enough attention.
A good PPC audit tells you where your ads are ranking and offers advice about how to improve the Ad Rank.
No Quality Score Analysis
Speaking of Ad Rank, that’s determined in part by your Quality Score. A rookie audit team won’t tell you that.
A professional team will, though. They’ll give you insight as to what you can do to improve your score so that your Ad Rank improves.
That advice will usually include optimizing your ad and/or your landing page for the keyword that you’re using.
No Extension Analysis
Google AdWords gives you the ability to display additional info in your ads with extensions. If you’re using extensions, you’ll want to know how they’re performing.
It’s a sign of a poor audit when the analysts overlook your extensions.
A good audit, on the other hand, will check extensions for ad relevance, keyword relevance, and status. You should also expect detailed analysis of the various types of extensions:
- Site Links – Are they relevant to the ad? Are they optimized for various platforms?
- Call Out Extensions – Do they appear? If not, why not?
- Review Extensions – Do they appear? If not, why not?
- Call Extensions – Do they display the accurate phone number? Do they only display the phone number during business hours?
- Location Extensions – Do they appear? If not, why not?
- Structured Snippet Extensions – Are there at least three of four added?
No Search Term Analysis
Do you think you’re using all the keywords that are relevant to your PPC campaign? A good audit might tell you otherwise.
A bad audit won’t.
Check your audit report for info about keywords that you could be using but aren’t. Also look for details about keywords that aren’t performing very well.
No Match Type Analysis
As you probably know, you have a choice between four different kinds of keyword match types:
- Broad Match – matches on any word in your key phrase
- Broad Match Modified – matches any word in your key phrase as long as it’s in the right place
- Phrase Match – matches on your key phrase, but allows for synonyms
- Exact Match – matches only the exact key phrase
A good PPC audit will also tell you if you’re using the right kind of match type in your PPC campaigns. It will also offer actionable insights so you can adjust match types to maximize your ROI.
No Search Volume Analysis
If you’ve hired a poor audit team, they probably won’t give you any info about low-volume search terms that you’re using. That’s too bad.
Why? Because it’s easier to manage campaigns when you don’t have to track keywords that aren’t doing anything for your business.
No Keyword Number Analysis
Your ad groups probably shouldn’t contain more than 30 keywords. If they do, that’s a sign that you might need to split the ad group.
A good audit team will know that and check the number of keywords you have in each ad group.
No Account Structure Analysis
There are countless online marketers who don’t even know the proper way to run a PPC campaign. They can’t explain the difference between campaigns and ad groups.
A good audit report will explain that difference to you and give you advice about how to structure your campaigns so that you can improve your reach and get a better return.
No Multi-Channel Funnel Analysis
Your PPC campaign shouldn’t run in a vacuum. It should be linked to your Google Analytics account.
A great audit team will not only pay attention to your PPC analytics, but also check your GA account to get a better understanding of your multi-channel funnels. They’ll also provide you with a report so you can see where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
No Language Analysis
In this global economy, it’s especially important that you speak to people in their native language. A good audit will ensure that all your ads are running in the right language.
No Remarketing Analysis
If your PPC audit report didn’t tell you anything about your remarketing efforts, then it wasn’t a very good audit.
A better analysis would show you how much more business you’re gaining with remarketing.
That’s if you’re doing remarketing, of course. If you’re not doing any remarketing, then the report would show you how much more you could be making if you advertised to people who’ve already visited your site.
No Display Network Analysis
Are you running ads on display networks? If so, then a good audit will show you how well that’s working and what you can do to improve.
Specifically, you should see an analysis of banner sizes, automatic placements, and targeting.
No Negative Keyword Analysis
You might be pouring money down the drain if you don’t use important negative keywords. That’s because negative keywords prevent your ad from appearing to people that aren’t really interested in what you’re offering.
If you’ve hired a poor audit company, then your report probably says nothing about negative keywords that you can use to prevent the wrong people from clicking on your ad and costing you money.
On the other hand, a good report will tell you exactly what words you can use to keep your ads away from people who aren’t potential customers.
No Goal Analysis
Last, but certainly not least, it’s a sign of a bad audit when the analysts didn’t even ask you about your PPC goals.
Why are you running PPC ads? To build brand-name awareness? To get some immediate sales? To gather leads?
If your PPC auditors didn’t even ask you about your goals before starting the analysis, then they’re probably part of a rookie team. They can’t possibly give you the kind of info you need about how to improve your PPC efforts if they don’t even understand why you’re running ads in the first place.
A great PPC audit, on the other hand, will deliver a report that shows you what you need to do to reach your goals.