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Experienced PPC managers have their own approach and guide in auditing and maintaining PPC accounts in different pay-per-click platforms to reach their clients’ goals. But for beginners, in order to fully understand the account, you may want to use this PPC audit checklist for the things you need to look into the newly acquired account before doing an in-depth PPC optimization.

PPC Audit Checklist #1: Account Management Checkup

Making sure that the account is properly setup. The following are the things you need to check in the setup:

[ ] Is the budget being fully used or is the budget limited?
[ ] Is Search & Display Network combined?
[ ] Is Ad Scheduling active?
[ ] Delivery type – Standard vs Accelerated?
[ ] Lost Impression share due to budget?
[ ] Lost Impression Share due to rank?
[ ] Are branded keywords separated or mixed in search campaigns?
[ ] Are campaigns targeting the correct locations?

By following the steps above, you can easily determine your handled account and implement necessary changes while making sure of the success of the account.

PPC Audit Checklist #2: Conversion Setup

One of the many reasons why some PPC managers fail in driving leads is when they failed or forgot to setup conversion in Google Ads. With this step being neglected, it results in poor performance of the campaign. The Search Engine Journal report found that only 58% of the 2,000 accounts featured in their study had at least one conversion registered. 

Why is conversion tracking very important? 

Conversion tracking will show you the percentage of customers that ended up taking a certain action, or set of actions on website pages (e.g. % of customers who signed up the website form, % who checked prices, % who made purchases). By tracking these actions, you will know how effective your ads and landing pages are in driving customers through your sales funnel.

How is the Conversion Tracking set up in Google Ads? 

The Basic Google Ads Conversion Tracking Setup

  • Navigate to the conversions section of your Google Ads account, click (+) button at the top left corner.
  • Choose the type of conversion you want to track.
  1. Website Actions – purchases, sign-ups, and other actions that customers complete on your website.
  2. Phone Calls – calls directly from your ads, calls to a phone number on your website and clicks on a phone number on your mobile website.
  3. App installs and in-app actions – installs of your Android or iOS mobile apps, and purchases or other activity within those apps.
  4. Import – customer activity which begins online but finishes offline, such as when a customer clicks an ad and submits a contact form online, and later signs a contract in your office.
  5. Local actions – actions that are counted whenever people interact with an ad that is specific to a physical location or store.
  • Install the given code generated from Google Ads conversion and add the code on your website directly or by using Google Tag Manager. Conduct testing to check if the conversion tracking code is firing properly.

Here’s the complete guide on how to install conversion tracking code 

NOTE: Any change done on conversion’s settings in Google Ads alters its code and you’ll have to paste the new code into the webpage.

 Why Conversion Tracking Setup is important?

Tracking conversions in Google Ads help reduce cost per conversions.

PPC Audit Checklist #3: Campaigns Structure

Implementing Best Practices

One of the critical pieces in a successful PPC effort is having a better campaign structure. There are thousands of ways to consider in structuring your campaigns. But as an advertiser, we need to follow the best practices.

  1. Create separate Search campaigns for brand and non-brand keywords. Add your brand keywords as negative keywords in your non-brand campaigns to ensure that there are no brand traffic that goes through your non-brand campaigns.
  2. Keep Search and Display Network campaigns separate.
  3. Organize your non-brand campaigns according to marketing funnel, conversion action type, product or service type, geographic targeting, and more. The key is to map out a structure aligned with your goals and business objectives.
  4. Settle on a naming convention which is clear to anyone managing the campaigns.

Having a good campaign structure will help you improve your Google Ads account and easily manage it.

PPC Audit Checklist #4: Campaigns Targeting

Targeting the Right Audience with the Right Keyword. Identifying the target audience is one of the crucial elements for a new Google Ads account. Without knowing your target market, or whether an audience even exist, you can’t realistically expect your campaigns to take off. Knowing the keywords to target is vital. Therefore, keyword research for Google Ads aims to examine a subset of all possible keywords, the ones with the highest potential ROI.

How do you perform keyword research for Paid Search?

There are several ways to do keyword research. In fact, you can find some very good guide on google by typing the search term “how to do keyword research” on the search box. In this article, you will learn how to do quick keyword research.

  1. Seeding keywords. First, you need to come up with guesses for relevant keywords. 
  2. Study your site and take note of page titles, categories, services or products, and brand name.
  3. Study your competitors. Look for the search term they are bidding on.
  4. List all the searched keywords in Google sheet or Microsoft excel sheet.
  5. Import the listed keywords in sem tools like keyword planner by Google Ads, SEMRush, or Ahrefs.
  6. Review the found keywords. Create columns in the spreadsheet and add the keywords according to category. 
  7. Setup Google Ads campaigns.

How your campaign structure should look like.

PPC Audit Checklist #5: Effective Search Ads Structure

What are the best practices? In Google Ads, there are two types of search ads – the expanded text ads and responsive ads.

What are “expanded text ads”?    

Expanded text ads are enhanced text ads. These ads are composed of three headlines, two descriptions, and two paths. Expanded text ads are available in the Google Search Network and Google Display Network.  

Expanded text ads’ parts:

  1. Headlines. In expanded text ads, the first two headlines are required while the third one is optional. Every headline has a 30-character limit. The headline is being separated by a vertical pipe (“|”).
  2. Descriptions. The two expanded text ads’ descriptions both have a character limit of 90, giving you more control over the ad’s messaging.
  3. Display URL. The display URL is based on your final URL domain.
  4. Paths. These two fields of expanded text ads have a character limit of 15 and attached to the display URL.
  5. Final URL. The final URL field is where you place the web page where you want your visitor to land.

What are “responsive text ads”? 

Responsive search ads are ads that have multiple headlines and descriptions. These ads are comprised of up to 15 headlines, at least four descriptions and two paths. Responsive text ads are available in the Google Search Network and Google Display Network.

Responsive text ads’ parts:

  1. Headlines. In responsive text ads, the first two headlines are required while the third one is optional. Every headline has a 30-character limit. The headline is being separated by a vertical pipe (“|”).
  2. Descriptions. The two expanded text ads’ descriptions both have a character limit of 90, giving you more control over the ad’s messaging.
  3. Display URL. The display URL is based on your final URL domain.
  4. Paths. These two fields of expanded text ads have a character limit of 15 and attached to the display URL.
  5. Final URL. The final URL field is where you place the web page where you want your visitor to land.

Responsive text ads’ benefits:

  1. Flexible ads. It can adapt to the device widths.
  2. It can provide multiple headlines and descriptions option.
  3. It can reach more potential customers and opens the opportunity to compete in more auctions and match more queries.
  4. Increase group performance.
  1. How responsive text ads work? Google Ads assembles the text into multiple combinations in a way that avoids redundancy. Over time, Google Ads will test the most promising ad combinations, and learn which combinations are the most relevant for different queries.
  2. Tips for effective responsive text ads
    1. Pin headline 1 to position one and insert the keyword in this field to capture the keyword or search term.
    2. Pin headline 2 to position two and use propositional headlines.
    3. Pin headline 3 to position three and use CTA (Get Quote, Contact Us, Purchase Now, etc.)

Keep in mind that Google Ads suggests that each ad group must at least have two expanded text ads and one responsive text ads.

PPC Audit Checklist #6: Keyword Match Type and Negative Keyword

The keyword match type and negative keyword can be overwhelming but very crucial to make the campaign successful.  

What’s the keyword match type?

Keyword match types in the PPC campaign play an important role. They control how certain keywords trigger your ads. There are four types of keyword match – broad match type, broad match modifier, phrase, and exact.

  1. Broad match type – allows advertisers to show the ads for the broadest range of keywords, ranging from misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.
  2. Broad match modifier – offers advertisers to have more freedom and gives a crazy reach of broad match keywords, however, it is more restrictive around the specific queries that will trigger your ad.
  3. Phrase match – a keyword match type that includes all relevant keywords with the main keyword in the same order. Your ad will only appear when a user searches for your exact keyword phrase, in its exact order, but maybe with some additional words at the beginning and the end of the query.
  4. Exact match – a type of keyword match that is precise. This keyword match type focuses only on the specified, exact typed keyword that only triggers the ads.

What’s the negative keyword?

Negative keywords are used to exclude terms that you don’t want your ads to be shown.

It is really important for advertisers to know the match types to use in order to turn the PPC campaign into a success.

PPC Audit Checklist #7: Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Choosing the right bid type is a solid strategy to drive ad costs down.  

7 Google Ads Bidding Strategies:

  • Bidding Strategy 1: Manual Cost Per Click (CPC) – this bidding gives you more control over your bidding strategy, and allows setting individual bid at the keyword level.
  • Bidding Strategy 2: Enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC) – This bid type gives Google Ads the freedom to increase or decrease bids by 30%. Google uses historical conversion data and algorithms to predict which searchers are more likely to lead to a conversion or not.
  • Bidding Strategy 3: Maximize Clicks – Automatic bidding based on your maximum daily budget.
  • Bidding Strategy 4: Maximize Conversions – Using the maximum daily budget that you set, Google will automatically run your bidding for you to get you the most conversions for your money.
  • Bidding Strategy 5: Target CPA – You can include as many or as few campaigns as you want to share your CPA goals. This is similar to what regular Google Ads shared budgets do.
  • Bidding Strategy 6: Target ROAS – This is the bidding strategy where Google Ads set your bids to maximize conversion value based on the return you want from your ad spend. 
  • Bidding Strategy 7: Target Outranking Share – This bidding will let Google bid to outrank specific competitors in 50% of the auctions.

Google Bidding Strategies Takeout: In launching a new campaign on Google Ads, use first Manual CPC. When the gathered data and conversions are doing fine, try an experiment to test if which type of automated bidding will help in maintaining the campaigns.

The Summary:
In order to succeed in today’s competitive paid search market, we have to track everything and then use data to analyze the efforts to minimize marketing waste and maximizing conversions and profits.

Happy Optimizing!

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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