The 15 Minute Adwords Audit

Free Adwords Account Audit and Review

In approximately 15 minutes you can use this Adwords Audit checklist to see how to improve your Adwords account.

Just follow the steps below!

Are you limiting your campaigns by budget?

Yes ☐  No

Are you failing to spend or limiting your campaign budgets?

If either of these problems exist you need to review your Adwords campaign budget strategy.

Best practices and a practical approach would be to align how much you’re willing to spend on your keywords with what the marketplace is allowing. Also, focus your budget on achieving conversions, not just clicks to your website or landing page.

If you need help optimizing your budgets, we offer a complimentary (yes, Free!) marketing review that focuses on your practices needs. Adwords audits are a common request:

Free Adwords Account Audit

Are you using Google Adwords default settings?

Yes ☐  No

DO NOT use Google default campaign settings blindly. If you’re using Google defaults you are most likely under-optimized. On a positive note you have a ton of opportunity!

Since Google makes most of their Billions every year from advertisers it makes sense to watch out for yourself and not trust “defaults”.

When you use the default settings, you add to the lining of Google’s pockets. You could always hedge this loss by buying stock in Google.

There are campaign settings for a reason. Represent your interests, not Google’s, by adjusting the default settings to your practice advertising strategy.

Are you using ad extensions to get more impressions?

Yes ☐  No

Since the introduction of Ad extensions they have become an important part of AdWords strategy. Ad extensions provide an opportunity to communicate more to searchers at the ad level and gain more advertising real estate in the search results.

Boost your ad rank by using ad extensions.

If you don’t use ad extensions… Good luck showing up the top 3 positions!

Are you using more than one ad per ad group?

Yes ☐  No

If you’re not using multiple ads per ad group, you’re missing an opportunity to get better results. It also helps to continually create new ads and rotate out old under-performing ads. Google loves this!

In the example above, Google wasn’t displaying the better performing ad. The ad on the very bottom has a better CTR (click-through-rate) and a better CPC (cost-per-click). But Google (think making billions) favored more expensive ads. The solution is to pause the costly under performing ad that Google wanted to show, and run the ad that has more favorable metrics.

You can improve your CTR by 100% or more if you do ad testing and pay attention to how Google automates which ads they show.

If you want to get the most out of your advertising budget you should be continuously testing ads.

Are you paying attention to low quality score keywords?

Yes ☐  No

If you have low quality scores for keywords in your Adwords account, you not only pay more than competitors for clicks, but you run the risk of not having your ad display at all.

If your quality scores are 2 out 10, like the ad above, you are not going to see results.

One of the best ways to optimize your budget is to improve your quality scores.

If you have low quality score keywords, analyze the following:

  • Keywords match ad copy
  • Landing page copy matches ad copy
  • The offer on your page relevant to the keyword or search term

Make sure all of the above apply. If not, work through the adjustments you need to make to raise your quality scores.

Are you using Ad group default bids instead of keyword bids?

Yes ☐  No

DO NOT use ad group default bids for your Keywords! Use individual Keyword bids.

Adjusting your max CPC, the more you can lower your average CPC.

More often than not, you’ll get better results if you adjust your max CPC at the keyword level.

Not sure if you are using Ad Group or Keyword level bids? Contact us for a Free Adwords Audit and we’ll let you know for sure: Free Adwords Audit

Are you including negative keywords in your Adwords account?

Yes ☐  No

Google provides a tool to include negative keywords in your ad groups. Negative keywords block your ads from showing on search terms that are not relevant to your service lines or brand.

When you ad appears on search terms that are irrelevant sometimes searchers click on your ad, land on your page and leave when they realize they clicked on an irrelevant website.

The harm in this is that you just paid for a click that had no chance of gaining a conversion. This also hurts your metrics, quality score, and budget.

Avoid paying for bad clicks over and over again by using negative keywords.

Using negative keywords can block your ad from displaying for unrelated search terms. If implemented properly negative keywords can help you save money and decrease your cost per conversion.

Free Adwords Account Audit and Review

Are you mining search terms reports?

Yes ☐  No

Google has an opportunities section that provides keyword suggestions, but mining your search terms reports will help you find some of your best keywords and you won’t have to wait for Google to help you.

Using broad match modified keywords (or even broad match if you have to), will provide you with tons of data to analyze.

Your search terms report will show you new keywords that are converting. And you’ll find negative keywords you want to add to your campaigns.

Mining your search term report is the key to building a granular AdWords campaign. Use your search term data to refine your ad groups. The goal is to build your ad groups to a point where your keywords and ads have a 1 to 1 relationship within your ad groups.

To learn more about this strategy, you can setup a complimentary review of your Adwords account with our team.

Have you defined and targeted you audiences and exclusions?

Yes ☐  No

You can build audiences for your ad campaigns right within AdWords.

The audience options allow you to target customers based on Google’s data about lifestyle, demographics, and shopping behavior.

You can also use standard remarketing to target people who have visited your website. Or you can target segments of your website visitors using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).

AdWords audiences

Want a quick win?

You can use AdWords Customer Match to upload your email list into AdWords. Then you can target or exclude these customers from ad campaigns. For more guidance on how to use this technique, check out this full tutorial on how to use AdWords Customer match.

Are you adjusting your campaign bids based on device?

Yes ☐  No

People use devices differently. And your campaigns will produce different results on different devices. You can make your budget more effective by targeting the devices that are best suited to your ads.

You can also target cheaper search traffic on devices your competitors won’t bid on.

The mobile ad group in the example below is getting better result across the board. This is because there’s less competition for some types of ads on mobile.

Have you reviewed the AdWords opportunities section?

Yes ☐  No

The AdWords opportunities section provides information about how you can improve your account. These “opportunities” are suggestions generated by Google’s algorithm.

The suggestions include recommendations about your account structure, keyword opportunities and more.

AdWords opportunties

Not all of the recommended improvements will be helpful. But, the changes that are useful can be added to your account with one click.

Are you tracking all possible conversions?

Yes ☐  No

Make sure you are tracking conversion in AdWords. Either track your conversions using Google Analytics or use the native AdWords tracking code.

If there were only one rule for AdWords management, it would be “OPTIMIZE FOR CONVERSIONS.”

If you’re not tracking conversions, you’ll wind up optimizing for clicks. Then none of the other items on this checklist even matter.

So, make sure you are tracking conversions. And set up your account so that you can see conversions and cost per conversion data in your report columns.

If you need help understanding or enabling conversion tracking, check out this resource:

Have you made any changes to your AdWords account in the last two weeks?

Yes ☐  No

In AdWords, results come from being active. Even if it’s just a few simple daily tweaks, you get better results by mining your data and making adjustments routinely.

If you look at your change history report, and there’s no activity, it might be time to hire an AdWords manager (or have a serious talk with your current).

You win the Adwords game by dominating your space. Account optimization is a daily ritual.

Just like SEO, AdWords is not “set it and forget it”. If you don’t have time to work on your account, pay someone who does. It’s worth the money. Skilled Adwords account managers can make a huge difference.

Have you completed our 15-minute Google AdWords account audit checklist? If not, we’re here to help. Try our free Adwords account audit today!