April 23

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Pro-Level PPC Audit: How to Optimize Your Ad for Conversion

PPC Audits and optimizations sound boring.  After 10 years of helping our clients predictably grow, I would offer they are foundational to your success.  In this blog we go over what you need to do to stay at the peak of your PPC game.


Don't miss halfway down this blog where we go through an actual clients campaigns and show you all the numbers.


To optimize your ad conversion with a pro-level PPC audit, you’ll need a comprehensive strategy. Begin by thoroughly reviewing your PPC account. Check the usage of keywords, ad copy, landing page performance, and conversion tracking. Identify areas of improvement to maximize your return on investment.


These are not all for your PPC account audit. Keep reading to discover more ways to drive conversions for your ad.

PPC Audit for Better Ad Results

Optimization of Ad Scheduling: According to a report by Clix Marketing, PPC audits often reveal opportunities to optimize ad scheduling, which can lead to a 5-10% increase in ad effectiveness by targeting users at the most optimal times (Source: Clix Marketing)

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What is a PPC Audit?

A PPC audit is your business's tool. It evaluates the success of your pay-per-click ads. Conducting a PPC audit involves a deep dive into your PPC account to assess its performance and identify areas of improvement. A PPC advertising audit examines all parts of your campaigns. It covers keyword usage, ad copy, landing pages, and conversion tracking. It’s not just a once-and-done deal either. Regular PPC audits can help keep your campaigns optimized and your ROI high. They ensure you’re targeting the right audience. You'll use appropriate keywords and not waste money on bad ads. By doing regular, thorough audits, you can stay ahead of the competition. They ensure your PPC campaigns work for you, not against you.

Why Conduct a PPC Audit?

Understanding the importance of a comprehensive PPC audit can be the key to unlocking your campaign’s full potential. When you conduct a PPC audit, you’re taking a proactive step to boost your PPC performance. It’s not just about ticking boxes on a PPC audit checklist. It’s about digging deeper into every aspect of your PPC campaigns to find areas of improvement.

A PPC audit allows you to optimize your PPC campaigns, ensuring they’re performing at their peak. It’s an essential step in making sure you’re getting the most from your advertising spend. Don’t just set it and forget it. Audit your ads like a pro, regularly review them, and make necessary changes. This way, you’re always driving good traffic and conversions. This ensures your campaign’s success.

11 Key Metrics to Optimize Conversion - The Pro PPC Audit Checklist

So, you’re ready to optimize your ad conversion, right? You’ll want to focus on key metrics during your PPC audit. These include settings for tracking conversions, click-through rate, targeting by location, ad network, and ad scheduling. Understanding and leveraging these metrics can make your audit a success.

Conversion Tracking Settings

Before diving into the core components of your PPC audit, it’s crucial to get your conversion tracking settings right. This is a vital step to ensure your Google Ads account is set up to effectively measure ad conversion. Conversion tracking is a powerful tool that shows what happens after a customer interacts with your ads. Whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business, or downloaded your app. It’s essential to help you understand which ads are driving valuable customer activity. Optimizing these settings ensures you get the most from your PPC audit, helping you to determine what’s working and what’s not. So, don’t overlook this step. Get your conversion tracking dialed in, and you’ll be well on your way to PPC audit success.

Click-Through Rate

Once you’ve fixed your conversion tracking, it’s time to focus on another key metric in your PPC audit checklist. It's the Click-Through Rate (CTR). CTR is a crucial indicator of your PPC campaign’s success. It measures the percentage of people who clicked on your ad after seeing it, giving you insight into your ad performance. A lower CTR may indicate that your ads aren’t resonating with your audience, and it’s an area that demands optimization. Effective PPC management involves continuous monitoring and tweaking of your CTR. By focusing on improving your click-through rate, you’re not only boosting your ad’s visibility. You're also boosting the chances of conversion. Remember, a successful PPC campaign is not just about getting views; it’s about getting the right clicks.

Geographic Targeting

After nailing down your click-through rate, let’s shift focus to the crucial aspect of geographic targeting in your PPC audit. Geographic targeting is key for your Google Ads campaign. It helps you tailor your PPC ads to specific places.

  • Check your campaign settings to ensure they align with your business goals.

  • Review your PPC audit report for insights on location-based performance.

  • Make adjustments based on the geographic targeting data.

Ads Network

Moving on from targeting by location, let’s now turn to the Ads Network. It's a key factor in your PPC audit checklist. It can greatly influence your ad conversion success. Google Ads PPC is predominantly where your ad campaign will be displayed, so it’s crucial to choose wisely. Depending on your business needs, you may opt to show your PPC ad on Search Network, Display Network, or both. A thorough analysis of your PPC account can help you understand where your ads are performing best. If you’re not getting the desired results, consider adjusting your network settings. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get the best return on your ad spend, so knowing how to navigate and optimize your ads network is indispensable.

Ad Scheduling

In your quest to boost ad conversion, ad scheduling plays a pivotal role and deserves a spot in your PPC audit checklist. It’s a key component in your PPC strategies that focuses on when and how often your ads are displayed. A thorough Google Ads audit will reveal the effectiveness of your ad scheduling and its impact on campaign performance.

Consider these critical aspects in your ad scheduling:

  • Identify the peak times when your audience is most active.

  • Evaluate the performance of your ads during different times of the day or week.

  • Adjust your ad schedule based on the insights gained from your PPC audit.

Perfecting ad scheduling could be the game changer in optimizing your PPC campaign performance.

Ad Budget

Carefully managing your ad budget is the lifeline of your PPC campaign. It is a key item on your audit checklist. A thorough PPC audit will help pinpoint where your Google Ads budget is being spent and the return on your PPC efforts. To audit your ads like a pro, assess bids based on keyword performance. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify underperforming keywords and allocate more budget towards those that are converting. It’s imperative not to spread your budget too thin. Optimize your PPC efforts by focusing on profitable areas and minimizing waste. Remember, an effective PPC audit isn’t just about reducing costs, it’s about maximizing the return on your ad spend.

The PPC Ad Content

Diving into the ad content itself is a crucial part of your PPC audit, offering insight into what’s working and what’s not in your current strategy. You’re not just looking at numbers; you’re examining the ad copy, quality score, ad group, and ad extensions.

Here’s what you need to focus on:

  • Ad Copy: Assess its effectiveness. Does it speak to your target audience? Is it persuasive and does it drive action?

  • Quality Score: This reflects the relevance and quality of your ad copy and keywords. Higher scores can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.

  • Ad Group and Ad Extensions: Check if your ad group is well-structured and if you’re using ad extensions to enhance your PPC marketing.

Landing Pages

After examining the ad content, you should turn your attention to the landing pages, another key metric in a successful PPC audit. The landing page is critical because it’s where your visitors make the decision to convert or not. It’s essential to track conversions to analyze the effectiveness of your landing page. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for this purpose. It allows you to dig deep into the conversion rate, providing insights into how well your landing page is performing. Conducting a PPC audit in steps ensures a systematic approach. After analyzing ad content, scrutinize your landing page for its design, content, and user experience. Remember, it’s not just about attracting visitors, but also about converting them effectively.

Ad Quality Score

In your PPC audit, you’ll encounter the critical metric of Ad Quality Score, which significantly impacts the success of your campaigns. Any PPC expert will tell you, that achieving a high Ad Quality Score is pivotal for boosting your conversion rates.

Here are some optimization tips to enhance your Ad Quality Score:

  • Regularly review and update your ads. Fresh, relevant content is favored by algorithms.

  • Ensure a strong relevancy between your ad copy, keywords, and landing pages. This coherence significantly affects your score.

  • Optimize your landing page experience. User-friendly design and engaging content can improve your score.

Keywords

Moving on from Ad Quality Score. Let's not forget about keywords. They are another major player in your PPC audit checklist. They can make or break your ad conversion rates. It’s time to dive into keyword research. This will reveal which keywords are working for you and which are not. Keyword performance is critical to monitor.

Next, consider your keyword match type. Are you using broad, phrase, or exact-match keywords? Each has its pros and cons.

Furthermore, don’t overlook your negative keyword list. These are the search terms you don’t want your ads to show for. They can save you money by preventing clicks from non-converting users. Lastly, periodically review and refine your keyword list to ensure it aligns with your campaign goals. Remember, keyword optimization is pivotal for ad success.

Ad Bid

Diving into the realm of ‘Ad Bid’, it’s crucial you understand the importance of this key metric in your PPC audit checklist. It’s a game-changer for how well your ads perform, impacting your campaign’s overall success.

In your quest for effective PPC, auditing your PPC is a must. Ad Bid plays a significant role in this process. Here’s why:

  • It directly affects your ad rank and visibility. A good PPC strategy ensures you’re not underbidding or overbidding.

  • It aids in managing your campaign budget effectively. A higher bid might give you better visibility, but it also drains your budget faster.

  • It can improve your ROI. By analyzing your bids based on performance and adjusting them, you can increase conversions and cut costs.

PPC Audit

Looking at a real live clients results:

This is an over-simplified view of an Executive Dashboard we go review with one of our clients.  Other dashboards contain much more information, but sometimes the simple ones keep us focused.


"Blended" refers to combining our Google Ads numbers with our AdRoll numbers for a holistic look at our clients "all-in" results.

  1. Blended Spend - this is our total spend with a budget of $4,000 per month.  We are three weeks into the month and are spending a bit less than we did a year ago during the same period.
  2. Blended Impressions - this is how many people have actually seen our ad.  We are three weeks in and a million plus people have seen the ad.  Notice was are up significantly over the previous year (79.9% up).  This is the result of a solid CTR, CPC, and CPM.  We will get into that in just a bit.
  3. Blended CTR (click through rate) - This number can be a bit funny, but it is telling.  Your display ads will get more impressions but fewer clicks.  Your Google Ads will get fewer impressions and more clicks if you are doing it right.
  4. Blended CPC (cost per click) - This number is down, meaning we are spending significantly less this year than last year on clicks.  It is the result of optimizations, changing out campaigns so they don't get "fatigue", and competition in the market for eyeballs.  For us, a $0.23 CPC is really good.  This number is tough to get.
  5. Blended CPM (cost per 1,000) - in this case we are delivering 1,000 impressions for our client for $2.54.  We are down 49% over the previous year (a good thing).
  6. Blended Clicks - This is an very strong number.  For less than $3,000 MTD we were able to drive 13,083 people to our clients site.

7 Step-by-Step Guide on How to Conduct Your PPC Audit

Now, let’s guide you through conducting your own PPC audit. First, you’ll need to prepare your data for the audit and check your ad account setup and tracking. Then, we’ll teach you how to review your ad budget, identify areas of waste, review ad format and type, and finally, scrutinize your targeting.

Prepare Data for the Audit

Before delving into the nitty-gritty of the PPC audit, it’s crucial to gather and prepare all the necessary data. Remember, the PPC audit is thorough. It involves analyzing your PPC campaigns and using the right PPC tools.

To prepare data for the audit, you should:

  • Gather historical data. This includes CTR, conversion rates, and cost per conversion. This data provides a baseline for conducting your PPC audit.

  • Identify your top-performing keywords. Knowing which keywords drive the most traffic and conversions is crucial.

  • Compile Ad text and landing page information. Details about your ads and landing pages will come in handy when analyzing your PPC strategies.

With these steps, you’re on track to a successful audit.

Check Your Ad Account Setup and Tracking

Once you’ve gathered and organized your data, it’s time to check your ad account setup and tracking, a crucial step in conducting your PPC audit. This means making sure your ad account is set up correctly. And, that the tracking works.

Look for discrepancies in the performance of your PPC campaign that might be caused by errors in the setup or tracking. Make sure your conversion tracking code is installed correctly. If it’s not, you could be missing out on valuable data.

Review your Ad Budget and Identify Areas of Waste

Diving deep into your ad budget provides insight. It lets you find areas where you’re wasting resources in your PPC campaign. During the PPC audit process, it’s crucial to thoroughly review your ad budget.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Evaluate your PPC: Determine the performance of each campaign. Are they delivering the expected ROI?

  • Audit report: Generate a comprehensive report detailing every penny spent. Identify any campaigns that aren’t paying off.

  • Wasted Spend: Spot any areas where your budget is being unnecessarily drained.

This audit process will help you refine your spending and invest more in campaigns that are truly working. Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Utilize PPC audit tools to ease the task and provide a more in-depth analysis.

Review Ad Format and Type

Next, let’s tackle the task of reviewing your ad format and type, a crucial step in your PPC audit that can significantly impact your ad conversion rates. A thorough audit will include this review as it directly influences performance. The PPC audit is a great tool to analyze the compatibility of your ad format and type with your audience’s preferences. It unveils which ones are working well and which ones aren’t. Doing a PPC audit helps you find the best formats and types. It focuses on those that resonate best with your audience. By understanding the nuances and adjusting accordingly. You’re setting the stage for more successful campaigns. So, don’t overlook this phase as you review ad format and type in your PPC audit.

Review Targeting

After you’ve thoroughly examined your ad format and type, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of reviewing your targeting within your PPC audit. This review is crucial, as it’s here you’ll learn about the effectiveness of your audience targeting strategy.

This phase of running PPC audits involves:

  • Analyzing the demographics of your target audience

  • Checking if your ads are reaching the right geographic locations

  • Assessing the timing and frequency of your ads

Identify New Keyword Opportunities

Now, let’s delve into identifying new keyword opportunities, an essential step in conducting your PPC audit. Every PPC account has the potential to uncover fresh, untapped keywords. Explore different niches and channels. Doing so, you can find new ways to reach your target audience. Use keyword tools to find phrases tied to your product or service.

Creating a PPC campaign without considering new keywords can limit your reach. Instead, expand your keyword list to capture a wider audience. Consider long-tail keywords and terms your competitors might overlook. By staying open to new keyword opportunities, you’re building a foundation for a successful PPC campaign. Remember, it’s not just about the quantity of keywords, but also their quality and relevance.

Review your Metrics

We have explored new keyword opportunities. Now, let's shift to another key part of your PPC audit: reviewing your metrics. This is a vital step in your PPC audit checklist. It’ll help improve your PPC campaign’s performance.

To ensure that your PPC metrics are in order, consider these key areas:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). This reflects the number of clicks your ad receives in relation to its number of impressions. A low CTR might indicate your ads aren’t compelling enough.

  • Quality Score. Google evaluates your keywords, landing pages, and ads to determine this score. A low score could signal a need for optimization.

  • Conversion Rate. This shows the percentage of users who take the desired action after clicking on your ad. If it’s low, your landing page might need tweaking.

Regular PPC audits and continuous metrics reviews can enhance your campaign’s ROI.

Analyze Competition PPC Campaigns

Let’s take a closer look at your competitors’ ad campaigns, as their strategies could reveal insights to boost your own PPC performance. When running a PPC, it’s crucial to not operate in a bubble. A good PPC audit involves knowing what your competition is doing. So, a key part of your PPC audit checklist should be to analyze competition ad campaigns.

Identify the tactics they use, and how they engage with their target audience. These insights will help you understand the important aspects of your PPC, and how you could potentially improve. Remember, the goal isn’t to copy their strategies but to learn from them. Understanding the market dynamics can be an essential step toward optimizing your ad conversions.

More PPC Optimization Tips

In addition to analyzing your competitors, other strong PPC tactics can greatly boost your ad conversions. For example, regular PPC audits can find areas to improve. They can also make changes that will boost conversions.

Here are more PPC optimization tips to consider:

  • Use A/B testing. This method allows you to compare two versions of an ad to determine which performs better. It’s a powerful tool to increase your conversion rates.

  • Implement conversion tracking. Without this, you won’t know how your PPC campaigns are performing. It’s essential to optimizing every PPC campaign.

  • Employ remarketing strategies. If you’re dealing with a low conversion rate, remarketing can draw those potential customers back in.

PPC Audit Reduces CPC

Reduced CPC: Analysis by Search Engine Land shows that a comprehensive PPC audit can lead to a reduction in CPC by up to 20%, making the campaigns more cost-effective and increasing the overall ad reach (Source: Search Engine Land)

Key Takeaways

  • Audit your PPC comprehensively. Find under-performing areas. Then, make needed changes to boost conversions.

  • Regularly check and improve conversion tracking settings. They let you measure ad performance and customer interactions accurately.

  • Optimize keywords. Keep a negative keyword list to stop clicks from non-converting users. This boosts ad success.

  • Analyze the ad bid. Adjust it based on performance. Manage your budget well. This will improve your ROI and increase conversions.

  • Review competitor ad campaigns. They will help you understand their strategies and the market. This can provide insights for improving your ad conversions.

So, you’ve learned the ropes of a PPC audit, right? With a proper audit, you can fine-tune your ad campaigns, outsmart the competition, and boost your conversion rates. Remember to keep an eye on those key metrics and follow the step-by-step guide. And don’t stop there! Keep exploring more PPC optimization tips to stay ahead. It’s time to take your PPC game to the next level. Happy auditing!

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Kayode Adeyemi

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