What is an Adwords Audit?


What is a That! Company Adwords Audit?

For perspective PPC clients, That! Company conducts complimentary evaluations of Google Adwords (or Search Alliance) accounts. This is a way to examine account performance and identify concrete, specific things that can be done to improve account performance. Whether perspective clients decide to do business with That! Company or not, it is a great way to get free advice on the account and professional insights into how to grow the account and make it more cost effective. What do we look for in an Adwords Audit?

We begin by looking for major red flags. Is the tracking accurate? How is the ROI or CPA for each campaign? What is the impression share and relative click thru rate of each campaign. While there may be reasons for any of these questions to be answered in ways we don’t like, often these are useful ways to track down major problems and stop the bleeding in an under-performing account.

Next, we look at the settings of each Adwords campaign. These are often set when the campaign is created and never considered again. Since these settings will effect every ad and keyword, correcting mistakes here can have widespread, and very significant impact. If I had to guess, I would say the time spent reviewing campaign settings may be the most valuable few minutes of the average Adwords audit.

The meat of the audit is often the review of keywords. Since keywords are the foundation of most campaigns, it is vital that keywords receive a lot of attention. By reviewing Quality Scores, match types, negative keywords, search queries, bids and positions, an experienced set of eyes can pretty easily identify opportunities for improvement. What is more tricky is determining how well the client’s keywords are capturing their market segment, and what the real opportunities for growth may be. Still, in the 15 or 20 minutes that it takes to perform and audit, we can at least set some direction for where the keyword research should lead.

If the client is invested in the Google Display Network, a review of the placements there can often point to potential cost savings. It is not very common, but negative keywords and the exclusion of poor performing placements can occasionally lead to enormous cost savings for clients.

Finally, we focus on the ads. These are often the hardest to evaluate without getting a more complete understanding of the client’s business, but there are some best practices that are fairly easy to evaluate. We almost always recommend that clients use keyword rich ads, and as many site extensions as possible. Where applicable, click-to-call ads are often a good tactic. We also check to see if the client has ongoing split tests of ads in each ad group. Perhaps most important in the ads category is trying to determine if the ads are pointed to appropriate landing pages.

What are the results?

Many times, once a perspective client sees our approach and better understands the specific ways we would optimize the Adwords account, they sign with us to undertake the project for them. Many times, perspective clients take the information we provide them and utilize it to better optimize their own account. We have had a number of perspective clients who never signed a contract report significantly better results just by employing some of our recommendations. We suspect that on some occasions, the perspective client takes our recommendations back to their current PPC management firm and that after a lengthy discussion, that firm ends up incorporating some of our suggestions in the account. We aren’t too fond of that. However, it goes back to one of our core company principles of improving the way digital advertising is done, and being one of the companies that other online marketers emulate.