How to use Google Analytics to Audit PPC Traffic


There’s no denying that pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can be an incredibly powerful tool for driving traffic to your website. PPC traffic can make for a major advantage to eCommerce companies and their ability to make sales.

Setting up ads in Google AdWords to help drive PPC traffic is a complex process, and becomes even more tedious with the use of Google analytics. Using analytics, however, to audit your PPC traffic can help your business to get more use out of your PPC ads investment.

You can use your Google Analytics account to your advantage and determine if your PPC strategy is properly optimized. Data can also help to evaluate what changes might need to be made to your strategy. Effective changes help to drive further PPC traffic.

If you are unsure of how to set up a PPC campaign, you can learn How to Successfully Launch a PPC Campaign for the First Time here

Audit PPC Traffic for Maximum Results

It’s common for business owners and busy employees to create their own PPC strategy. From there, they set up their PPC ad campaigns, and find themselves caught in the chaos of other tasks. We know first-hand that businesses can be demanding!

We’re here to guide you through auditing your PPC traffic for the best results. You will be able to streamline the process and get back to your busy schedule!

Ensure Google Analytics is Properly Linked

The first item to check off your audit list is determining if your Google Analytics account is properly linked to the correct Google Ads account. You will want to make sure that your ads account is linked at the property level.

To do this, go into Google Analytics. Navigate to Acquisition > Google Ads > Campaign. Here you will get an overview of each of your current campaigns, along with KPIs, cost, CPC, clicks, etc.

If your accounts are properly linked, then you should see this information is identical to what you see in your Google Ad. You will need to connect your accounts if a large amount of your traffic is showing up as ‘not set’. This means that your analytics account is collecting traffic from a Google ads account that is not properly linked.

Use the Negative Keyword Tool

One of the common issues found in PPC audits is that the budget ends up being wasted on unqualified traffic. This problem can be fixed by implementing a variety of negative keywords and phrases with the negative keywords tool.

This can help to reduce lost ad dollars and ensure that your ads are reaching your intended audience.

The negative keywords tool can be found in the search terms report. Go through the search terms report and pinpoint any keywords or keyword phrases that are coming up that you do not wish to pay for. These are usually keywords that aren’t serving your intended goals, which are best determined by you.

Your audience is better targeted when these search terms are removed. It allows you to better focus on what you set out to do.  

Broad match keywords are great for expanding reach, but can also drive a lot of low-quality traffic that isn’t likely to make a purchase. This is why analyzing keywords and keyword phrases is so important.

Check You’re Tracking Conversions Correctly

It’s essential to know that the proper data is being collected in order to be certain your efforts are worthwhile.

Conversion tracking is not being tracked when things like identical conversions and click-count rates, extremely low conversion rates, and high conversion rates with little sales are noticed.

There may be a disconnect with your conversion tracking. You might think your business is over or underachieving its goals, making proper tracking incredibly important.

Once you have this properly synced, it will help you to determine what changes or adjustments need to be made.

Analyze Ad for Targeted Audiences

If you are not creating high-quality advertisements that are relevant to the type of PPC traffic that you want to collect, then you could be wasting valuable dollars!

So how do you determine what will be most relevant to your target audience?

Audit your ad groups to determine they are each limited to 20 keywords or so. Keywords can have a direct effect on your ad copy, which then impacts the results of your campaign. Too many keywords can make for generic ad copy which isn’t exactly appealing to your audience. It can also result in driving PPC traffic that you don’t want to target.

Each ad is given a quality score by Google which you can check in the keywords tab. You can find details about each of your keyword’s quality scores and see projected click-through rates, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

You can learn How to Use Google Keyword Planner here.

Be sure to populate your various ad groups with a specified list of keywords. This will help your ads to better target the needs of your audience and therefore help to increase clicks on your ads (increase click-through rate).

Completing an AdWords audit can also be beneficial to your business. Use our Super Simple AdWords Audit Template here!

Get Started on Your PPC Traffic Audit

As you start to use Google analytics to audit your PPC traffic, keep in mind that time, seasonality, and other factors can affect the outcomes of your campaigns. Make informed adjustments to your strategy and continually audit for missing connections between your accounts for best results.  

Now that you have a clear understanding of what to do to maximize your PPC ad campaign results, it’s time to get started with Blue Water Marketing!

If you’d like help with pay-per-click advertising, auditing your PPC traffic, or any of your other digital marketing needs, let’s talk. Give us a call today and we’ll get started.


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