You’ve got your Google Ads (AdWords) set up. But are they really optimized to give you the best results? Is your ad spend being wasted on ineffective ads?
There are already plenty of comprehensive AdWords guides out there to help you figure this out. So instead, we want to offer you a simple AdWords audit template for great results in less time.
As always, we’re going to cover the basics first.
What are AdWords?
Simply put, Google AdWords is a marketing platform. It’s a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that gives advertisers two different ways to reach people. First, they can target users through the Google Search Network. Alternatively, they can do this through the Google Display Network.
Now, we know your next question is, “what’s the difference?”
The search network refers to having your ads show up as users search for similar products on Google. So, let’s say you sell sunscreen products. When a user enters certain search terms (in this case, sunscreen) on Google, your Google Search Network PPC campaign can help your brand show up in the options.
On the other hand, there’s Google Display Network. This displays ads on other websites across the internet that are trying to make money with the Google AdSense program.
To sum it up, the Google Search Network is used to target consumers at the moment they’re searching for a specific product.
The Google Display Network shows your ads to users while they’re browsing other internet pages. This has the goal of building brand awareness or getting users to click on your ad and boosting your conversion rate. It’s also a common practice in retargeting or remarketing campaigns.
Using a combination of search and display ads is usually an effective strategy for a successful marketing campaign. Another component of a successful marketing campaign is performing an AdWords audit to make sure your campaign settings and bidding strategies are up to snuff.
We promised to keep this simple, so here it is! We break down quick and easy ways to fine tune your ads campaigns.
Your Simple AdWords Audit Template
Start with tracking
The first steps of your Google Ads audit is making sure proper tracking strategies are in place.
First, you need to set up goals in your Google Ads account. Google offers a quick guide to creating, editing, and sharing goals here.
Goals give you the ability to track major metrics that determine your ad success. Your KPIs can be converted into “goals” so you can actively monitor how successful your ads are.
Common tracking mistakes
If you already have tracking in place, it’s time to make sure you’re not making some of these common mistakes. But keep in mind, the biggest mistake is not having conversion goals set up in the first place!
Now, take a look and see if your tracking pixels are placed correctly. Tracking pixels are HTML code snippets. They’re loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email. Then, you can use these pixels to track user behavior and conversions.
Google Tag Manager is a useful tool for tracking and measuring these code snippets so you can analyze them in Google Analytics.
Check out this how-to guide for more on testing and monitoring tracking pixels.
Another critical component of an AdWords audit is optimizing your keywords.
Start by checking your keywords status in AdWords.
- Log in to your AdWords account.
- Select “Keywords” on the page menu on the left.
- Check the “status” column which tells you the current status of the keywords.
This will show you several status options:
- Campaign Paused
- Pending Campaign
- Campaign Removed
- Campaign Ended
- Ad Group Paused
- Ad Group Removed
- Under Review
- Below First Page Bid Estimate
- Site Suspended
- Low Search Volume
- Rarely Shown Due to low Quality Score
- Few Page Matches
Based on the keyword status, you get an idea of their quality score which helps you make the best decisions for your ad campaigns moving forward. For example, focusing on keywords with few page matches or low search volume aren’t likely to be successful.
Check for negative keywords and keyword health
Part of your AdWords audit includes having a look at your keyword health metrics.
These are some of the keyword performance indicators that tell you they’re performing successfully:
- Look for quality scores that are >6.
- Remove or refine keywords with a conversion rate of less than 1%
- Keywords relate to the same topic in an ad group.
Now, what about negative keywords? This is a list of keywords you’ve submitted that AdWords won’t bid on.
To check these, click on “Negative Keywords.” Then make sure irrelevant words are negated and incorrect weren’t accidentally added.
By the way, if you’re looking to expand your search reach and increase being found on monthly searches, you should implement a long-tail keyword strategy. Using long-tail keywords are keywords or keyword phrases that are a more specific search term – and typically longer – than more popular keywords that are searched for. Here’s how to do it.
Optimize ad copy
Now it’s time to optimize the actual content of your Google Ads.
Here are a few things to look for:
Make sure your keyword is in the ad headline: If you’re selling a red dress, you need to make sure “red dress” is included in your ad headline. This seems pretty straightforward, but it’s actually one of the most common mistakes we see in ad campaigns.
A powerful call-to-action (CTA): A CTA is what gets someone to click on your ad. It needs to be compelling enough to not only get their attention, but to also click and convert. We also talk more about creating CTAs in 6 Tips For Creating Landing Pages That Convert.
Check for mobile optimization: If you’re like a majority of businesses, most of your impressions come from mobile users. If your ads aren’t optimized for mobile use, you’re going to lose out on countless clicks and conversions. Not only will your ad campaigns be less successful, but you’ll also miss out on sales.
Get help with your AdWords audit
We’ve made this AdWords audit as straightforward as possible. But we know it can all seem overwhelming. Chances are, you have other things you’d rather spend your time on in your business than AdWords, so let us help!
Our Pay Per Click Marketing campaigns are not left to chance or speculation. We analyze your industry, competitors, and location to determine trends that will dictate your campaign.
Our Pay-Per-Click specialists with advertising experience help you decrease costs and increase results. We will assign an ad specialist on our staff to run your Pay-Per-Click campaigns. This person learns your business, develops an advertising strategy, and executes on it, ensuring you’re fully aware of the campaign progress. We want to ensure that our clients are able to track each conversion and click through rate. That’s why we make sure each campaign is tagged correctly for detailed tracking.
Interested in learning more about how we can help? We love talking to other businesses to discuss goals and marketing campaigns. We’d be more than happy to review goals and various digital marketing solutions. Give us a call today!