Why I Love A Campaign Audit, and How To Do One

Doing a campaign audit is critical to making sure that your paid search campaigns have structural integrity and are working at maximum efficiency. Just like your house, you should consider a spring cleaning of your paid search campaigns. Depending on how robust your campaigns are, you may need to schedule audits on a more regular basis. I like to roll it in to any other housekeeping activities that might be happening around the end of the year, or as we start gearing up for new initiatives in the coming quarter.

Here’s a list of a few items I like to take a deeper look at when performing a campaign audit!

Getting Started
A good rule of thumb is to start with a full year’s worth of data. This hopefully gives you data volume as well as helps take into account seasonality. Feel free to pull back even further if you have a total spend of less than $50,000. Make sure you have columns for the KPIs you need to be optimizing for. I prefer to look at conversion rate, conversion volume, and cost per conversion. If you have the data available, use revenue and ROAS as well.

Often we get wrapped up in the typical optimization of keywords, like sorting on cost per click and conversion rate. We forget to look at the keywords from a structural standpoint. Adding several keywords into ad groups at a time, like what happens if you do a batch upload of keyword research or from a search query report, you might find over time that keywords will slip into places where they don’t belong. Look at keyword intent, match type, conjugation, negative keywords, and the ads that they are pointing to. Google reacts best to ad groups that silo!

Speaking of negative keywords, be sure to pull a search query report. You can find this in the Keywords section. A search query report will provide you with a wealth of information for keywords that you can add to your current bidding strategy and keywords that you do not want to show up for at all. I like to sort these based on cost, conversion rate, conversion volume, to name a few.

Location optimization might not be something that you analyze during your typical management, especially if you are only targeting one area. This is a great opportunity to parse out areas that are performing well or under performing. If you target by state, break it down by metro regions. If you target a city, try breaking it down into neighborhoods or zip codes. Make bid adjustments as needed.

When we optimize very large accounts, it can be easy to pause large batches of ads. You can wind up with ad groups with one or zero ads running. This is a perfect time to go through your ad copy and make sure all add groups have at least two ads running. Three is even better. Make sure all ads are using the proper keyword with intent and conjugation in the ad. This is also a great time to double check the landing page that the ad is pointing to, as well as correct conversion tracking pixels are in place.

By now you have converted your text ads to the new ETA formatting. Responsive Text Ads are now an option besides to the expanded text ads. Be sure to check that all ads running in the latest format.

In addition to ensuring your ads are up to par, double check that you are utilizing your ad extensions . Do you have at least two or three versions of callouts, sitelinks, and structured snippets that you are testing? Are you utilizing at least four ad extensions on your ads to take up as much space as possible?

Data Quality
Set up Google Analytics and link it to your Google Ads account if you have not already done so. Import metrics like bounce rate and any goals that you have set up so that you can optimize your paid search campaigns. Check that your conversion tracking is properly set up, and that the data is pulling correctly into Analytics and your own CRM, if necessary.

I hope you find this quick list of items you can do to deep dive into your paid search campaigns helpful! You never know what you might uncover. Happy fixing!