Whether you’re building your own PPC campaigns or working with a PPC vendor or agency, it’s important for business owners to understand how to evaluate their AdWords campaigns. To help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your campaign, and provide some guidelines to assess your efforts, here are the six most important steps of conducting a PPC audit:

Campaign Structure

A well-structured campaign enables you customize ad copy, landing pages, keywords and bid strategy to effectively reach each segment of your target demographic.  Campaigns should be differentiated based on service lines, products or current promotional activity.  Utilize ad groups to further narrow down groupings within those segments.  Separate out an ad group for “blue shoes” so that you know you won’t be targeting people searching for “red shoes”.

Keywords and Negative Keywords

Use your search details report to discover expansion opportunities or cut words that are not converting as well you’d like.  Create new ad groups and expand your account or build your negative keywords list to ensure that your ads don’t show for irrelevant searches.  Are there some keywords that perform much better than others? Make bid adjustments to increase your chances of appearing on the first page for these words more frequently.

Examine Ad Copy

In Google, you can use the Ad Preview Tool to see if your ads are showing up for the keywords you are bidding on, in your targeted locations.  If you are happy with the position of your ads, take a look at your ad copy and see which versions of your ads get the most clicks and conversions.  Swap out ad copy that isn’t as enticing or contains outdated promotional text for newer versions.

Location targeting settings

Pull a geographic report to determine if there are new areas to expand into and where you should limit spend.  If you’re spending a lot of money in areas where there are no conversions, it might be time to pull out of that location and reallocate your budget to an area with higher conversion rates.

For businesses with multiple locations, make sure you’re targeting settings for one store – do not overlap with another or you’ll risk competing against yourself.

Ad Extensions

Make it easy for users to contact you by adding correct call extensions and location extensions.  Test your phone numbers and double check that the correct phone numbers and locations are included in your ads. This is especially important if your business has moved or if you have multiple locations or phone numbers.

Conversion Tracking

Whether it’s phone calls or web leads, conversion sources should be trackable.  You’ll get more complete data about your campaign by linking to an analytics account. This provides insight beyond clicks and conversions to help you get an idea of what searchers are doing on your site after they click your ads.  Data gathered from web analytics can provide indicators of the quality of leads you are getting and help improve your campaign altogether.

For more PPC tips, download our free eBook, The 7 Most Common And Costly PPC Advertising Mistakes Businesses Make…And How To Avoid Them!

All the best,

Christina Colón

Christina  is a Paid Search Specialist at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

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