Google Ads Audits

Missing opportunities in your account or waste budgets in some areas? Run audits and take action.

Account audits should be an essential part of your PPC Setup. To achieve success in implementation, you should tailor the following approaches according to your account needs. But what does a successful implementation look like?

  • Account Audits shouldn’t be seen as a one time task. Best in class accounts run automated processes for monitoring.
  • If actions are required the user needs to be informed. Tools like Slack are great for this task because you can organize the different types of audit messages efficiently.
  • You need Google Ads API access for automation. Google Ads scripts work fine for a lot of audit tasks. For more sophisticated audits you have to switch to e.g. Python and all its great modules for data science tasks.

WHICH AREAS CAN BE PART OF A GOOGLE ADS AUDIT?

Setting based audits

Settings can bet set easily wrong when adding new account elements. Sooner or later this will happen also in your account. A good way is to monitor those settings in an automated way. Is the target language correct? Is the country targeting working? Have you used anywhere Google’s default recommendation? (Just kidding – but there is some truth in it)

Structure based audits

Accounts are growing over time. Have you added e.g. duplicate keywords by accident? Do different keywords compete for the same search queries? Does every adgroup contain a keyword and ad copies? Are extensions everywhere added like they should? There are many other similar check routines out there that should be processed in an automated way.

Performance based audits

Are there structural outliers somewhere? Think of all available segments like device, gender, day of week, network, etc. Of course you can also apply this to your campaigns or adgroups. Are there structure elements that perform very different compared to the average? Is the performance changing over time? You can do this by comparing current performance vs. previous periods. If there is a big change, you should have a look on it.

HOW TO SET UP YOUR AUTOMATED GOOGLE ADS AUDIT SOLUTION?

This is just one way you create a powerful audit setup for your Google Ads accounts with completely free tools. It is no problem to switch components of this architecture with other services.

Create a Slack account

I prefer tools like Slack over mail notifications. Think of your preferred way how you want to structure your audit messages. Some like to split messages for different markets others will prefer setting vs. structure vs. performance based monitoring job separation. Of course you can also mix them up. Use what fits best to your business.

Create a Google Ads script

Use this script for setting up the messaging part to Slack. You will add your slack web hooks here and define the way you are sending the messages. If you have multiple accounts you should go with a MCC level ad script.

Add functions to your script

Think of a function for every audit job within your Google Ads account. It is possible to use parameters to call these functions. Parameters can be values to define performance outliers or thresholds of cases that should be detected before sending a message. When there is work to do, the function will send a message to your Slack channel destination. With that approach you have an easy maintainable audit / monitoring solution.

GET SOME IDEAS AND EXAMPLES OF GOOGLE ADS AUDIT SCRIPTS

Duplicate Keywords

Google does not like this and makes it difficult to manage your bidding. Also consider word order for broad match keywords to find redundant keywords.

Structural Outliers

Compare your account average CPO (or other KPIs) with campaign, match types, devices, age, gender etc. to discover bad performing areas. Use thresholds to report outliers within your structure.

Performance Comparison

Compare your KPIs on different levels within your account like keywords, devices etc. and check for bad (and good) outliers. Define thresholds for the delta to your previous period.

Smart Bidding Monitoring

Don’t trust Google’s bidding blackbox. A good way to start is to monitor the highest click price per day. Because averages are bad for this use your search term or keyword report and make it as granular as possible.

Out of Budget Campaigns

Running out of budget is normally a bad thing. To avoid this, always check lost impressions caused by your campaign budget settings.

Keyword Conflicts

Not a duplicate keyword but more keywords compete for the same queries. This is problematic when short head keywords cannibalize long term searches.

Keywords with No Conversions

At some point you will think of deleting a keyword completely when no conversions are triggered. Use thresholds for costs or clicks to review those keywords.

Landing Pages with No Conversions

Search for landing pages that do not perform well. You can also use bounce rates, if available, to discover those URLs or use the post click quality score of the keyword pointing to that URL.

Detect Missing Extensions

Normally you will have standards for your accounts. Check for everything that is not like this standard. For example extensions are missing in one campaign or adgroup.

Trending Search Queries

Compare Impressions of search queries for different time periods to identify trends for your business.

CPC Outliers

If different bid multipliers in Google Ads are set, it can be possible that you are stacking them in a way that causes very high CPCs.

Bad Performing N-Grams

A great way to find negative keywords for your Google Ads account. You can also have a look at our free N-Gram Analyzer tool to find out how it works.

PLEASE ALSO HAVE A LOOK AT OUR
GOOGLE ADS AUDITS DEEP DIVES

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