Why Your AdWords Account Needs A Paid Search Audit

Henry Gill

Head of PPC
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Why your Adwords Account needs a Paid Search Audit

We all fall into the trap of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, however in AdWords just because you are making some money and a good return on AdSpend doesn’t necessarily mean that your account is performing to the best of its ability. In this blog, we discuss what a Paid Search Audit entails, what you should expect. We also run over some of the most common problem areas that we find and why we think that it is time you gave your AdWords account some TLC.

What is a Paid Search Audit?

There are a million different ways in which an Adwords Audit can be performed and executed, some incredibly specific and some provide a selection of areas to check in the first instance to be sure that you are not leaking money in your account. Put in the simplest terms, an audit uses the data to create a snapshot of how the account is performing and create a list of optimisation opportunities in the account.

What to expect?

As mentioned, a Paid Search Audit can shift shape into a million shapes, we recommend them on a quarterly basis in order to see how seasonal trends may affect business, but also to action any updates within the software.

Why You Need One?

Firstly, Google loves to create something new and exciting within its software and they often make their new features override the old which can make old practices void. For example, expanded text ads, these provide extra real estate on the page for Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s), this was first rolled out as a new update and have since become essential in your AdWords Campaigns.
Keeping up to date with these features can be a task alone, but by conducting an AdWords audit you can make yourself aware of any of the new features, integrating them into your campaigns as well as learning the best practices for your Ads.
We recommend looking at these areas to begin with, to understand how in depth you should go and which areas you should ask to focus on in an Audit. Starting with the basics, it is essential to have the correct Conversion Tracking set up correctly. One of the most common problems we find is incorrect conversion tracking which not only creates issues when auditing your website as the data that you have can be skewed and can have led for incorrect information to be passed between the business. We would like to reiterate the importance of this further to level that ultimately your ROI will be delivering incorrectly.
Secondly, if you have played with AdWords but never fully given it the attention it needs, these three areas are quick tips that will help quantify the need for a Paid Search Audit. Your account structure although may make sense to the one person who is in the account, it is important to create a layout and structure that is easy to follow. This can be simple steps such as splitting out the search and display ad campaigns. Keeping to a succinct number of keywords per ad group, keywords are just as important in Pay Per Click Advertising as in traditional SEO. By having too many in an ad group you dilute the success and it will make the ads in the group less relevant, this ultimately affects the quality score of the ads. The final recommendation to make conducting a Paid Search Audit is to make sure you have created Remarketing lists within your account, you should have created these and have at least one campaign targeting these people.
Once you have done the above steps it may become more clear how you would benefit from having a Paid Search Audit. Your AdWords account needs some attention in order to flourish, that is something we specialise in. Before we start with any client we work together to conduct an audit that provides insight into what has been working particularly well and which areas appear to waste money that can be saved almost instantly. If we were to look at your account we believe that we could save you money through areas that are underperforming and redistribute that money to grow your business. This is commonly done through a selection of areas of your campaign, by conducting an audit you will be able to see the problem areas and we will work together to help fix any holes in your account.
The first reason you need a Paid Search Audit is poor keywords. Conducting a thorough piece of keyword research should be the beginning of any digital marketing campaign. Choosing the right keywords for your campaign is crucial to its success. Your ads may be compelling and offer a great product at an irresistible price – but if you choose the wrong keywords, your advert will not meet the right audience: meaning lost opportunities and a wasted budget. There are two things to consider at this point as keywords also appear as a result of the qualification of your audience. Broader keyword matches take place earlier on in the buyer’s journey, the further down the journey they are, the more qualified they are. This is when you should consider using “long-tail keywords” as these will refer more directly to the particular product that your consumer is searching for and will find through following your ad. If you are trying to get your ad to show for too many keywords we recommend taking stock of the keywords that have converted and using these to grow and create more long-tail keywords that can convert more sales.
Another common area where your ad account may be underperforming is through your uses of landing pages. All too often when we start with new campaigns we find that businesses are simply pointing all of their adverts to one particular page, most commonly this is the homepage. For businesses selling products it often creates a roadblock in the buyer’s journey as they have clicked to be taken to a product. You should consider this as you are directing paid traffic to the wrong page, that click is likely to cost you and not bring you any result. If you are directing traffic to the right page you are on the right track, however just directing the traffic is the beginning, your landing pages should be properly optimised. This includes using best practices through SEO and Content, create engaging content, relevant imagery and most importantly a call to action, where the visitor can buy the product or book a consultation with you dependant on your strategy objectives.


Overall, if you have never conducted a Paid Search Audit we recommend that you consider doing one yourself or speaking to a specialist, you can call us on 01427 619522 or email hello@seotrafficlab.com. We can help to point you in the right direction and offer a free consultation in which we can through your AdWords Account. We have also created this handy, FREE, downloadable audit checklist that can help you take stock of the successes and failures of your digital marketing. Simply click on the image below.
Paid Search Audit Checklist
As mentioned earlier in the post we recommend that you review your performance in both paid marketing and your other online and offline activities quarterly where appropriate to understand the areas that need improving and the areas which are performing to expectation. It is important not just to conduct an audit but to commit to following through with the tasks that the audit has brought to the fore in order to continue to grow your ROI through paid ads.

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