Steps to Audit Your Google Ads Account

You have been running Google Ads for your business for a while. Maybe you are seeing lackluster results or perhaps your ads are bringing in tons of new traffic and website clicks. Regardless of the situation you are experiencing, you can always make your ads more effective. And there’s more you can do than just optimise your ads.

Completing an audit on your Google Ads account is ideal for businesses of all types. If you truly want to see how your ads are performing, you need to take the time to do an audit. An audit is there to help reveal any issues that are occurring or that could be a problem in the future. While an audit might seem like something you can’t tackle on your own, you are in for a surprise! 

In this blog, we’re going to give you step-by-step instructions on completing a Google Ads audit for your business. We don’t have time to waste, so let’s get started.

What Is a Google Ads Audit?

When auditing your Google Ads, you are looking at the effectiveness of your ads. After any problems have been discovered, this allows you to go in and improve your ads. Before you dive in and start comparing info, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Determine items to review. Don’t jump in without a plan. You need to understand what you are auditing and the importance of the audit to your business.
  • Document items. If you are taking the time to do an audit, you need to collect and report information from the audit appropriately. 
  • Note issues. If you notice any problems during your audit, do not fix them at that exact moment. Notate which ads need attention so you can go back and address the problem. It is possible that many of your ads are experiencing similar issues. Fixing the issues after the audit is complete allows you to use a comprehensive approach.

As a best practice, you should do a full audit and optimisation of your Google Ads one to two times per month. Daily optimisations should be completed, but a full audit allows you to see the entire picture and determine how the campaign is performing. 

While it is important to know the steps of completing an audit, there are several tools at your disposal that will complete an audit for you. Clever Ads, a Google Partner, offers a Google Ads audit template for you to utilise. Check out the Clever Ads audit page for more information. 

Now that you understand the basics of why audits are important, let’s discuss the steps for completing an audit on your own. 

1. Review/Update Your Goals

When it comes to marketing and advertising, you should always come back to your goals. If you run your campaigns without referencing your goals, it is likely your campaign will miss the mark (something you and your boss do not want). 

When reviewing goals, make sure you understand the objectives. Depending on the ads you are currently running, they could be focused on multiple business goals. To help, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Have you updated your target audience?
  2. Have the business goals changed?
  3. What conversion goals do you have in place? 
  4. What metrics are you trying to reach?

Of course, there are many other goal-related questions that you can ask. Just remember, ask yourself the important questions now before you dive into the audit. If you do not take the time to do this step correctly, it’s possible you won’t discover all the information that you truly need. After you know your goals and understand what the ads are trying to do, then you can move onto the next step. 

2. Account Structure

This is where we see many people make mistakes. If you do not set up your Google ad account in a structure that makes sense for your business, you will likely encounter problems later on. However, we do want to note that there is no right or wrong way to set up your account. As long as you create a system and are consistent with it, you shouldn’t experience many (if any) issues.

With your ad account structure, there are several ways you can set it up, including by product/services, objectives, target audience and many others. When you go to audit your account, you will want to look to see if the campaigns you are running provide meaningful data and insight as well as are the campaigns easy to compare. If this is not easy to do, you may want to consider restructuring your ads differently.

3. Settings

You may not think the settings of your campaign or account affect your ads, but in reality, they can have a huge impact. Most times, you can review the settings to make sure nothing was turned off. However, while auditing other parts of your ad account, you should keep your settings in mind. Perhaps a certain setting is causing your campaign to underperform. 

When thinking about settings, here are some items to keep in mind:

  • Are you targeting the correct devices?
  • Does the bid strategy, budget and ad delivery align with your goals?
  • Is the geotargeting set up correctly and accurately?
  • If you are utilising advanced settings, is everything set up correctly?

These are just some of the setting questions you need to ask yourself as you are auditing your Google ad campaigns. If this is too much for you to handle, our team at Zeidan Digital Marketing is here to help! Whether you need help with ads, search engine optimisation or email automation, our team has the experience to assist with your marketing. Check out our services page to learn more about what we can offer your business. 

4. Ad Groups

This is a crucial part of the audit process, and it can be easy to confuse ad groups with keywords. Think of ad groups as a group of ads instead of a group of keywords. Trust us, we get things confused too. While keywords are important to ads, if your ad groups and landing pages are not set up correctly, your ads won’t perform as well as they could. If you want consumers to complete a conversion, focus on your ad groups.

One of the biggest things to consider during your audit is if your ad groups complement each other rather than compete with each other. You shouldn’t create a war with yourself when it comes to your ads. If you find this is an issue during your audit, be sure to adjust your ad groups as soon as you can. The longer your ad groups compete with themselves, the more money you are wasting. 

Another important thing to consider is the budget. Ask yourself if your ad groups are receiving enough budget to be worthwhile. If you are not seeing your ad groups perform as you would like, it is possible you need to increase the budget for your campaign. Ads do take time to become effective as you optimise them, but ads and ad groups need the appropriate amount of budget for them to be successful. 

5. Keywords

It can be easy to get wrapped around keywords, but it is vital that you do not get lost in the nitty-gritty. During the audit process, you will want to make note of any patterns or trends you see with your keywords. However, don’t immediately make adjustments to your campaigns! You will want to think back to your goals from step one. When the goals are applied to your campaigns, you are then able to get a better view of the intent of the keywords as well as how they are performing.

If your campaigns are larger than normal, it can take a lot of time to go through each ad and keywords. In this case, you can look at a sample size of your keywords to see how they are performing. If you notice a trend with how your sample size of keywords is performing, it’s likely similar across the board. You will want to take the time to dive into any successes or issues you come across. 

A few things to look at while on the keyword step is if negative keywords are used, if keywords have a low-quality score and if there are keywords that are not returning conversions. Of course, there are many other aspects on top of what we have already listed. If you notice that anything is out of place or just doesn’t seem right, address it before the problem gets worse. 

6. Ads

In many circumstances, we notice that ads are either over-checked or forgotten about. Both of these can be bad for your ads. As mentioned earlier, while you should optimise your ads, you do need to give them time to become effective and collect results. On the flip side, you also should not ignore your ads entirely. If you don’t have the time, partner with a digital marketing agency like our team at Zeidan.

One thing you can do in between your audits is conduct A/B testing for your ads. A/B testing allows you to test different components in your ads to see what resonates more with your audience. For example, you can use different photos, CTAs and ad copy. When it is time to do your audit, you can look to see which ad is performing better. A/B testing is great for when you are stuck between two ideas.

During your audit, you also need to pay attention to what ads aren’t performing well. Taking note of underperforming ads allows you to figure out what ads you need to focus on or if you need to evaluate if they’re needed. Make sure you’re analysing your ads as a whole while also diving into the effectiveness of each individual element. 

It’s Time to Audit Your Google Ads Account

You’ve made it through all the steps of auditing your ad account. Whether you follow these steps on your own or use a Google Ads audit template, we recommend taking the time to understand why audits are so important. While Google does have some great optimisation options and can make your life easier, you still need to check on your ad account periodically. 

Of course, Google Ads aren’t your only option. If you’re just getting into the world of ads, there are several platforms that you can take advantage of. Here are some of our other resources to teach you more about the ad world:

As always, our team at Zeidan is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can help you gain more leads for your business!