Pay-Per-Click Advertising

If you are managing multiple pay-per-click accounts, it can start to feel like a game without rules – or a game in which you’re not privy to the rules. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re not alone, but some digital marketing hygiene in the form of PPC auditing can help you learn the ropes and regain mastery of your online offerings. PPC accounts can pack a considerable marketing punch, and maintaining a strong working knowledge of yours can help you control their impact. While the world of PPC audits is expansive, the matter condenses down to five questions that you should be asking yourself.

1. Are Your Business Goals Supported By Your PPC Approach?

When it comes to marketing strategies of any kind, the philosophy or infrastructure of the strategy is more important than any of the more glamorous or design-driven aspects, which applies to PPC accounts. Getting down to the nuts and bolts of these accounts is critical to your ability to maximize their value per marketing dollar.


A common foundational mistake is attempting to take on more than any given ad campaign can handle. It’s only natural to go after the biggest bang for your buck, but if your budget can’t handle the number of ad groups or keyword concepts involved, your efforts can become diluted considerably. For each campaign you have, an ideal balance usually includes 5-7 ad groups and 3-5 keyword concepts (keeping the keywords grouped according to both relevance and cost).

Questions to Ask Yourself

To help ensure that your PPC structure is supporting your business goals, ask yourself each of the following questions in relation to each account:

  • Where do these customers rank in terms of my ideal market?
  • Are some markets more valuable than others to my unique business?
  • Do I need to invest equally in every aspect of my business, or does focusing on specific elements make more sense at this juncture?

The answers to these focused questions can help you forge your best path forward.

2. Is Your Conversion Tracking Treating You Right?

Accurate and reliable conversion tracking is critical to your ability to audit your PPC campaigns, and if you can’t trust yours, you’re going to pay the price. Conversion tracking is fundamental to your auditing efforts, but it’s also very vulnerable to false positives and false negatives. The steps you can take to ensure that your conversion tracking is on the right track include:

  • In your Google Ads account, go into Tools and Settings in the toolbar.
  • From here, choose Conversions.
  • In the Summary, you’ll be afforded a snapshot of which actions are set as primary and which are set as secondary.

Primary actions are included in your cost per acquisition (CPA) and trigger bidding. Those actions that are set as secondary, however, don’t affect either bidding or reporting algorithms – although they will be noted. It’s a good idea to take a careful look and to ensure that your designations are on track.

3. Is Your Copy Hitting Its Marks?

Your copy and creative efforts are naturally of primary importance when it comes to PPC (and all digital marketing), but quality content doesn’t hit the same across all audiences. You have a target audience, and you want your copy and creative to speak to that target audience (without alienating anyone else). In the process of auditing your PPC accounts, you need to make sure that your copy and creative is meshing with the ad group’s unique market demands. And fine-tuning your efforts is key. Consider the following pointers for your responsive search ads (RSAs), which open up A/B testing on copy and creative content:

  • One primary creative concept per ad group is the best policy (again, overstuffing can devalue your marketing spend).
  • Use your strongest copy for headlines one and two (H1 and H2). By the time you get to headline three (H3), you may be venturing into wishful thinking territory.

4. Are You Focusing On Waste Not, Want Not?

Ad platforms have a lot to offer, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by everything that’s on offer – and you can end up tripping more settings than you need (or can afford). For example, when you target a location, you are generally given the option to target each of the following:

  • Individuals who are in the location in question
  • Individuals who show interest in the location in question
  • Individuals who are both in the location and show interest in the location

The default setting targets all of the above, which may or may not be right for your ad campaign and which can lead to more advertising spend than you bargained for.

Another important consideration is your Keyword Planner. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the correct match type and overspend in the process.

5. Is Optimizing Enough?

Optimizing account performance is obviously an important element of PPC audits, but it’s not the end of the story. Having a good feel for the signs of success – as they relate to your business – and scalability are also integral factors. Impression share lets you know where you are (in percentages) and where you could be. If your impression share is hovering below where you’d like it to be, optimization is likely in order. Scalability, on the other hand, refers to just how much you can realistically take on. As such, if you are hitting your goals in terms of click-throughs to conversion rates, you are likely optimizing on all cylinders, but you should take your overall market into consideration and explore whether or not you are ready to expand your scale.

Time for a PPC Audit? Time to Consult With a Savvy Digital Marketing Professional

The digital marketing professionals at The Web Guys understand that throwing yourself into a comprehensive PPC audit can be daunting, but we’ve got the goods to help. Instead of putting off that audit – again – reach out and contact us at (317) 805-4933 for a nudge in the right direction today.