A graphic of a person auditing their Google Ads account.

How To Conduct A Google Ads Audit

Category: Google Ads


Google Ads is arguably the most complex platform in the digital marketing space. The key to a successful Google Ads campaign is conducting regular audits. We recommend doing it at least once a week. Audits are important because they allow you to review your account’s performance and pinpoint the areas that need improvement. It can also keep your account more organized and easy to navigate, and as a result, help you generate more revenue. 

There are Google Ads audit tools out there, but they can be expensive, time consuming, and lack the context of your marketing goals. So for today’s blog post we’re telling you how you can do a Google Ads audit all on your own! 

Why Is Your Company Using Google Ads?

First things first. Before you do anything else, ask yourself this question. If your response is ‘I don’t know’ put your campaign on pause. Having an answer will help you know what to look for in your audit. 

Review Your Goals 

The next step to take is to review your business and account goals. Understanding what they are and what performance outcomes you are seeking will help with the rest of the auditing process. 

Here are some other great questions to ask yourself in this step. What were my initial goals?/What kind of action do I want users to take on my landing page? Who is my target audience? Have my goals changed? 

Double Check Your Locations

Are your ads reaching Google users in the right cities, states, or countries? You can determine this by going to the “locations” tab. 

If you’re targeting local users, use location extensions. People searching locally tend to include the keywords ‘closest’ and ‘nearby’ in their  search queries. 

Review Your Ads

Have a critical eye over your ads and landing pages. The key thing you should be looking for in this step is if the messaging on both is consistent and if there is a clear call-to-action. Are my conversion paths and/or checkout process intuitive? Are there any distractions? 

Ad Groups

Think of Ad Groups as selecting a group of keywords you wish to target and fine tuning the ad copy to match those exact searches. Generally, each Ad Group should contain at minimum 2-3 ad variations. The higher the relevance between your keywords and ad copy, the higher the click-through rate will be. 

Note Which Keywords Are Being Used

Take a look at your search query report and ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there any keywords that are off topic for the subject matter and conversion goals? 
  • Are there keywords that have zero conversions yet have high impressions, clicks, and/or spend? 
  • Are there keywords that have low-quality scores? 
  • Are negative keywords in use?

Negative Keywords

Speaking of keywords. Accounts that aren’t monitored regularly are often missing negative keywords, which are words you don’t want to trigger your ads. They can be rather costly to an account if not monitored. Here’s how you can add negative keywords to your list

Conversion Tracking

Be sure to track conversions. Why do all the hard work if you’re not seeing if it’s working. While one would think tracking conversions would be one of the first things a marketers does when setting up an account, according to research from Disruptive Advertising, 58% of 2,000 accounts featured in their study had at least one conversion registered. Of this group, half of the accounts tracking conversions had the code implemented incorrectly. Make sure your account doesn’t fall into either category. 

Here’s how to tell if your tracking conversion has been set up improperly:

  1. Your click count and conversion count are identical. In this case, your conversion rate was put to your landing page rather than your thank you/order confirmation page.
  2. Your conversion rates are high despite low sale numbers. If so, your conversion tracking may be measuring visits to a product page or home page. 
  3. Your conversion rate is suspiciously low.  Your conversion tracking should be placed on the page that appears after a conversion has been completed. 

Quality Score

A high quality score has a major impact on your ROI and cost-per-click. Improving your rankings such as Expected Click-through Rate. You should check the quality score of each keyword. The default quality score for Google Ads is 6. 

Analyze Your Budget

You should ensure your using your budget effectively. If your campaign says it is a limited budget, then that needs to be changed. 

Some ways to get more bang for your buck is optimizing your ad schedule. If your business isn’t open twenty-four hours, it’s important to only have your ad running when you’re open.

You should also go to your keywords tab and look at all the keywords you’re bidding on. Look at each keyword and how they’ve performed over 3-6 months. See how much you’re spending on keywords that are giving you zero conversions. Once you’ve identified your budget-sucking keywords, eliminate them!

Disapproved Ads

You should check for disapproved ads. When you have a new disapproved ad, there will be an alert on the right hand side. 

Spelling & Grammar

Lastly, check your spelling and grammar everywhere. In your title tag, meta description, headlines, display URL, copy, keywords, and extensions. Misspellings and poor grammar can dissolve your credibility. 

Learn more about your search engine marketing services here.

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