Often the Google Ads accounts we are facing show the same display campaigns that have been running for centuries, without any tests or on a placement, neither on interesting keywords or otherwise different.
When you are in front of an account already optimized by others, it is interesting to understand the strategy, as it is set up the bid. And even better is to see the structure of the campaign, to understand the reasoning that was made. And in case, just do it.
Creating a perfect account is the dream of every Google Ads consultant and in this article we will present in brief the actual process of audit of a Google Ads account.
What does it mean to analyze a Google Ads account?
Analyzing a Google Ads account means going to determine by studying what happened in the past to determine the areas on which to focus to improve performance.
There is a saying among the experts once called Adwords (now Ads) ♪ It’s never a bad time to check an account ♪ ♪ because usually you always find something to go to improve performance
Who is the author Giulio Stella is a consultant in digital marketing, specialized in SEO and SEM, an algorithm expert, works for Gstarseo
Obviously the most important time to check your account is if you experience performance problems. It is also a good idea to periodically check an account if it has been managed by the same person or team for a long time.
I often ask friends who are in charge of Google Ads advice to throw an eye at the account to have a different opinion.
Who should perform the audit?
This is a delicate question because it really depends on the type of company. If there is a particular problem in your account that needs more technical control you may feel the assistance of Google Ads and see if they can help you.
However, if we talk about doing a more complete check of the Adwords account, it might be better to outsource the project to a freelance expert in Google Ads.
And as we know, it’s very easy to neglect the basics and assume that everything is set correctly or just skip things because you can’t reset the campaign so you can choose as your target search networks and display separately.
We try to figure out how to analyze a Google Ads account and what to give priority to.
The basics for checking Google Ads account
First, make sure you have a long enough time to analyze the data. Do not examine conversion data for the last 30 days and above all do not make changes if you intend to do so, always based on lifetime so you can analyze what happened in the past. At least we recommend to observe at least 3 months of data, especially if we are trying to solve a specific problem, if instead it is more macro even a year of data.
Knowing the most important metrics for a customer is the best way to start the Adwords analysis with the right foot. If this is an account you’re managing, I guess you’ve chosen KPIs to be focused on because it might be worth checking with your client quickly to make sure you’re aligned with the same goals and not start the sales campaign when you’re in charge of the
This is usually one of the favorite areas of an account to be checked because settings tend to be set at the beginning of a campaign and few times they are changed. From here you can also check the device’s offer modifiers, the method of publishing ads, the rotation of ads (optimization for clicks when the targets are based on conversions?), locality/language targeting and ad planning.
modifiers can sometimes affect performance more than expected. It is worth rechecking to see if changes have been made when performance has begun to decline.
The first element to examine with campaigns is whether the structure of names makes sense, and is easily understandable. Have the campaigns been randomly numbered or explain what we can find within them? Are campaigns of interest or topics divided into their campaigns or divided into a general display campaign?
The revision of the campaign structure is where we start to determine whether the rest of the account structure follows a sensible path or whether the SEM consultant will have to do it all over again.
Assuming that the campaign structure is set correctly, the next step is to look at how ad groups are set. We know that among the SEM Specialists’ dreams there is to create an adgroup containing a single keyword, but when it is not possible, it must always be verified how many there are.
Let’s make sure we don’t have too large ad groups that you take poor quality clicks (if your offer strategy maximizes clicks it is very likely that it will be so).
While checking the keywords, let’s remember to check the match types. If most of the terms are in general correspondence, it is possible what I said before, that is that many of the clicks are to be reviewed.
If the account is mainly based on generic correspondence, is there a reverse matching keyword strategy to eliminate the not relevant traffic? Have Broad match-modifier campaigns been entered? Are the offers too high or too low to produce results? Finally, the advice is to give an eye to the search terms to understand if some words that have \’triggered \\’ the announcement and can actually be added within the campaign.
When we look at ads in a given account, we always check CTR (click percentage), CPC (cost per click), from which keywords are \”triggered”, but above all we go to review them always taking into account the Quality Score Do ads promote expired prices or offers? Have you changed the message depending on the phase of the purchase cycle for which the announcement is intended? When was the last time an announcement test was performed? Once you’ve answered all these questions, let’s try to determine why.
When talking about the quality score in Google Ads, you need to realize that what you can discover here may take some time to be settled. So unlike settings or some structure problems, there is not a single way to start correcting this part. The most important part of this part of the audit is to extract some reports on the keywords most used and analyze them.
In the new Google Ads interface, quality score is available over time along with historical data. Download these segmented data based on time and you will be able to analyze what factors change over time and how they affect your quality score.
Google Quality Score Metrics
Ad extensions are an important feature of Google’s interface, however not all of them may be relevant to the type of campaign or group of ads. Consider the account you are examining while checking extensions and whether the extension would actually lead to something more.
Sitelinks are quite vertical and can be used in multiple campaigns, so check that they are implemented correctly. If you work for a local company, check if locality extensions are in use.
Have we added the call extensions? Are the internal calls active only during the week or even outside of work hours? Have the call metrics been regularly analysed with the rest of the account?
Extensions are important to help increase exponentially the click percentages, so they are an important aspect of checking the account to be taken care of.
Now after doing the search campaigns, let’s focus on the display. And let’s go do the same job we did for the search and ask ourselves a series of questions.
Are the positions handled automatically or are they present in the managed positionings? Are managed positionings bringing results? Are there any automatic positionings that can/should be moved in the management? Are bad performances excluded? Are campaigns with interest categories ongoing? Are additional campaigns of this type available? Does the public account publish ads that can be adapted? What placement? Did you increase your bid on mobile or desktop?
As you can see, the questions you have to ask for the display are many being a very delicate type of campaign where throwing clicks is very easy, even if then those users can be taken back in remarketing.
First: are remarketing campaigns implemented? If so, go to the shared library section of the account and observe the public set up for remarketing.
What are the objectives? The messages? What part of the funnel is he working on? Have the audience segments been created? Here too many questions before putting hand to everything that has been done
Not all accounts will have Analytics. Yes, it seems strange, but you must first determine whether there is an Analytics account (Google or otherwise) and, otherwise, create one immediately and start tracking what happens on the site in question.
You must check that the tracking code has been entered on the site, set targets and conversions and you are ready to leave.
What happens after the audit?
During this check and the many questions we asked ourselves in this article, there have probably been many points that need to be reviewed within the campaigns.
The first thing to do is to give priority and then proceed. If you have encountered a specific problem and wish to implement those actions that will bring you better results right away, do so. Although there are bigger problems within the Google Ads account, focusing on small ones is the best way to start making order.
No doubt, then, mobile advertising has been the growth area for many brands over the past five years. It will rise, but there are few tools specifically aimed at analysing competitors on mobile devices. I am very well using What Runs Where which is available for the Anglo-Saxon market. Another tool is the new facebook to library that allows us to see the communication actions that some brands carry out in a given country.