How to Do a Google Ads Audit (and Increase Conversions)

Are you presently running ads through Google?

Wondering why your conversion rate seems to be on the low side? Well, you aren’t alone!

Mastering the art of running ads can be a little tricky (and costly). But if you want to get it right, the key is to identify what’s performing well with your ads and what isn’t so you can make changes that will have your conversion rate soaring in no time at all.

How do you do that though? It all starts with conducting a Google Ads audit.

In this article, you’ll discover what a Google Ads audit is, why it’s an important step to take whenever you’re running ad campaigns, and how to conduct an audit completely on your own.

What is a Google Ads Audit?

A Google Ads audit is the process of assessing your existing Google campaigns and ads to analyze their performance. As ads can be costly to run, it’s important that your money is being spent wisely, so you’ll want to ensure your ads are generating results that help you get closer to your company goals (brand awareness, building trust, free trial sign-ups, etc.) and generate the revenue you desire.

An audit that has been executed properly will give you a clear overview of how your ads are performing. You’ll also be able to identify any areas for improvement or issues that need to be addressed within your campaigns and their corresponding ads. Audits can even help you see how your campaigns stack up against your competitors so you can make changes that will allow you to stand out from them.

But the question is, why is this such a crucial step when running ads? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • A Google Ads audit will help you to assess the performance of any ads you’re running. You can properly track your conversion rate and calculate your ROI based on how an ad performs. From there, you can make any necessary changes to increase conversions.
  • You’ll also see where you’re spending money wisely and where it’s being wasted so you can make changes that will allow you to get more bang for your buck. After all, it’s imperative that you’re maximizing your ad spend by putting your marketing dollars behind the campaigns that perform.
  • Learning more about which ads are performing well gives you insights into what resonates with your target audience. This can help generate new campaign ideas and ideas for other content and marketing channels you may use in your business.

Although conducting an audit of this nature will take some time and effort, it’ll be worthwhile in the end. Even for companies with a massive advertising budget, it’s still imperative to spend it wisely. That means your budget needs to go towards ads that generate ROI. An audit will help with this.

How to Conduct a Google Ads Audit

Now that you understand what a Google Ads audit is and why it’s so important, we need to discuss how to conduct one efficiently. The following steps will make this process easier for you and your team:

1. Know Your Goals and Key Performance Indicators 

To conduct a successful Google Ads audit, you need to first know what your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) are. This will help you to properly assess whether or not you’re getting the desired results with the campaigns you’re running.

When it comes to your goals, it’s best to be as specific as possible. It’s not enough to say you want to “increase sales” on your product. Instead, you want to have a goal like “increase sales by 10%.” This is specific and measurable, which is exactly what you need when evaluating the success of your ads.

Knowing your goals will help you to identify the KPIs you should be tracking. And this goes beyond generic metrics like clicks or impressions. For example, revenue growth and profit margin are two big ones to monitor. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can look at how well your ads are performing against those goals and KPIs.

2. Review Your Google Ads Account Structure 

Next, it’s smart to review your Google Ads account structure to ensure everything is organized and set up properly. This will make it easier for you and your team to see and understand what you’re doing behind the scenes in your Google account. Plus, it’ll help when allocating your budget for ads.

For instance, if you’re running multiple campaigns or ad groups under one campaign, it can get cluttered. This will make it difficult to keep track of where everything belongs. Instead, make sure all of your campaigns are focused on one type of ad or one particular product, rather than having one giant campaign that’s comprised of too many different types of ads.

Your campaigns can be sorted by various themes. This includes the keywords inside the ad campaign, the personas or locations being targeted, the product being promoted, or the end goal of the campaign. 

3. Evaluate Your Bidding Strategies

One of the great things about Google Ads is that it gives the user several bidding strategies when developing their ad campaigns. This way, you can tailor your bidding strategy to the campaign itself by factoring in your end goal. So again, this goes back to what you want to achieve with your ad. Are you looking to generate impressions, clicks, or conversions? 

Google offers some helpful advice in this situation. For instance, if you’re merely wanting to generate traffic to your website, focusing on clicks and using cost-per-click (CPC) bidding might be ideal. If you want someone to take a specific action on your website (such as signing up for a free trial or making a purchase), you’ll want to focus on conversion tracking. Google offers Smart Bidding that’s ideal here.

Smart Bidding is useful in many situations because it takes the guesswork out of running ad campaigns and setting bids. With the help of machine learning, you can optimize for conversions or conversion value in your auctions.

4. Take a Look at Your Keywords

It’s no secret that your keywords are a crucial aspect of any ad campaign you run, so this can’t be overlooked when conducting a Google Ads audit. Take some time to review your keywords and ask yourself if they’re performing well or if they’re underperforming. If they’re underperforming, you may want to consider removing them from your account. It’s not worthwhile to spend money on keywords that aren’t generating conversions for you.

It’s also helpful to look into the quality score for each keyword in your account. Google provides this information, which tells you how likely someone is to click on an ad for that keyword. A higher quality score means more people will be likely to click on your ad, which will generate more traffic and, ideally, more conversions! Quality scores range from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible score. You always want to aim for a score of eight or higher whenever possible.

On the flip side, there will be instances in which certain search terms are giving you unwanted impressions or clicks on your ads. You can discover this by using the search terms report to get ideas. If this is happening, you’ll want to create a list of negative keywords to prevent this from happening. Negative keywords are any terms you don’t want your ads showing for. The best way to address this is to create a list of those negative keywords and apply it to all of your campaigns so you don’t have to go about it manually for each individual campaign.

5. Review Ad Performance

You can’t conduct a Google Ads audit without reviewing the ad itself! If you’re running multiple ads, this step will be more time-consuming, but it’ll pay off in the end because you’ll be left with tons of valuable insights into what works for you and what doesn’t in terms of your ad campaigns.

The first thing to look at is the number of impressions your ad is receiving. If this number is on the low side, you may want to tweak the target audience for your ad so you can reach more people. You’ll also want to determine how many clicks the ad is receiving. If clicks are low, something needs to change about the ad itself. This could be the copy or the call to action, for example.

This is where A/B split testing comes in handy because you’ll have the opportunity to tweak small things and measure changes in performance. Over time, you’ll learn how to craft the best ad for your business and your target audience, meaning soaring conversion rates!

6. Review Your Landing Page

Building off that last tip, you can’t just look at the ad itself to determine its level of performance. That’s because sometimes ads receive a lot of clicks, but the conversions still aren’t there. If this is the case for your ads, the problem likely lies within your landing page.

This could be the result of issues with your website. If your website takes too long to load, your conversion rates can drop. Data shows the first five seconds of page loading are the most critical for your conversion rates. On another note, it could simply be that your landing page isn’t resonating with your potential customers, preventing them from signing up for free trials or purchasing. Bounce rate and time spent on page are two metrics to track here.

You’ll also want to test to see if any sign-up or contact forms or purchase buttons on your landing page are working as well. Sometimes it’s something simple and obvious that’s blocking our conversions. You need to test every detail on both mobile and desktop to ensure everything functions as it should.

A great landing page needs to communicate the benefits of your offer, while also showcasing how it’ll transform the life of your buyer. It’s also important to add testimonials as social proof so someone can see how your product has benefited others. If you’re not sure what your landing page is lacking, have someone else look it over. A fresh set of eyes could spot issues you overlooked.

7. Develop a Report Outlining All of Your Findings

Odds are, the findings of your Google Ads audit will need to be shared with other members of your team. For this reason, you’ll want to compile all of the information you discovered into one document that can easily be shared internally. Then, everyone will have access to your findings.

Team members can be invited to share their feedback to make improvements moving forward. You never know when someone on your team may have some game-changing thoughts that could completely transform the performance of your ads or landing pages. That’s why it’s smart to get them involved so they can share their opinions.

Together, you can develop an action plan for producing higher-performing ads in the future because you’ll now have tons of valuable insights regarding your ad performance and your target audience. This will shape your content (whether paid or unpaid) forevermore.

Bonus Tip: Look at Your Ad Schedule

With Google Ads you have the ability to run certain campaigns on days that have the highest conversions, and conversely, pause them on the days where you might not see as much traction. 

Look into your entire ad schedule and choose the best days to run your ads, then continue to optimize for even better performance. On the flip side, also look deeper into the days where your ads might not be performing the best and change up the copy, creatives, and landing pages.

Conducting a Google Ads Audit

Conducting a Google Ads audit will always be a worthwhile endeavor for your company. By doing a deep dive into your account, you’ll discover ways to improve your conversion rate by maximizing the effectiveness of your ads. This way, you’ll generate more ROI for every dollar spent!

Before you know it, your Google Ads will be taking off, ensuring you’re effortlessly generating the results you desire. After all, Google Ads is a powerful way to attract new customers to your business. You just need to make sure you’re running the best campaigns possible.

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