Can you imagine what would happen if our PCs and mobile devices never updated? The results would be catastrophic—reduced speed, poor performance and overall loss of functionality. Well, the same results occur if you skip performing audits for your advertising accounts. Unlike the automatic updates of our devices, PPC audits are a process that every digital advertiser must personally master and perform on a regular basis.
Audits should be completed using a series of steps and performed periodically in order to refresh and optimize your campaigns. Every advertiser has their own structured steps to complete audits. We’re not getting into the steps today (there are a slew of posts on how to perform them). We are going to talk about the benefits and overall performance indicator increases you can expect to see as the result of your audits. View this post as a reminder of what you may be missing out on by not sweeping the dust off your old campaigns.
This might seem like a ridiculous question, but you wouldn’t believe what might fly under the radar when you least expect it. Audits are a chance for you to revisit the elements of your campaigns that you wrongly assume should work. Are your conversions still tracking properly? Have URLs on your site changed but your ads still direct searchers to the old one? Has landing page content changed or completely redirected to something else? As you know, any of these unnoticed changes are very bad news for your ads if not addressed. Talk about low quality scores—how about an ad that discusses the value of your Extreme Triple-Blade Razors but the landing page has unexpectedly changed to an e-book download for “5 Ways to Snuggle with Bae”? Not good.
An even worse scenario is reporting that your campaign conversions have increased 500% year-over-year, but unbeknownst to you, the conversion goal was improperly set up all along. As you can see, our question is beginning to look less ridiculous by the second. In my opinion, this can potentially be the most important benefit you get from PPC audits, hence being the first discussed.
After you establish that nothing ludicrous is going on in your accounts, it’s time to polish your ads with a fresh coat of newness. Using past data as your guide, build upon what worked well before and eliminate what did not. Did you have more conversions in California between 8 and 11 p.m.? Perhaps bid modifiers and an ad group with late-night focused keywords and copy could do the trick. Remember, one of the main benefits of your audits is restructuring/reorganizing ad groups and keywords in a way that will allow you make your ads highly relevant to user search queries. Adding keywords, removing wasteful ones and moving keywords strategically will benefit your campaigns in the long run.
Another plus you can take from your PPC audits is a chance to take advantage of the latest platform features. Digital advertising platforms are constantly pushing out new features to make our life easier and (hopefully) improve performance. These can come in the form of more ad copy character space, targeting options, conversion/goal tracking, new extensions, the list goes on and on. Take this time to utilize what these platforms are giving us for free! Because if you don’t, everybody else will.
This is what we truly want from our PPC audits in the end; a concrete indication to let us know that all our auditing efforts have led to higher click-through rates, more conversions, increased ROI, or any other goal. Once again, using what you know from the past helps us. If you know that for a particular campaign, putting your keyword in Headline 2 resulted in the highest click-through rate, you now have the knowledge and ability to recreate this successful outcome for other ads. If you see that keywords that contain a specific phrase have spent a lot of money and have never converted, you know to avoid them at all costs to potentially boost ROI.
Doing more of the good and less of the bad is the name of the game here. Below are examples of three different campaigns that we audited annually to take advantage of drastic increases in click-through rate. As you can see, the numbers tell us that performing PPC audits is never a bad decision.
Don’t pass up on PPC audits and do them frequently. They can save you from making drastic mistakes that could cost you a lot of money and time. The overhead look we get from audits gives us a chance to rethink our overall strategy. Are you enhancing the elements that work well for your accounts and are you reducing that which is hemorrhaging cost? Does your campaign structure make sense? Update your advertising with new images, copy, or features to stay competitive and fresh and, lastly, enjoy the limitless benefits from the increase in performance.
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