More than 64% of people click on Google Ads when they are searching for a product or service online.
This offers up a ton of potential for attracting new customers. If you’re using pay-per-click ads, are you getting the most out of them? No, really. When was the last time you took a close look at not just how much you’re spending but also where you might be able to extract more value?
A pay-per-click audit, also known as a PPC audit, can help you ensure that you are maximizing your paid advertising budget. Not only can it help you avoid waste, it can also put a spotlight on the areas you’re getting great results with so that you can ramp up efforts in that area and make the most of successful ads and campaigns.
In the early days of PPC ads, Google and others would offer free coupons for $50 or $100 and let webmasters and marketing managers play with ads. You could throw some ads out there and see if anything took off. Before long, if things went well, you’d be spending real money on ads.
Rather than throwing money at ads blindly and measuring them, there are a lot of things you can do to be more strategic and minimize ad waste. Ad waste isn’t just wasting money on a particular ad click or number of impressions — it can also be a wasted opportunity when your ad gets in front of someone who is ready to buy. You want to make the most of that opportunity.
When Did You Last Look Closely at Your PPC Ads?
Even if you do a bunch of keyword research and take time implementing your PPC strategy, paid advertising in any form shouldn’t be seen as a set-it-and-forget-it scenario. Things can change quickly, and you could suddenly be bleeding money on an ineffective campaign that was previously doing well. Conversely, you could also be losing out on an opportunity that’s paying off because you’re not paying close enough attention to up the budget.
Regularly reviewing and adjusting your campaign, budget, goals, ads and other facets of this search engine marketing strategy is vital. Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you do a PPC audit:
10 Easy Steps to Follow for a PPC Audit
- Look at Your Goals: Have they changed since you last looked at your ad account? Are your ads aligned with your sales goals for specific product pushes? Are you targeting all the best geographical areas and all your services or products? Are you doing enough to foster relationship-building so that you continue to market to people who buy from you?
- Assess Your Budget: You want to look at your overall advertising budget as well as at individual bids. What’s your conversion rate and how effective is your current bidding strategy? What about setting budget per device? Are you keeping in mind all the ways your target customers are viewing your ads? Is it time to increase your budget on your effective ads? Is it time to refocus ad budget that’s not generating any income to another area?
- Check Conversion Rates: Are your existing ads truly effective? The breakdown by geography and by network are important in ensuring conversion rate optimization. Look at areas you can boost existing success with as well as strategies to improve conversion rate on under-performing ads.
- Look for Waste: Are you still running old holiday campaigns or campaigns with coupon codes that are no longer active? Are you excluding your own IP addresses to minimize waste? Are any of your ads out of alignment with today’s goals?
- Check Those Keywords: Are you targeting enough keywords? What about negative keywords to minimize waste? What’s the on-page SEO like for your landing pages to augment your efforts?
- Look at Keyword Quality Scores: Keyword scores aren’t evergreen. Keeping an eye on them can help with your overall success.
- Examine Your Keyword Groups: Are your existing groups in need of an update? Are they too large or should you narrow the list? Are you leveraging ad extensions?
- Split Testing: Audits can’t always be instant. Split testing can take time and should be done regularly. Two ad variances in each ad group is a good way to benchmark. If you’ve inherited an ad campaign someone else put together, have a close look to ensure ads are compelling, typo-free and, in addition to split testing your own ads, look at your competition, too.
- Dig into Landing Page Analytics: Is your layout following best practices for user experience, conversion rate optimization as well as landing page optimization? Headings, images, calls-to-action, making use of the URL for keyword optimization? Is it time to tweak your copy or do some more split testing with effective ad copy?
- Make a Plan and Schedule Your Next Audit: Whether you do a self-audit and make your own plan or decide it’s time to get help with PPC advertising, regularly doing a PPC audit will help you maximize your budget and your marketing reach.
If you’re looking to find out why your PPC ads aren’t converting or trying to figure out a way to get more ROI with your PPC campaigns, contact Thrive Internet Marketing Agency today at 866-434-4748 or online to schedule a PPC audit that will give you the answers you’ve been wanting and a plan to help you fix your problems.