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How To Conduct A PPC Audit and Why You Need To Do It Sooner Than Later

If you own an eCommerce store, you’re likely here looking for ways to increase sales for your products. Here’s the thing, you’re not going to be able to get lots of great leads and sales if you don’t know how to launch and manage your Google Ads campaigns effectively. 

Handling your ppc campaigns the right way can make or break your results with your eCommerce store. But aside from knowing the technical things, you should also know how to conduct a PPC audit. 

Google ad word audit

PPC audits are essential if you want to optimize your accounts and get the most out of the work you’re doing. We recommend conducting an audit at least every six months or when you start managing a new campaign.

However, to ensure that every account is optimized to its full potential, you don’t want to audit within three months of making significant changes. This means that when you start to analyze your findings, it should include at least three months worth of PPC data. 

Even celebrated digital marketers can miss the details when there are so many aspects to go through when launching a new campaign. That’s why we’ve put together this guide — so that you don’t spend more money only to end up with a smaller ROI. 

smaller ROI

Even the most minor details can drain your budget and reduce profit margins. Here are some reasons you should be doing a PPC audit for your eCommerce store’s ad account and what to look for when you’re ready to dive in.

How & Why You Should Do A PPC Audit For Your ECommerce Store Ad Accounts

Think of your eCommerce store’s PPC audit as a visit to the dentist. It’s something you should probably be doing twice a year (I know, even thinking about the dentist might give you nightmares but it’s a part of life). However, doing proper pay-per-click management means thinking about the small details and the bigger picture all at the same time. 

Below, we break down what to look for with each level of your PPC account so that your campaigns are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Why You Need A PPC Audit Right Now

There are so many reasons why you need to do an eCommerce PPC audit right now:

  1. You can find new opportunities — A PPC audit is basically locating what works and dropping what doesn’t. This process will help you identify fresh opportunities for your campaigns. You’ll be able to see which keywords are working well and then increase your bids on those; this process is essential! 

Massive ROI comes from looking for new opportunities and stopping campaigns that are going nowhere. Sometimes the first few campaigns don’t see huge returns. But after you analyze the data, you can boost conversions and see those opportunities that will earn you more money.

  1. You’ll be able to identify wastage — Ads not performing? Check for where that waste might be coming from. Does your landing page suck? Maybe your call-to-action isn’t aligned with your goal. Or most common issue of all, you’re probably bidding on broad terms and losing money. If your ad or goal is poorly defined, you can be attracting lots of traffic but not collecting those conversions. 

Keywords might not be effective from one month to the next so you want to weed out poor-performing ones so that you can direct your efforts that are more meaningful and profitable.

common ad word issues
  1. You can modify your current processes — As an eCommerce store owner, you have to improve your campaign management process constantly. Don’t stick to one thing if something newer and more relevant is better for your business (80 / 20 rule). 

Things like the introduction of machine learning and AI can help you automate your Google ads campaign setting process and potentially boost the ROI. Look for ways to modify your campaign efforts that can save you time (and ultimately, money!).

  1. You can start making fact-based decisions — If you’ve been changing your ad campaign settings at random, you’re likely not seeing a huge profit. Don’t bid on a keyword without researching to see how many people are searching for it or what your competitors are doing for that keyword. View how to do keyword research on our founder, Shri Kanase’s channel here.

However, if you have the data and insight to know what is performing, it will give you a better idea of where to place your budget and where to ease off. Doing audits will give you real-time data and metrics and you’ll be able to monitor trends that have grown over time.

These types of insights give you the power to refine single campaigns and help you focus your entire marketing strategy.

Your Checklist For Your Next PPC Audit

Campaign Structure

Your campaign account structure should be intuitive, even to an outsider. Separate your campaigns neatly and clearly. Don’t default to naming your campaigns something like “Campaign #1”. Instead, rename it more specifically to the type of campaign it is. It could be display, remarketing, search, google shopping, and should also include the store name, brands, or keyword bidding type. 

For example, for majority of our clients, we start the campaign name with our brand “[YM]”. This is followed by the type of campaign it is (shopping / search) and is followed by the name of the products. To end it off, we write the date it was launched on. Here is an example of a current running campaign’s name: “[YM] Shopping | Testing Products | US – 07/16/21”.

shopping and search ads

Another thing you should do is your set-and-forget settings. You initially put these into place when the campaign or account was created. For example, check the expiration date on your credit card on file (an issue one of our PPC clients has faced before sadly), check if you’re meeting your daily ad/spend budget, include better graphics if you have them, make sure your location is specific to your country, and don’t forget to check mobile device settings too!

Ad Group Structure

Fair warning — auditing your ad groups will likely take the most time, as several opportunities are here. First, your ad groups should be specific to your website’s product lines or landing pages. Your PPC ads should be geared toward driving genuine leads to your website. Specialized ad groups will help ensure your customers are getting to where they need to be. 

We think that each ad group should have 2-3 ads running simultaneously when it comes to search ads. That way, you can rotate your ads evenly, and then eventually, you’ll be able to favor the ad that is the most effective. Fewer ads mean you won’t have the ability to A/B test. On the flip side, too many ads can dilute the testing and clutter your interface.

2-3 running ads

In addition, each ad group should target around twenty different keywords as a baseline. This includes different match types as well, so it’s essential that you have narrowly focused ad groups.

Every campaign you set up should have ad extensions. Check each extension for consistency and clarity. Sitelink extensions are the most common and you can create new CTAs which could remove potential pain points by directing a customer to an even more specific page. Call and location extensions are other valuable extensions, especially for physical store locations.

Ad & Keyword Auditing

We combined ads and keyword auditing because they are codependent on each other. For example, when you gather information about an ad you’re running, that should inform you of which keywords to change or adjust. Plus, it’s super important to use all the keyword data you’re getting to base your next decisions.

You can check for errors in your ads by exporting the data into a spreadsheet. Sometimes our PPC interfaces can feel cluttered, so putting key metrics into your own spreadsheet can help organize the data and make it easier to point out issues. Things to look for with these analytics are misspelled words, URLs that are out of date, and display URLs that should be optimized.

PPC interfaces

Are your keyword phrases meeting your goals? More often than not, we see ad groups comprised of nothing but broad-match keywords that don’t seem to have a purpose. At Yoru Marketing, we put more of our focus on exact match keywords before shifting over to the broad match.

Your focus on what to adjust should be on what will have the most significant effect on the campaign you’re working with. For example, if your campaign’s goal is to bring in new traffic, you’ll want to look at CTR and impressions. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase conversion rates or sales, look for total cost per conversion and ROAS. These are key indicators of how your conversion objective campaigns are performing.

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Final Thoughts & Ongoing Action

Congratulations!

The major part of paving your Google Ads campaigns’ path towards success has been finished. However, the show is just getting started; there’s still a lot more left to do to ensure ongoing performance! No eCommerce store owner just sits and waits for the money to trickle in. 

Maximum results from PPC campaigns come from constant and consistent ad optimization. Making some of the above tweaks in your PPC audit can help you make significant strides towards achieving a higher ROAS. 

Go through your account structure and ensure all your settings match your goals and metrics. Are you tracking conversions accurately? When everything lines up on the technical side, you should begin seeing positive results. Keep checking the performance of your campaigns after some time and make adjustments as you go. 

We see it all the time — businesses failing to see decent profits because they aren’t auditing their accounts and fixing the flaws. You’ve put in a lot of work into your eCommerce brand and it deserves a higher ROI. 

At Yoru Marketing, your profits come first. We’ll have your PPC campaigns running efficiently and effectively in just a few simple steps. It starts with a conversation with our team. We’ll talk about your current situation, overall dreams for future success, and your goals for your eCommerce business. Then, we’ll create a step by step action plan we’ll help you execute or give to you to do yourself.Does this sound like what you need? Get started here.

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