5 Questions You Should Ask Before Your PPC Audit

Shutterstock 2318980651 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Your PPC Audit Vizion Interactive Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you have found that the results from your online paid advertising campaigns aren’t meeting the goals you have set, you likely need a qualified professional to do a PPC audit for you. This will allow you to understand what is going wrong with your ads and how you can fix it for the most effective results. 

As there’s a lot of money involved from your end in PPC campaigns, you want to make sure you get the right answers from such an audit. But what are the right questions to ask so you and your auditor are on the same page? Read on to find out.

Why Every Business Needs to Consider Regular PPC Audits

Here are 5 key benefits of conducting regular PPC audits:

  • Improve ROI: Auditing helps ensure your campaigns run efficiently by identifying wasted spend on underperforming keywords, ads, and placements. You can optimize or remove what isn’t working to improve ROI.
  • Optimize performance: Regular audits reveal opportunities to optimize bid strategies, ad copy, landing pages, and other campaign settings to improve overall performance. Issues can be addressed before they impact ROI.
  • Stay on top of algorithm/policy changes: Platforms like GoogleAds often change their policies or update them in accordance with local laws, new algorithms, and more. Regular audits can help you track how those changes impact your campaigns so you can quickly adjust to maintain or boost performance.
  • Find new opportunities: Periodic review of search term reports, research into new keywords and placements, and analysis of competitor ads can give insights into new opportunities to expand your campaign’s reach.
  • Benchmark progress: Setting KPIs and benchmarks allows you to measure optimizations and new tactics over time. Audits provide the data to ensure strategies are working as expected and campaigns continually progress toward goals.

5 Key Questions to Ask Before Embarking on a PPC Audit 

Before launching into a paid search marketing audit, it is important to ask some vital foundational questions. Answering these upfront will help ensure the audit is structured properly and delivers the desired results.

1. What Are the Campaign Goals?

One of the most important questions to answer before an audit is clearly defining your campaign goals upfront. Are you looking to primarily generate new leads, drive more online sales transactions, or boost brand awareness?

Having tangible objectives in mind will allow the auditor to properly structure their assessment and ensure it aligns with your goal.

Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Avoid vague goals like “increase revenue”. Goals like “generate $50,000 in additional online revenue from PPC over the next 6 months” are much more actionable.

Your goals will also influence the types of keywords the auditor evaluates. Whether they prioritize click-through rate or conversion rate optimizations, and how do they recommend modifying landing page experiences.

Proper goal setting upfront saves time by focusing the auditor’s recommendations on tactics proven to help accomplish your predefined objectives.

2. Who Is the Target Audience?

Truly understanding your target audience is key to an effective paid search campaign and audit. The auditor will want insight into demographics, customer personas, needs, pain points, and typical buyer journeys.

This information allows them to better identify opportunities, such as implementing customized ad messaging, bidding strategies, and funnel optimizations for different audience segments. The auditor can also examine tools like Google Ads customer match to refine segments further.

The auditor may also explore audience behavior data like top tasks, domains, devices, and locations to ensure your ads reach the right people. With a clear definition of your audience types upfront, the audit recommendations can focus on changes tailored to better attract, convert, and retain each group.

3. What Is the Budget Allocation Strategy?

A clear budget allocation strategy ensures funds are distributed efficiently across campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and audiences. The current approach should be clearly defined upfront.

For example, is the budget evenly split or allocated based on past ROI? Understanding this allows the auditor to assess effectiveness properly.

They will want to analyze metrics like:

  • Spend distribution across campaigns, ad groups, and keywords
  • Top-performing vs. underperforming terms and queries
  • Audience segment or location performance
  • Seasonality or day/time pattern effects

Armed with insights into past spending allocation and where it drove the best results, the auditor can then provide tailored recommendations. These may include reallocating budgets towards the highest converting keywords or campaigns aligned with goals.

4. How Are the Keywords Performing?

Keywords form the foundation of any paid search campaign, so evaluating their effectiveness is paramount. An auditor will want to understand the current process for keyword research and selection.

They will deeply analyze metrics like click-through rates, average position, quality scores, and conversion rates at the keyword level. This step enables them to determine top-performing keywords that drive optimal results versus poorly-performing terms that drag down performance.

The evaluation also identifies opportunities like broadening or narrowing existing keywords. The auditor can then recommend targeted optimization tactics, including expanded or altered keyword lists and suggested bid changes needed to improve quality and volume for the highest-intent keywords.

5. Are Ad Copies and Landing Pages Optimized?

Reviewing ad creative and landing page experiences is critical for an optimized PPC campaign. The auditor will analyze ad copy for relevance to keywords, clarity of value proposition, and impactful calls-to-action.

They will also audit landing pages to ensure coherence with ads and evaluate drop-off points. This action helps identify areas like ad headlines, descriptions, or landing page layouts that could be enhanced.

The auditor then recommends tests to improve ad ranking and boost conversions. With insight into existing ad and page optimizations already tried and plans for future testing, the audit recommendations provide strategic guidance and next steps.

Wrapping Up

Before launching an audit, it is crucial to ask the right questions and thoroughly examine your PPC campaigns. An audit provides an excellent opportunity to optimize your accounts and get the biggest return possible. However, it’s important to go into the process prepared so you can guide the auditor and ensure they address your specific needs and pain points.

Consider your goals, both immediate and long-term. What do you want to accomplish with the audit, and how can the results help your business grow? With clear goals and an understanding of your existing performance, you can determine what needs improvement and ensure the audit plan targets the right areas.

Finally, have honest conversations about resources and timelines. An audit takes effort from both parties, and you need agreement on timeframes and responsibilities. Ensure you and the auditor are on the same page about expectations and commitments so there are no surprises down the road. With the right preparation through asking questions upfront, your PPC audit can deliver thorough, actionable insights that elevate your marketing performance. 

FAQs About a PPC Audit

1. What Is a PPC Audit, and Why Is It Important?

A PPC (pay-per-click) audit is a thorough review of a company’s paid search campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. It helps identify optimization opportunities, wasted spending, and issues affecting campaign performance.

Regular audits ensure ads and keywords are relevant, landing pages convert well, bid amounts are optimized, and negative keywords block unwanted clicks. These actions drive more qualified leads and sales at a lower cost per conversion.

2. What Does a Typical PPC Audit Involve?

A standard PPC audit will analyze various campaign settings and performance metrics in depth. It includes reviewing things like: 

  • Ad copy/extensions
  • keyword match types & lists,
  • Quality score
  • Cost data
  • Device breakdown
  • Location targeting
  • Bidding & budget strategies
  • Landing page experiences
  • Call/form conversion tracking. 

The auditor will also compare metrics to benchmarks and best practices to spot areas for improvement. Their recommendations aim to boost metrics like lower cost-per-acquisition or cost-per-click over time.

3. How Can Organizations Benefit from a PPC Audit?

A PPC audit can benefit organizations in several ways. It can help save money by finding wasted spending on poor keywords or creatives. It can also uncover opportunities to optimize bids or use new bidding strategies to get a better return on ad spend. 

Leveraging the auditor’s expertise helps refine targeting and messaging for increased conversions or leads. Regular audits keep campaigns operating at peak efficiency. Ultimately, a well-done audit improves ROI, campaign performance, and the long-term success of digital marketing initiatives.

4. How Frequently Should PPC Audits Be Conducted?

Most experts recommend conducting a comprehensive PPC audit every 3-6 months to check for new optimizations. However, some ongoing optimization is always needed. Some key times for an audit include:

  • After major platform algorithm/interface updates
  • During seasonal/promotional periods
  • When new competitors emerge, or prices fluctuate
  • If conversion rates suddenly drop without a clear reason
  • If campaign goals or targets change. 

Weekly or monthly light audits to check bids, budgets, or underperforming keywords are also helpful. This step ensures campaigns are continually fine-tuned to market dynamics.

At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our status as a Google Partner, along with our PPC Management, Google Shopping Ads, Social Media Advertising, Amazon Advertising, and other Paid Media services can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.