How to know if you need an audit of your Google Ads account

To quickly check how a Google Ads (AdWords) account is being managed without initially going into a greater level of depth, there are a few basic steps that will help us to check it by simply answering a few questions. In this case, we formulate them in the form of hypotheses assuming that the state it is in is the recommended one, so that we will check one by one that this is the case.

The final result in relation to the number of assumptions asserted as true or false will give us a quick idea of the opportunities for improvement of the account at a basic level.

These are the main hypotheses that we will test:

  1. Google Ads tags are correctly installed on the website: this is a basic aspect. Both in the manager and in the Google Ads AI itself, we must know what works and what does not. If there are difficulties in getting the tags to work properly, a possible alternative would be to make do with Analytics.
  2. Google Ads and Analytics accounts are correctly linked: As we have seen in the previous section, Analytics can be our solution if we have problems with tags, and it is also a very useful source of audiences. If you don’t know how to do it, check here.
  3. Conversion objectives are aligned with the overall objectives of the website and the customer: Do not overuse “micro conversions” or conversions that are not the “final”, i.e. the determining one for the business objectives. In short, the conversion(s) marked “Yes” must be exclusively those that are specific to the final objective of the account: Lead and/or Sale.
  4. Audience lists are oriented to facilitate the achievement of objectives: Audiences are going to be most useful if they are aligned with objectives. Otherwise, it is better to do without them.
  5. The account architecture is correct and aligned with the objectives:
    1. A Merchant Center is not required or, if required, is well configured. If it is an online store you will need a data feed of the products and this must pass, at least for the time being, through the Merchant Center tool. We must check that the feed is loaded in the tool and that most of the articles are green (“active and ready to publish”).
    2. The campaign structure is correct and effective. Language and Location is at the campaign level, these are two basic sections to pay attention to in order to check that they are aligned with the objectives.
    3. The structure of the ad groups is correct and effective. Ad groups should be divided correctly, either by product or service or by other cost or profitability indicators such as CPCs, CPAs, etc.
    4. The Keyword Research was oriented to the achievement of objectives. The key to Keywords Research for Google Ads campaigns is to base them not on traffic but on profitability. This process is more of a day-to-day process in campaign optimization, but we must also take it into account in Keyword Research itself.
    5. The selection of key active terms is optimal and aligned with the objectives. As we mentioned in the previous section, it is the daily work of the Google Ads manager to check the search terms that are activating our keywords.
    6. The ads and extensions are well designed and effective. We cannot stop at creating and writing ads and extensions, your data must be monitored and optimized period by period.
    7. All quality levels are suitable. We must check that the quality levels that can be seen in the “Columns” section are as high as possible, trying not to have levels lower than 5 in any case.
    8. Active campaigns cover all objectives. In other words, if we have certain conversions as objectives, the campaigns that are active must cover all those proposed objectives and not only partially. Otherwise, we either create campaigns that cover the missing ones or we eliminate the objectives that really are not.
  6. The language configuration of campaigns and ads is correct, effective and aligned with the objectives: Both language and geographic configuration are managed at campaign level, so it is of vital importance to check that the target is well focused in this regard.
  7. The geographic configuration of the campaigns is correct, effective and aligned with the objectives. For the same reason, the geographic configuration must also be well focused.
  8. Bidding strategies are correctly chosen and effective: Bidding strategies will change over the life of campaigns but it is vital to check that the state they are in is appropriate for the time of analysis. It is common to find campaigns that could have already made the leap to a smart bidding strategy or, on the contrary, we also find campaigns that did it too early or too soon.
  9. The daily investment is the recommended and/or most efficient for each campaign. Google Ads is increasingly giving more and more importance to budget constraints. If we find limited campaigns, we will have to increase the budget (the easy part) or reduce the target (the difficult part).
  10. The account is up to date in the application and use of technical innovations: such as changes in matching, adaptive ads, affinity audiences and Smart Bidding strategies. Google Ads is a “live” entity, and as such, the account and its campaigns must be up to date. Some strategic change is common, whether it comes from within Google itself, such as changes in matching, addition of campaign types, new bidding strategies, or from the management community, such as the Hagakure method or the Royal Berl campaigns. Both the account and its manager must be continuously updated.

While testing these assumptions alone is not sufficient to perform a complete audit of an account, it will nevertheless help us to prioritize optimization work and, above all, to get an initial idea of the state of the account and its recent management.

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Juan Daniel Fuentes
Juan Daniel Fuentes
Head of the Online Advertising Department at Human Level. Graduated in Sociology. Subsequently, he completed a Master's Degree in Human Resources Management. Specialist in Google Ads and teacher in the Professional SEO-SEM Master of Kschool.

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