Things you need to do on auditing your PPC campaign.
Are you getting the most out of your PPC campaign? A PPC audit is the best way that you can dig into your Google AdWords account and identify the areas that need improvement.
Unfortunately, many marketers are struggling with getting the desired results from their PPC marketing campaigns, and they give them up without looking at the reason why it failed.
Why Do A PPC Audit?
You can audit your PPC campaign yourself or hire a specialist to do it. Either way, it will help see how your campaigns stack up against other PPC campaigns. Moreover, you will also be able to identify the following:
- What is wrong with your PPC account
- What you can do to improve the account’s performance
- The results achievable if you apply the recommended changes
Regular PPC audits are essential for any business that wants to optimise their PPC accounts. There are many ways of doing a PPC, including using a PPC ad management agency, using premium PPC audit tools, or you can do it yourself.
How to Do A PPC Audit
A PPC audit is not only reserved to the badly performing PPC campaigns, but also those that are performing well. The audit will show you how you can improve on certain aspects to exceed your goals.
Here are easy to follow steps to help you in carrying out an effective PPC audit to maximise your ROI.
Step 1: Analyse Your Goals and Strategies
As with every marketing campaign, you should have a PPC advertising campaign goal and a variety of strategies you will use to meet them. Before you start the audit, ensure to brainstorm on what the goals of the campaign were as well as how and why the campaign was started.
Together with your team, look into whether the goals of the PPC campaign have changed. If they have, address how the new goals have affected the outcomes of the campaign.
Step 2: Set the Audit Range of 30 Days
Log into your PPC account and in the navigation bar click on the ‘Change History’ link on the left side. You will see the parameters that have been changed during the course of the campaign. However, be careful not to change or undo any of the recent changes.
At this point, you will be able to see the account’s recent activities, the effectuated changes, and who made them. If the account is properly managed, you will see the activity periods listed systematically.
Step 3: Review Conversion Tracking
In the top right-hand corner, you will find a variety of tools that allow you to select conversions in the dashboard management section. This is essential data in your PPC audit since it shows you the cost per acquisition.
It is necessary to ensure that all conversions are being tracked efficiently and that all the landing pages have phone numbers, contact forms, and other conversion necessities such as the use of correctly embedded tracking scripts.
If there was a team involved when setting up the goals of the PPC campaign in Singapore, meet with them again when preparing to do the audit. They will give a report on whether the campaign is delivering the desired results.
Step 4: Audit Network Settings
By using the right settings, you can accurately collect information and performance metrics to calculate your cost per acquisition. For the campaign you are auditing, click on the Settings link and then Network to expand it.
Opt-out of the networks by unchecking both of the boxes. However, there are a few tips to consider including:
- Separate the search campaigns from the display campaigns to manage costs behaviours and costs better
- Test the search partners option and measure them at the cost per acquisition level to determine if it is performing as well as the managed PPC campaigns
- Focus ad dollar spent on searches that appear directly on the Google platform for the purpose of using accurate data
- If you are interested in having your ads appear on the display network, be sure to set up a separate display campaign
Step 5: Review Targeting
First, select the settings link within your campaign and click on “Location” to expand. It will show whether the campaign’s targeted locations are geographically accurate. After expanding the location options, take note of the following:
- Under Exclude, ensure that the top option is selected: People in, or who show interest in your excluded locations
- Under Target, the middle option is selected: People in your targeted locations
This prevents people outside your targeted locations from viewing and clicking on the ads. This will keep the ad spend concentrated on the clicks with a higher chance of converting. Moreover, you will be able to have greater control over who sees your ads and make ad spending more effective.
Step 6: Focus On Campaign Structure
Expand the ad groups in your PPC campaigns; click the keywords link to review the keywords list for similarity. Under the Ads and extensions section, review the ad copy for accuracy. Also, review whether the campaign is using the right keywords and if they are spelt correctly.
All your campaigns ought to have an accurately defined ad group with proper keyword segmentation that reflects what you do and what you are selling. The ad groups ought to be appropriately optimised and aligned in a way that facilitates your targeted cost per acquisition goals.
Be sure to check that there are no existing sub-standard keyword groups and that each group has a corresponding landing page. Be on the lookout for a bad ad copy, and whether your root keywords appear in the subheadings.
Step 7: Review Your Extensions
Under the PPC campaign you are auditing, select the ads and extensions link and choose the extensions tab. Despite that the use of extensions is optional; they are a necessary addition to ensure that your PPC ad ranks well. Ensure to review the options in this category and enable a core set of extensions.
Step 8: Optimise For Position
Expanding the ad groups section will show the campaign’s average position. The average position will show the select columns, if not, select, modify columns and click on performance then select the “Avg. pos” checkbox and apply the changes.
To see the average position of the ad across devices and to select the ‘segment device’ options. After this, review your average position by device.
Step 9: Review Your Negative Keywords List
Select the tools icon and then the negative list link in the menu. It will display all the lists that can be applied to your campaigns. To view the list by campaign, select your desired campaigns, and the keywords/negative keywords from the navigation menu.
This is a crucial way of preventing unwanted clicks. Lack of negative keywords is one of the major factors that make running PPC campaigns costly irrespective of your budget.
Step 10: Take Advantage of the Built-In Rules
The available automation options will help in lowering the cost per click and to improve your overall production. For example, you can take advantage of the automation scripts to manage bid costs and the ad position by the hour.
Ignoring them could see you spend more than you need to at the cost per acquisition level. Use the tools icon in the selected campaign, select rules under the management heading to check the automation scripts. You can then select the scripts available in the list.
After auditing your PPC campaigns, you will have a list of items that you will need to fix. However, you should prioritise this list and reach out for help whenever you need it. You will not only be able to reduce the cost of acquisition but also to remove the harmful aspects that might be hindering the success of your PPC campaigns.
Moreover, you should take note of the dates that you make the PPC audits. If you have several PPC campaigns, you will also need to go through the above steps for each one. Sometimes, you might need to run the campaigns through the steps more than once.
Top 4 PPC Management Software Tools
Managing PPC campaigns can be time-consuming and the chances are that you might not do a very good job of it. This makes it necessary that you automate the management process, but selecting the appropriate PPC management software tools can be tricky.
Here is our selection of the top tools for your consideration.
Spaceboost combines PPC campaigns automation with creative automation, powerful 24/7 bidding algorithms and excellent customer support. It has over 5000 users and they have a variety of packages.
They have a sliding scale that allows you to select the services which also includes managed services with or without mentoring at different business levels. The basic software goes for $1000; if you include mentoring, the price jumps to $1500, and a jump to $2,250 if you opt for the managed services.
Moreover, Spaceboost has a 30-day free trial period and hundreds of training videos with support offered via email, phone, and chat on the website. To get the hand of this PPC campaign management tool will require that you review your business needs to select the best package for your organisation.
Optmyzr offers campaign management for Bing Ads, Google Ads, and Google Shopping feeds. It offers a variety of features such as data insight tools, quality score tracker, Google shopping campaign tools, one-click optimisations, and more.
For users with a PRO account, they get two training sessions and 250 free credits per month. Prices range from between $499 per month for a regular Pro account with appealing discounts if you pay the fee for six or 12 months. They also have an enterprise account but you have to contact the support team for pricing.
Moreover, they have a 14-day free trial and it is pretty easy to pull in the data from all your accounts. It gives decent recommendations and a free Udemy private training course. The initial set up might be lengthy, but it will save you a lot of time in the future.
ProAdly offers automated optimisation suggestions by constantly analysing your Google Ads account. The automation and optimisations are calculated and weighted with the expected impact. It will also show the expected potential for savings and growth for the recommended optimisations.
It has a 14-day free trial and a free live demo. The pricing depends on the number of Merchant Centre and Google Ads accounts. For example, if you have five accounts, you will pay $250 per month, and for up to 25 accounts, you will pay $459 per month. However, if you pay for 12 months, you will get a wide range of discounts.
With that said, there are times when your accounts will give you suggestions when the software will not show any. It is a straightforward PPC management tool that clearly defines what it can do and what it cannot do.
AdWords Performance Grader
This is software from WordStream and it uses their proprietary algorithms to analyse and audit Google Ads accounts in 10 key areas. It will compare your PPC campaign performance with the industry benchmarks derived from WordStream’s intimate knowledge of AdWords and years of experience.
The AdWords Performance Grader will then assign your campaign a grade based on your performance vs. the benchmarks. Moreover, you will also get a detailed report that gives a deeper outline of how to improve your account.
This is one of the best PPC management software available today and it also offers PPC auditing as a service. It also has an integrated performance tracker that provides data on the performance of your account over time.
Questions to Ask When Choosing PPC Optimisation Tool
With information on how to carry out a PPC audit and information on the top PPC optimisation tools available in the market, the next thing that you need to do is evaluate the tools to identify one that best suits your brand.
For example, if you spend most of your time adjusting bids, you need a tool that can handle such a task for you automatically. If you are actively creating reports for clients, you need a reporting tool. Now that you have the starting point in mind, let us dive in and look at the questions you should ask the PPC optimisation tool company. The answers to this question will help you to know the way forward.
Question 1: What Features Does the Tool Offer?
As you can see from the reviews discussed earlier on in this article, different tools have varying features. The features determine their capability and so it is imperative to get the specific details of what each tool on your list can or cannot do.
Evaluate all the features to know which tool works best for you. Start by looking at the essential features then work your way down to the additional features that can benefit your PPC campaigns. To help you understand the importance of features, picture this, you spend a lot of time creating reports so a reporting tool will come in handy for you. However, you also need to create campaigns, so a tool that can be used for campaign scheduling will be an added advantage.
Question 2: Can the Tool Actually Work for Your Brand?
A PPC tool should help make work easier by enabling you to not only optimise the campaigns but also create accounts. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on a tool whose features are meant for a large account or multiple accounts if you are a start-up company with just one PPC campaign running at any given time.
Take a deep look at the features to be sure it’s designed to work for your business level and size. Don’t ignore the ifs and buts that come up along the way if you want to make the right decision. Simple tools such as Opteo and KlientBoost, are ideal for small businesses. However, if you are a big corporation, you need advanced tools such as Adalysis and Optmyzer.
Question 3: What is the Level of Support do you Offer to Clients?
Yes, there are tools that are designed to work solo, but you cannot ignore the fact that you may need the company’s support team to sort an emerging need or issue. You need an assurance that all your problems or questions will be addressed promptly.
On the same point, you need to know how the support will be offered to be on the safe side. In the past, most PPC tool companies would only communicate with clients via phone or email, but today, you can chat with the support in real time. It is wise to choose a company that offers support through multiple channels or mediums.
You could also go an extra mile to test the responsiveness of the support team by sending them an email or via the online chat. The point we are trying to put across is that the best option has put in place robust communication channels that ensure customers get assistance when they need it promptly.
Question 4: What is the Cost?
As a business owner, you understand the need to cut costs and get value for money. As you compare the features and suitability of the software to your business, also put into consideration the price. Remember that the tool is actually an investment in your brand and should give you returns.
For example, if a particular PPC tool can save your team several hours every week that they would have spent monitoring company, determine how much those hours are worth. If the tool will make your PPC campaigns better, what is the monetary value of the improvements.
With such information, at hand, you will tell if the tool is actually worth the price. If the tool is too much for your brand, then don’t hesitate to move on to the next one. After all, your brand’s interest should take a higher precedence so also factor in your budget.
Question 5: Have you Provided the Tool to a Similar Company?
Yes, companies are different and run varying PPC campaigns, but you need a level of surety that the tool will work for your company. For example, if you run a lawn care company, a company whose tool has helped other companies in this niche should be at the top of your list.
You can also contact other companies who have used the tool to know if it delivers on its promises. You should also keep in mind that there are some tools that work best for companies in a particular industry. Investing in such a tool and your company is in a different industry could be a risk that you are better off not bearing.
Question 6: Do You Offer Free Trial?
Free trials are great as they will help you to know if the tool is suitable for your brand. Testing it yourself will give you first hand experience that will cement what you read or heard about it. Most of the tools we have reviewed offer 7–14-day free trial.
If the main reason for purchasing the PPC tool is to schedule and create reports automatically, use the tool to do that on the existing or new campaign. Also check out the demo for more details about the features to get a comprehensive overview.
PPC Trends that You Cannot Ignore Moving Forward
Just like search engine optimisation, there are trends that you cannot afford to ignore when running a PPC campaign in Singapore. Your competitors are probably already riding the wave and its not too late for you to also jump in and get more leads.
Trend 1# PPC Automation
PPC Automation is one of the most influential trends we have noticed so far in 2021 and we expect to see it taking more centre stage in the coming months and years. All the tedious and time-consuming processes associated with search engines such as Google ads are not been automated using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The global automation industry is also expected to expand rapid from 71.5% recorded in 2019 to 83.2% in 2021.
Some of the benefits of PPC automation are;
- Create the best biding strategy based on different objectives through big data and calculations
- Improve CPC by looking for ad auction that have the highest chance of generating conversions
- Stopping the low performing ads and paying more attention to ads that are generating more results
- Pin-point performance issues faster and accurately
- Generate performance reports automatically and on-demand
- Adaptively create ads based on the website content and identified user behaviour
Trend 2# Use of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence used to be a “thing” for the big companies, but nowadays even the small and medium businesses can use it to improve their processes. By 2030, this new form of technology is expected to be worthy $15.7 trillion.
In the context of PPC, artificial intelligence will enable marketers to come up with better ad campaigns that are customer and market oriented. The benefits derived from it include;
- Impact of ads will be calculated based on quality scores
- Marketers will be able to predict the CTR of future ads accurately and make the necessary plans in advance
- Carefully analyse bids that have the highest chance of driving in more traffic
- Identify the chances/likelihood of a particular customer converting
- Optimise ads, campaigns, and keywords for different events or changes in the market
For example, if you are currently running an Amazon Ads Campaign, AI can help you do the following.
- Automate long-tail and short-tail keywords bids
- Change bid based on the predicted revenue per click
- Optimise long-tail keywords ad campaigns
Trend 3# Collaboration Between PPC and Video Ads
Videos are increasingly being used by marketers to drive in traffic and generate more sales. Its no secret that the savvy customers prefer video content to others forms of ads. One staggering fact is that people are able to remember 95% of the message conveyed through video than normal text.
Now, here is the link between video ads and PPC that you should keep in mind moving forward.
- Business will have no option but to change their marketing strategy to adopt Google’s vertical video ads
- More digital marketers will start to use video ads to market products
- Virtual reality will be widely used to create real experiences to the viewers
- Dominate of Instagram stories in the digital marketing world will continue
The Bumper Machine by Google is one of the video ad features that relies on machine learning to create six second bumper ads from one long video that is 90 seconds long max.
By leveraging this new full-funnel video strategy, digital marketers will be able to create and manage 6-second bumper ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, and skippable in-stream ads.
Trend 4# Pixel will be Faced Off by Ads Data Hub
One of the challenges associated with pixel technology is that it was designed to work only on single screens. As a result, it is not possible to track the effectiveness of ads on multiple devices. For many years now, marketers had no option but to rely on third-party pixels to gauge the effectiveness of YouTube campaigns. This is based on the fact that 70% of YouTube views are from mobile devices.
Due to security reasons, Google stopped the use of third-party pixel tracking software on YouTube in 2020. Ads Data Hub was created to resolve the pixel limitations and provide more comprehensive reports.
Even though Ads Data hub has some loopholes, it has the ability to provide laser-specific insights about changing or evolving consumer behaviour especially in regards to response to ads.
Trend 5# Smart Bidding
What is smart bidding? Simply put, this is automated bidding strategies that relies on machine learning to optimise ads for conversation. It does this by considering the set goals in the bidding strategy thereby taking the guess work involved with bidding for Google ads.
Google AI system is designed to optimise for conversion in each ad auction that is held. That is, Google will use your advertising goals and Smart Bidding will use that information to find the most economic way for you to achieve that goal.
Smart bidding can be used to achieve a number of PPC goals such as;
- Target CPA: Help get new leads and customers based on the specified cost per acquisition
- Target ROAS: To ensure you get the highest ROI from every dollar invested in an ad
- Increasing conversion rate
One of the smart bidding regulations introduced by Google is Campaign-Level Conversion Setting. Before this setting was introduced, marketers were allowed to set conversion goals at account level, but with this new setting, one is only allowed to specify conversion goals only at the campaign level.
Maximise conversion is another requirement introduced by Google as a strategy that will ensure you get the highest conversions from ads using your daily budget.
Seasonal Adjustment regulation is meant to give digital marketers more control over one-time promotions and other ad-hoc events. That is, if you anticipate a spike in conversion rate in the next couple of days due to an upcoming promotion, this setting allows you to specify the appropriate adjustment for that period.
Value Rules is another new feature by Google that allows you to differentiate the various conversion values based on specifics such as audience, device, and location.
PPC campaigns should be optimised to increase their effectiveness. This means that you should audit your campaigns every once in a while to know what you should improve on if you are not getting the desired results. On top of this, you will also know how to increase the outcome if the campaigns are meeting the intended targets.
The above steps of how to carry out PPC audits will help you get a better understanding of the performance of your PPC campaigns. Contact us for professional digital marketing services in Singapore. We, MediaOne Marketing are best known for creating and running PPC campaigns for clients in multiple industries. Our support team will be on hand to offer free and non-obligatory quotes.