Contextual advertising audit: what we pay attention to + final checklist
Any existing project starts with an audit of the current state, and PPC is no exception. The analysis of the project is necessary to assess the amount of work to be done and to identify the weaknesses of the current campaign.
An audit of Google Adwords and Yandex Direct is a comprehensive check of the settings of an advertising office, the purpose of which is to increase business profitability, achieve the necessary KPI parameters and reduce the cost of each attracted client.
If at some stage in the work of contextual advertising a failure occurs, this is immediately felt due to a reduction in the received applications, an increase in the expense of the advertising agency's budget, the occurrence of inappropriate clicks, incorrect display of ads, etc. The task of the PPC specialist in this case is to identify the source of the problem and fix it.
There are many reasons for ordering an audit of contextual advertising in a digital agency, but all of them can be roughly divided into 5 categories:
- The client has no idea about PPC, and does not want to go into details, but needs profit, which is not currently available.
- The customer is guided in contextual advertising at a basic level, makes some adjustments, but the current KPIs do not suit him, and he does not understand how to improve them.
- Previously, the context worked well, but in the last few months there have been problems and the client wants to test the work of their marketing department.
- The customer with his colleagues periodically adjusts something in the advertising office, based on guides and manuals from the Internet, and he wants to understand if everything is configured correctly there.
- The client is satisfied with the work of contextual advertising, but he wants to move and develop further, so he is interested in new promotion strategies and a fresh look from experienced PPC specialists.
Many business owners are faced with problems with the functioning of advertising offices, and this is really their pain, and a problem that needs to be urgently eliminated, because the success of their business directly depends on the effectiveness of PPC advertising. And the best solution in this case would be an Adwords audit. It will show both the problems that lie on the surface and the deep flaws that prevent the context from working well.
Contextual advertising audit - stages of account verification
Regardless of the type and niche of the business, the analysis of the advertising office is carried out according to three stages, each of which includes certain steps that help the specialist to achieve the goal in the end. So let's start in order:
- Data collection. This includes identifying the goals and problems of the client, highlighting the priorities and desired KPIs. After that, the business niche is analyzed, the target audience is segmented, the level of competition is determined. An important factor in successful work is gaining access to Google ADS and Analytics advertising offices.
- Checklist check. At this stage, a technical audit of the RK is carried out and the KPI indicators of the account are analyzed.
- Output. PPC specialists announce the results of the audit, point out the problems found in the cabinet settings, and give recommendations on how to fix them. Also in the conclusion, a proposed strategy for promoting a business with the help of contextual advertising is formed.
As you can see, the second stage is the most laborious and time consuming, so we will consider it in more detail. True, let's first find out whether it is possible to trust the data that is revealed after gaining access to advertising accounts. After all, it is on them that experts evaluate the authenticity of conversion tracking and the success of the campaign.
Google ADS and Google Analytics in PPC ad auditing
The fact is that these systems track conversions in different ways, which in some cases causes errors. For example, GA takes into account conversions by user sessions: 1 session = 1 conversion. Let's say a visitor has filled out the feedback form several times during 1 session. Google Analytics will count this as 1 conversion. On the other hand, Google ADS will count each form submission as a separate conversion, since the system will count every click on the feedback form. At the same time, E-commerce is counted both there and there by sessions. If you need to see conversions by impressions, then this option is available only in Google ADS.
The most common mistakes in conversion tracking:
- Double counting - 1 target action = 2 conversions.
- Duplication - 1 goal = 2 conversions.
- Name mismatch - “Submitting the form” = “Clicking on the button”.
Technical audit of the advertising campaign
It includes a detailed analysis of the settings at all levels of the ad cabinet: account, running campaigns, ad groups, ads themselves and key phrases.
What we focus on during a technical audit:
- Account setup and structure - linking with Google ADS and Analytics, setting goals, importing data, clear names of groups and advertising campaigns, remarketing, correct setup of feeds, scripts, automated processes and rules.
- Setting up campaigns - the types correspond to the goals, the daily budget is limited according to the plan, negative keywords are enabled, geotargeting, schedule and frequency of impressions, language and coverage type are set correctly, and the display campaigns are formed correctly.
- Keywords - categorized into groups, used in various types of matching, a modifier has been applied.
- Ads - two or more per group, are relevant to landing pages and requests, written without errors, lead to working pages of the site, suitable extensions are used, indicate the advantages of the client's business, high-quality logos and pictures are set in the CMS.
As practice shows, if problems have been identified for most of the settings, it makes no sense to make point edits. It is more rational to create a new account or completely rebuild the current one.
An audit of contextual advertising, the price of which, by the way, in our digital agency is quite acceptable, is only part of the optimization process. It is important to carry out the work outside the advertising office. To implement the right promotion strategy, it is important not only to know the cost of a click and the cost of conversion, but also to understand what happens to leads after the order is completed, and due to which competitors can afford a higher rate per click on certain positions.
To make it easier to plan an action to improve PPC advertising, answer the following questions:
- Key KPIs: Achieved or Not?
- Is your account optimized regularly?
- Are campaign budgets allocated according to goals?
- What measures can be taken to improve the situation?
As for the KPI of an advertising campaign, we recommend paying attention to the following indicators:
- CPA is the cost of conversion, does it meet the client's expectations?
- CR is the conversion rate, which is different for each goal, for example, for a feedback form it can increase up to 10%, and for transactions it can stay within the range - from 0.2 to 3%.
- ROI, ROAS - return on investments and finances spent on PPC advertising is tracked if the client provides all the necessary information to calculate them.
- Reach metrics, impressions - if an ad has high performance indicators, it is recommended to bring the reach KPI closer to 100% and vice versa.
In addition to the above, there are a number of parameters that are recommended to pay attention to during the audit. Among them, we note CTR, CPC, number of clicks, average ad position, percentage of impressions at the top of the page. It is also necessary to analyze the budget expenditure. It is not profitable for all niches to pay a maximum for 1 place in the search results. As practice shows, ads on the 2-3rd place have better conversion rates.
If you are not sure if you know how to audit contextual advertising correctly, please contact us. Our experts will study your Google ADS and Analytics account in detail, identify current problems and give recommendations on how to fix errors. If it turns out that your contextual advertising of the site is fundamentally wrong, our marketing department will create a new account and configure it according to the required goals, KPIs and the given campaign budget.
What will I get as a result of an audit of contextual advertising? - this question is most often asked by our clients. We provide a detailed analysis of the state of an advertising account and launched campaigns, as well as form a list of recommendations aimed at increasing business profits and reducing PPC advertising costs.
As a bonus, we are attaching an optimized Google Ads analysis checklist to this article.
Contextual advertising audit: PPC specialist checklist
- Conversions and meaningful metrics:
1.1. CPA, CR;
1.2. ROI, ROAS.
- Account structure:
2.1. the principle of forming campaigns;
2.2. the number of campaigns, including those active at the time of the audit.
- Structure of contextual advertising campaigns:
3.1. the quality of relevant pages for advertising;
3.2. format of ads in the group;
3.3. coverage of keywords within the group;
3.4. the number of ads in the group;
3.5. presence of spelling and punctuation errors.
- Campaign settings:
4.1. type of advertising campaign;
4.2. partner networks;
4.3. language and location;
4.5. automatic rules;
4.6. extensions and scripts;
4.7. rotation setting;
4.8. assignment and adjustment of rates.
5.1. keywords and match types;
5.2. quality of key phrases;
5.3. negative keywords;
5.4. search and brand queries.
Additional factors include checking IP exclusions and account activity.