Google Ads Performance: 4 Ways to Make the Most of the “Audit Advantage”


Learn everything from where best to put your money to what to focus on and when in a Google ads account audit.

While a whopping 90 percent of users say Google ads influence their online purchases. Why, then, do only around 60 percent of SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) have a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign?
It’s because they don’t understand the power of the “audit advantage” when it comes to getting the most out of your Google ads performance. They just keep running the same ads and wondering why they get the same results. A Google ad account audit offers some exceptional benefits for marketers—whether you’re managing your own ad account or taking over the account for a client. Here at Viral Octopus, we like to distill it down to two critical outcomes:
  • Lower CPC (cost per click)
  • Better ROAS (return on advertising spend)
Together, these make up that all-important “audit advantage.”

Looking at that shortlist makes it seem simple, right? Well, you’re underestimating the bucket load of analysis that lies behind the success of these two core sales-generating, budget-saving benefits. Thankfully, we’re here to help you make the “audit advantage” work for your business ads strategy. Read on to find out four areas you should audit to improve on your Google ads success.

1. Review Your Conversion Settings

If you’re running product or service sales ads, e-commerce conversion rates are crucial indicators of the success of your strategy. So it’s essential to check these settings every time you run an audit. Here’s what you need to do: Step 1: Click on the Tools tab Step 2: Go to Measurements then to Conversions Step 3: You’ll see an area named Include in Conversions Step 4: Check to see which conversions Google is optimizing for and switch them to no/yes depending on your campaign needs Remember, Google will automatically optimize your ads to whatever your Conversions are set to. If you don’t revise the settings to track goals relevant to you, you’ll miss out on valuable data and even leads or sales. Be sure to check out what’s happening on your website and landing pages. Take advantage of web analytics tools to identify stumbling blocks and improve your CTAs and bounce rates. It’s worth taking this extra step to make the most out of every Google ad you run.

2. Put Your Money in the Right Places

All the data you collect during your audit isn’t just to make your marketing reports look impressive. Far more importantly, it directly informs your budgeting strategy.
Of course, turning up the budget on ads that are doing well is an obvious step, but don’t be afraid to reduce or even cut spending altogether on those underperforming. If there are ads for products and services that must run, use data collected during your audit to work on optimizing them before hiking the budget. How much data is too much data? Since every company or even product or service has different goals, you’ll need to establish some benchmarks. Use your audit to help you work those out if you don’t have them and revise or refresh them if you do. For example, if you’re getting 0 or close to a keyword after 30 days, it might be time to call it quits on that term. The same goes for underperforming segments.

3. Focus on the Traditional Settings

Whether you’re a Google ad specialist or a total newbie to Google ads, you may be tempted to focus on the fancy new upgrades or trending features in the Google ad space. Sure, newer features like RDAs (responsive display ads) and RSAs (responsive search ads) are integral to a good strategy. (And by the way, if you’re looking for more advice on strategy, check out this Viral Octopus Google Ads Management gig.) But it’s vital that you don’t neglect the core Google ad management functions, too.

Core areas to review in an audit include:
  • Conversion tracking (we talked about that in detail above)
  • Google ad and analytics linkage
  • Channels and locations
  • Bidding options
  • Campaign and ad group structure
  • Keyword selection (including Quality Score breakdown)
If you’re wondering how to measure Google Ads performance, the data from these primary account tools will tell you.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Auditing Schedule

Even if you’re the sole marketer in your company, you need to run regular audits. In fact, when you’re crunched for time or had a run of success with a particular ad campaign, it’s even more tempting just to set and forget your ads. But you’ll quickly find out that audiences don’t click on stale marketing content. So how often should you run an audit? We suggest checking ads no more than once a day—but don’t make changes every day—and at best, around three times a week. This is because you need to let enough data build up to see the statistical significance. For a simple Google ad account audit of the critical settings mentioned above, once a month should be fine—unless you’re running hundreds of ads at a time. But a marketer working for an SME should commit to a thorough account audit at least once a year—every six months for more active accounts.

How to Improve Google Ads Performance?

Trust us. Follow the advice above and you’ll have all the tools (and reasons) you need to start implementing this strategy in your ad campaigns.
Remember those two core improvement vectors we mentioned at the start of this article? Lower CPC and better ROAS, right? Employ the “audit advantage” and start reaping the results in terms of improved click-through rates, better lead generation, and more efficient ad spend. If you’re not entirely convinced that the “audit advantage” improves Google ads performance, there’s no harm in giving it a go and finding out for yourself. And if you’re thinking, “Gah, I don’t have time for all that; I have a business to run!” then Viral Octopus has you covered. Book our Google Ad Account Audit gig and you’ll get a comprehensive point-by-point review of your account by a certified, dedicated Viral Octopus Google Ads expert, which you can use to spot problems in your strategy and implement the solutions needed to boost your business.


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