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Google Ads Agency – Digital Sales – How we Audit a PPC Ads Campaign

Google Ads Agency – Digital Sales – How we Audit a PPC Ads Campaign

We regularly get calls after a prospect has completed an online search for, Google Ads Agency, and the reason for the search is two fold.  The company is spending an awful lot on Google Ads and are failing to get a significant return.  There is doubt that their Google Ads campaign isn’t set up to an optimum.  So within this blog post we will document what we did at Digital Sales as we audited a PPC Ads Campaign for a client.

Step One – PPC Ads Audit

First thing we investigate when reviewing an account is the conversions section. For example, if the client is prioritising Lead Form Submissions, Email Signups or Transactions/Purchases. We have to ensure that these actions are being recorded properly before we make any significant changes to the PPC account.

Google Ads Agency

As we can see above, the account is recording transactions successfully. We can now move to the campaign section of the account. Next we will want to look at the campaign structure.

Ad Word – PPC Campaign Structure

What Bid strategy are they running? Often you’ll see campaigns running an automated bidding strategy despite not having high enough conversions to correctly warrant it. Ideally you’d be looking to be generating 20-30 conversions per month before switching to an automated bidding strategy. For the simple fact that Google doesn’t have enough conversion data in the account to properly make automated bid adjustments for you yet. So until you reach high enough conversion count, you should be running a manual bidding strategy and making the bid adjustments yourself, based on performance. Looking at the this particular account, all campaigns are running Manual bidding, which is correct as no campaign is delivering a high amount of conversions.

Bid Strategy - Google Ads Campaign

Impression Share Lost

Next area we would look with a Google Ads campaign level is Impression Share Lost. Here Google will tell you the percentage of impressions you’re missing out on, as a result of Budget or Ad Rank. Budget is straight forward, your budget is simply not enough to show up for all the keywords you’re bidding on. Ad Rank however, takes in multiple criteria. Such as quality score, relevance between your ad copy and the customers search term. And finally your website’s landing page experience. From looking at this client, we can see the majority of campaigns have a status of “Limited By Budget”. This indicates that bulk of Impression Share Lost is a result of budget limitations.

Limited by budget - Google Ads


Next is to dive into the ad stage level. In an ideal world each Ad Group would be running 3 Expanded Text ads & 1 Responsive Search ads. This allows you to highlight multiple USP’s of your business and Google will optimise to push the best performing ads.

Secondly there should be some message match between the keyword your bidding on the relevant ad that will appear. Having the keyword in Headline 1 & Description 1 of the ad copy, typically provides the best results. From the screenshot below, we can see the client is currently implementing this in their Grass Strimmers ad group:

Ad Groups within Google Ads Campaign

Keyword Level Ad Group

Next stage is the Keyword Level and the number of keywords per ad group. A common mistake is to overwhelm an Ad Group with too many keywords. Firstly, with too many keywords in the one ad group, it’ll be difficult to create ad copy that’ll match with a high variety of keywords. This can have a negative impact on your ads quality score.

Secondly, certain keywords with high impression count can take the bulk of the budget, and some keywords with high conversion potential can be neglected and are rarely served.

Ideally you would like to have between 1-8 keywords per Ad Group. Some marketers choose a SKAG method (Single Keyword Ad Group). Which has an Ad Group containing only 1 keyword with ultra tailored ad copy to each keyword. In recent times this method has been neglected as any ad copy updates take a considerable longer amount of time. As each ad group’s ad copy has to be tailored to the relevant

At Digital Sales we follow a thematic account structure. Having similar themed keywords together and separating them into different Ad Groups once an Ad Group reaches a keyword count of more than 8 for this client, this client is practicing a SKAG account structure, with each Ad Group containing 1 keyword and the Ad Copy being specific to that keyword. This explains why they have a really well performing Click Through Rate (CTR).

Next are some smaller steps that won’t make a massive difference but can definitely improve the account as a whole. For instance Dermot Casey isn’t running any audiences. It’s important to add these, under Observation settings to see the various audiences converting on your campaigns.

Following this, to look at the Ad Extensions running. This Digital Sales Google Ads agency client we running callout, sitelink, snippet, price & call extensions. These additions increase the likelihood that your ads will have a higher position for searches. This client is running all these extensions which is a positive, but they may want to look into running price extensions as well. Or even a Promotion extension, as they’re currently running a shipping based promotion on the site.

Google Ads Extensions

Google Ads Summary for this Digital Sales Client

Overall this account has been set up well, there are definitely improvements that can be made but nothing that’ll affect the main overlying issue.

What is the budget! They have certain campaigns running a daily budget of €1 Per Day or €0.50 Per Day. Understandable adding extra budget isn’t always possible, and businesses have limitations on how much they allocate towards advertising. But using such a low budget causes many problems here. As you can see below, the number of campaigns that are “Limited by budget”, see:

Limited by budget - Keyword Level Ad Group

Firstly you’re pulling in such little data, that almost nothing is statistically significant. We can’t be certain what is and isn’t working. Google and the Google Ads account benefits when there’s more conversion history. Google’s algorithm will use your conversion history to dictate which searches to appear for and which not to. This account is pulling close to zero conversion data, so Google is shooting in the dark in essence.

Secondly, Google is going to look at your account unfavorably. They’ll lean towards advertisers that are spending more than €1 per day on a keyword. Unfortunately it’s simply the way the system works. But there are methods for smaller businesses to get they’re brand out there, against higher spending competitors.

Presently this client is bidding on close to all of their products & relevant search terms. In most cases this would be a huge positive, but given their current position. They’re stretching the budget too thinly across way too many campaigns & products. In other words, they’re trying to be everywhere without having the budget to accommodate it.

Optimisation Summary for your Google Ads Campaign

Optimisations : As for next steps and how to resolve their current issue. This Google Ads client should look into pausing the majority of their campaigns and focus on their best-sellers, seasonal or most popular items. By channeling their budget & focus towards several products rather than their entire catalogue.

They can be competitive on some products as opposed to be noncompetitive on all their products.

Looking at past performance over the last 6 months, at for the is client Digital Sales recommend continuing the Shopping campaigns and either pausing the Search campaigns or only running Remarketing to people that visited the website but didn’t purchase. Typically Shopping campaigns have a higher conversion rate & are ideal for E-commerce businesses.

Looking for a Highly Focused and Skilled Google Ads Agency?

Contact Digital Sales nationwide, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway – or call our offices throughout Ireland: Dublin: 01 539 7207 Cork: 021 202 1077, Galway,  091 734 107

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