A 10 Minute PPC Audit

ten-minute-ppc-auditNo matter how long you’ve been managing PPC accounts, it’s more than likely there is some aspect of your account that over the weeks, months or years may not be up to par.  Across current client accounts and potential client accounts I like to take a ’10 minute’ audit to get a sense of how ‘loved’ the account is.   This is not a ‘deep dive’ audit but an audit for me to get a sense of where to dive in and where improvements may be needed.

Let’s start the clock:

10:00 minutes – Check out Settings

Settings of campaigns are often a tell-tale sign of how much love an account is getting.  Settings are one of the easiest pieces of the PPC puzzle, but unfortunately are often the most overlooked.  Make sure that settings for campaigns are reflective of the business and account goals.  For example, are the proper countries targeted, languages?  Are the correct networks and devices selected?  Are delivery and ad rotation settings in place?

Lastly, assign an overall rating for settings from A-F.

8:30 minutes left– Check Account Structure

Account structure is really the foundation of your account. If this isn’t right, there’s a pretty good chance the account is not performing at its peak.   Analyze if the structure from Campaign to Ad group to Keywords ‘makes sense’.  Is the flow intuitive? Are campaigns and ad groups broken into themes? Can you detect a match type strategy?

Lastly, assign an overall rating for account structure from A-F.

6:00 minutes left – Check Ad Copy and Landing Pages

Once you’ve audited the account structure, you probably already know what you’re going to find in ad copy.  If there is a well-defined structure in place, you’re likely to see tailored ads.  However, if the structure is sub-par it’s likely you’ll find sub-par ad copy as well.  Take a look at not only how relevant the ad copy is, but how it’s written as well.  Check for grammar issues, check to see if the ads are emphasizing UVPs and a clear call to action.  And don’t forget to follow through to the landing pages – is there a flow from keyword to ad to landing page? Is the landing page well-structured and driving to the conversion?

Lastly, assign an overall rating for Ad Copy and Landing Pages from A-F.

2:30 minutes left – Check Negatives

A tell-tale sign of an unloved account is lack of negatives, both keywords and placements if Display campaigns are running.  Negatives can have a substantial impact on performance and if there are zero, or minimal negatives, there is a good chance there is significant inefficient spend occurring in the account.

Lastly, assign an overall rating for Negatives from A-F

1:30 minutes left – Check Change History

I LOVE change history! It’s a great way to very quickly get a gauge on how often the account is touched.  Focus on budge, CPC, Keyword and Ad changes!

Lastly, assign an overall rating for ‘Account touch’ from A-F.

0:30 seconds left – Tally up Your Ratings

Review your ratings from each step to get a sense of where the account is falling short and presents areas of opportunity to improve performance!

About Crystal Anderson

Crystal (Anderson) O’Neill (@Crystala) is the PPC division lead for SEER Interactive, a Philadelphia based Digital Marketing Agency.  Prior to joining SEER in 2007, she worked at an International Media Agency as the VP of Business development, where she focused on developing and managing international media and PPC campaigns.

As the PPC division lead, Crystal oversees a team of experienced PPC search professional to ensure they are strategically using search as a means to drive leads and sales for local, national and international businesses across industries, from B2B and Education, to E-commerce and Entertainment. Crystal has dedicated herself to ensuring the PPC division is at the forefront of the industry and is executing strategic tactics that drive a positive ROI for all clients.

Crystal has spoken at industry conferences including HeroConf and Acquisio User Summit, and has been featured in various industry blogs such as PPC Hero, WordStream and BoostCTR.

SEER has been working with Acquisio since 2008 and my favorite feature is the customized reporting.  It has saved our team countless hours over the years, allowing them to spend time on the strategy that drives results for our clients.


  1. Anna Macko says:

    Hello Chrystal, you mentioned that you have to check for grammar errors but Google would not approve your Ad if there were any grammar errors. Am I right? Also can you elaborate a bit more on “change history” where is that? Cheers! Anna

  2. Crystal O'Neill says:

    Hi Anna, thanks for your comment!

    Google will check to be sure you are not violating any Ad Policies (https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/176098?hl=en&ref_topic=1310871) such as capitalization and punctuation but they do not review ads for spelling and grammar issues overall. I’ve seen so many ads that have spelling errors or just do not make sense. This is more what I was referring to.

    For the change history – it recently moved and can now be found under ‘Tools and Analysis’

    Hope this helps!
    - Crystal

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