How Do We Audit An AdWords Account

When I take on a new client, I am often asked to audit their AdWords account. It is kind of funny that I always start with an AdWords audit but end up doing a comprehensive online business audit including their websites, organic traffic, tracking implementations and leads follow-up.

If you are in the world of digital marketing, you probably have experienced the same. Whether it is paid search, organic search, social media or email marketing, these tactics only produce leads if you have a user-friendly website with conversion-ready landing pages. More importantly, when you generate a lead with hundreds of dollars spent, how do you follow it through and bring it to fruition?

Our main goal is to help our clients generate more leads and do so more cost-effectively.

Let’s start with AdWords.

  1. When I take over an account, I don’t dive in to the keywords or ads types and that sort of nitty-gritty right away. I first examine their conversion tracking. I have been surprised way too many times that a client either doesn’t have conversion tracking or doesn’t have it done correctly. Therefore, the results in my client’s mind are not even reality. Without correct conversion tracking, our historic data can be harmfully misleading.
  2. I look at the highest spend keywords during the all time period. The 80-20-percent rule seems to play here as well. 20% (or in my opinion much less than 20%) of the total keywords bring in 80% (or even higher) of the total conversions. Are these top spending keywords producing conversions at an acceptable cost per conversion? If these keywords aren’t performing, then this account is really in trouble.
  3. Next step is to analyze why these top spending keywords aren’t performing or how we can improve them further. More often than not, the low hanging fruit is on the landing page, such as a contact form that is too long and turns people away, a phone number that is hidden or simply no call to action on the landing page at all!

You can see that the above three issues are very high-level audits before we dive into an account’s structure, keyword pools, ad copy, bidding strategies, bid modifiers, ad extensions and so on. These details do matter, but if the high-level issues aren’t resolved, we can run around all day optimizing an account and won’t see much difference.

In order for an AdWords account to succeed, its whole ecosystem needs to work such as the landing pages (the whole website in most cases), the tracking implementation (especially with integrations with Salesforce) and the followup leads management process.

I would like to emphasize on the last part “followup leads management” a bit more because a client, such as a law firm or a doctor’s office, often spends thousands of dollars a month on advertising. However, when a potential customer calls in, their first interaction is with a receptionist, who if not properly trained on “warming the leads,” can easily turn people away. If this happens, no AdWords guru or genius can make an account successful.

Therefore, as self-touted results-driven marketing consultants at Spicy Spirit, we feel the obligation to coach our clients through these “beyond-AdWords” steps and help them improve their overall business operation for better revenue generation wherever possible.

Do you have such doubts about your account? If so, feel free to give us a ring and we can help you pinpoint where the issues are!




Leave a Reply