How to Audit a PPC Account

How to Audit a PPC Campaign

You may be performing a pay-per-click (PPC) account audit on behalf of a prospect in hopes of winning the business. You may also be auditing a current account with a new set of eyes in hopes of expanding their business with help from your agency. Whichever the case may be, account audits are vital to showcase your PPC skills and win over the prospect or client.

Below are eight tips to provide you with the necessary ammunition to learn how to audit a PPC account.

Tip #1: Block off a set amount of time in your day so you can focus exclusively on being the PPC ninja that you are without any distractions. Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve this:

  • Close your email (if something is urgent, you will get a phone call)
  • Work in a conference room
  • Set aside an amount of time you want to spend before you start, so it doesn’t consume your entire day

Tip #2: Create an audit template that you can use (not just for your current audit, but moving forward as well)

  • Within this template, I’d recommend having key sections such as:
    • Executive Summary
    • Campaign Settings
    • Budget/Impression Share
    • Ad Extensions
    • Ad Copy
    • Keywords
    • Negative Keywords
    • Landing Page
  • You could also have a separate section on display tactics, YouTube and others if it applies to the account.
  • If you are auditing various search engines, be sure to distinguish those as well.

Tip #3: Know your audience

  • Understand who will be reading the audit. Will it be a CMO or a PPC strategist, for example? These are obviously two different positions. If the audit is only being read by a CMO, you will want to keep the topics much more high level by focusing on the key observations. However, I may still have a separate, more detailed audit to pass along to other team members.

Tip #4: Cite articles

  • Refer to any articles that you believe further make the case for what you are trying to say. Prospects or clients generally like this. They have more of a comfort level with your recommendations if they are backed up elsewhere.

Tip #5: Make it Visual

  • Take screenshots from the AdWords or Bing interface or Excel. Using SmartArt (in Microsoft Word) is another way to add a visual touch. These are just a couple of the ways to make your audit more visually appealing.

Tip #6: Tell a Story

  • Rather than just explain what needs changed in the account, elaborate on why it is important and what the consequences may be from not making the adjustment. Then make a recommendation on what specifically needs done. Try to use as few words as possible and get to the main point quickly.

Tip #7: The Layout

  • Earlier, I mentioned the various sections to use within your audit, but the presentation within those sections is crucial as well. Use bullets and sub bullets, don’t just write a paragraph. Providing a recommendation in each section is useful as well to give the prospect/client key takeaways.

Tip #8: You most likely will be reviewing your audit with the prospect or client so you want to make sure it is in an easily digestible format. I would pull out the key insights from your Word doc audit into a PowerPoint That way you have two documents in total, which should include:

  1. The very detailed Word document audit with everything included for the prospect or client to reference.
  2. The PowerPoint deck taking the insights from the Word document and boiling them down into the key topics to be reviewed with the prospect or client, perhaps on the phone or in person.

Follow these suggestions, and you will be a PPC auditing expert!

Ben Goldman

About Ben Goldman

Ben Goldman is a Senior Online Advertising Specialist for Fathom's Healthcare Team. He specializes in paid search and display. Ben oversees the day-to-day management of his accounts, proactively coming up with new strategies. Ben is passionate about exceeding client goals. He really cares about his clients and will do whatever it takes to solve their problems. In his spare time, Ben enjoys spending time with family and playing sports.

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