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3 Important Questions We Ask During a Google Ads Audit

During a Google Ads audit, we learn all about the organization and structure of your account, test the health of your campaigns, and identify any existing issues that could stall your success.

We love just about everything we do here at SC Digital. But we love few things as much as the work we do in Google Ads. We’ll happily take a look at any client’s Google Ads account and help them optimize anytime, anywhere! More often than not, when we view a Google Ads account which is currently being managed by the client (or another agency) we find major issues stemming from lack of organization, purpose, and technical knowledge. Many of these issues could have been avoided if only the client had answers to three all important questions.

Wondering if your Google Ads Account is healthy? Here are three questions to ask yourself.

Question 1: What is the overall goal of the account and campaigns?

What are you actually trying to accomplish? Do you want leads? Phone calls? Do you want people to download your PDF content? Are you hoping people will come to your website and become so attracted to your headshot that you get asked on a date?

It is essential to understand why you’re running Google Ads before you spend dollar 1.

For instance, let’s say your business is a real estate brokerage firm. Which types of customers are you willing to “pay” money for? Are you willing to pay money to bring people to your website just to search for homes (even if they already have a real estate agent)? Or, are you searching only for “unattached” buyers and sellers? Establishing your reasoning for running Google Ads is a must before you begin doing so… otherwise you’ll end up spending all your money on clicks you don’t need, and don’t want.

Question 2: Are the correct keywords being targeted?

Keywords are a funny thing. They disguise themselves as being simple…. And they’re anything but. When we audit a Google Ads account, we typically find keyword structures which are guaranteed to bring irrelevant traffic to our client’s site and blow their budget completely out of the water.

Here’s how it usually goes:

Let’s say your business is a lawn care service. Here’s a likely list of keywords we’d find in your account:

  • Lawn care
  • Lawn care service
  • Lawnmowing
  • Lawnmowing service
  • Lawnmowing service
  • Lawn care contractor

All seems good right? Not so fast. These keywords are all considered “broad match” and are sure to cause your ad to show up for search terms like:

  • Lawn mower
  • Lawn mower service
  • Drake’s lawn mowing
  • Jim’s lawn mowing
  • Best lawn care tips
  • Best lawn care tools
  • Lawn care chemicals for spring

Something you need to know: “Keyword” vs. “Search Term”

  • The “keyword” is the trigger which tells Google to show your ad
  • The “search term” is the grouping of words the searcher actually types into their browser

See the problem? Your business should not be showing up for these searches, but your keyword structure gives Google “free reign” to show your ads and exhaust your budget. Why would a lawn care service want to show up for the search term “lawn mower?” That searcher is looking to purchase a lawn mower, not hire a service. Furthermore, a lawn care service should not be showing up for chemicals, tips and tools… these terms all indicate low commercial intent and high likelihood of wasted budget. If at this point you’re thinking, “jeez, Google Ads might be more complicated than I thought,” then you’re probably right!

Question 3: Is conversion tracking set up properly?

Conversion tracking must be set up properly for your Ads account to perform to its fullest extent. Furthermore, a business owner should want conversion tracking to be running at 100% since it is the 1 thing that provides feedback as to how effective the campaigns are running.

Before having conversion tracking installed properly, though, you must determine the actions which represent a conversion.

What is a conversion? A conversion is anything happening on your website which is important to your business. It could be a phone call, a form submission, a click of a link, a minimum amount of time spent on the site, or something different.

In order to properly evaluate the health of an account and the ROAS (return on ad spend), conversion tracking must be installed. By the same token, it must also be installed in order for Google to properly show your ads to those people who are most likely to take positive action.

If you are interested in having a second set of eyes on your Google Ads account, or if you’re interested in starting one, please get in touch with us.

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