End-of-year puts PPC audits top-of-mind. While PPC pros dissect performance and report campaign results daily, weekly or monthly, deeper audits can fall by the wayside. Regular reporting gives great insight into campaign metrics, but audits dig into critical structural elements, such as having enough ad variations in ad groups, consistent use of ad extensions across campaigns, and many other foundational issues.
Audits pop back up as a priority as PPC pros answer the myriad year-end questions from stakeholders and get immersed planning for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, infrequent audits means critical insight can be left unknown for too long.
Let’s face it – auditing PPC programs can be a colossal, time-consuming pain. Even the best pay-per-click pros can put off audits until they absolutely must allocate scarce time to dig through spreadsheets and hunt for anomalies and root causes. Compounding the challenge, PPC data interdependencies run deep and it can be nearly impossible to do effective auditing manually.
Our PPC Policy & Audits Builder turns processes that would take days to complete into fast, executable activities that can yield great value. Putting off audits until year-end can result in those dreaded “I wish we knew that back in August” moments.
Audits also foster essential policy compliance when managing external agencies. For example, if an agency says it always does ad testing, but the audit shows ad groups only had one ad, you now have an accountability trail. In addition, audits help defend accounts from being poached by competitors by ensuring accounts are following best practices, making it difficult for competitors to claim accounts are being mismanaged.
Point & Click Ease
Policy & Audit Builder is simple and intuitive. Clicking “Create New Audit” launches the step-by-step process in which you can choose to audit Ad Groups, Ads, Campaigns, Search Campaigns, and Keywords.
As seen in the image below, each audit type allows the user to adjust the essential parameters to begin auditing by segment. Auditing Ad Groups, for example, allows the user to readily uncover anomalies in quality score, spend, number of ads, or number of keywords. The PPC pro can run audits based on all parameters or disable individual ones to focus in on specific attributes.
Clicking “Run” executes the high level audit and immediately issues a report card that provides letter grades of A+, A, B, and C. Just as with school grades, the report card shows the areas that are running well and calls out ones requiring further attention.
Clicking into the report card gives deeper insight into specific areas of interest. From this view alone, the PPC pro can begin to take corrective action or dig deeper into the data to analyze foundational issues and then resolve problems or out-of-policy actions.
Powerful and easy-to-execute audit capabilities empowers the PPC pro to quickly uncover otherwise hidden spikes or valleys that could be driving increases or decreases in overall performance. In addition, PPC campaigns have countless data interdependencies (sometimes making cause/effect analysis nearly impossible), so our audit tool taps the power of machine learning and AI to dig into relationships between various attributes to get to root causes more efficiently and accurately.
Overall, PPC pros can gain a much deeper understanding of the potential impact of issues to help drive excellent performance across all activities.
Audit’s Role Moving Forward
Streamlined audit processes mean PPC pros can add audit to their activities with greater frequency. If you currently only audit quarterly, semi-annually or annually – consider a monthly audit run to help uncover potential issues faster.
Be sure to close out 2018 with a deep audit and analysis of your holistic PPC program. Give Policy & Audit Builder a try to see just how fast and effective it can be at mining for information beyond the KPIs. Then craft a plan for 2019 that better taps the power of audits and moves them from being a must-do hassle to an area of great opportunity to boost PPC’s effectiveness in what is sure to be an even more competitive year ahead.