No PPC account is perfect, no matter how hard you work on optimising it according to the best practices, you could always miss something. Which is why it is important, on occasion, to take the time to audit your efforts. An audit can be carried out at any time, however, you should try to avoid an audit after a recent strategy change or account update, just so you’re not auditing based on skewed results. Of course it’s a good idea to audit if you are experiencing performance issues, and equally it may be a good idea to conduct an audit if the same person or team has been managing an account for an extended period of time. Your audit should focus of the following key fundamental areas:

Date Range

Make sure you’re looking at a long enough range of time to analyse relevant data. At the very least, aim to look at at least 3 months’ worth of data to diagnose a specific issue and a year’s worth of data when doing a general audit.

KPI’s

Identify what your key metrics are before conducting the audit.

Settings

Settings tend to be set up when a campaign is first created and then very rarely revisited. Make sure your settings meet your campaign’s current needs.

Campaigns Structure

Check whether the naming structure makes sense and is easily understandable. Checking the campaign structure is where we start to determine if the rest of the account structure is going to follow a sensible method.

Ad Groups Structure

How are the ad groups set up? Does each group have a maximum of 20 key words?  Avoid having an ad group that is too wide reaching, as it will make copywriting for the ads extremely difficult.

Keywords

Check how many broad vs. exact vs. phrase match terms are being utilised. If the majority of the terms are broad match, some expansion for increased ROI could be completed by adding phrase and exact match terms. If the account is relying predominantly on broad match, is there a logical negative keyword strategy in place to weed out irrelevant traffic?

Ads

Are the ads grammatically correct? Do they contain any spelling errors? Are the ads promoting current prices or offers that have expired? Have you considered A/B testing for your ads?

Analytics

Make sure you review it. Is it accurately attached to the paid search account? Are conversions or goals set up? How are metrics performing (bounce rate, time on site, etc.)? Are there new keyword opportunities to add to the paid search account?

At the end of your audit, make sure you don’t make too many changes too quickly, as it may do more harm than good. Take your time, and prioritise the list of changes you’d like to make. Feel free to give us a shout at 01376 618 292 in case you need any help with your Bing or AdWords audit. Good luck!