What is a PPC Audit?
If you are here, you are more than likely, looking for how to work with Bryant Garvin – The PPC Dictator… or somebody offered to do a PPC audit for you (usually for free).
You may have also heard it phrased as a paid search audit, or a PPC account analysis, but bottom line you want to know what is a PPC Audit, and more important how it will help you!
A PPC Audit at it’s most basic level is an analysis of your Paid Search Accounts. their structure, keywords, ads, tracking & performance etc.
Most of the paid search audits out there today are used as a sales tool. They will usually only evaluate one of your accounts, and it is usually just your AdWords account. You will usually get an email, or a phone call offering to do a free PPC Audit of your AdWords account. You may have actually gone to the agency’s website and filled out a form to request a free PPC consultation. You will give them read only access to your AdWords account and they will go over a pretty, shiny, report with you, and why you should work with them.
The PPC agency or paid search consultant, wants to do this audit for free for a few reasons:
- They are really hoping to find some holes in how your account is currently managed
- Hopefully by doing the audit, they will be able to impress you with their knowledge
- To build credibility and a relationship so they can…
- Make the sale & bring you on as a new client
Having been in sales and marketing for 18 years, I get it! Offering something for free, to attract potential customers isn’t inherently bad. But the old adage, always rings true, “you usually get what you pay for!”
I am also going to say something that might upset many of my fellow PPC marketers. No matter how good, your person or team managing your PPC accounts are… there is always something else that could be done better.
How are your PPC Audits different?
I’m glad you asked that question.
If you look back, at what I wrote above, most paid search audits only care about one thing, the Paid Search accounts. I firmly believe that Paid Search, is just a piece of the puzzle that is your marketing and revenue generation systems, which is just a part of what makes your business unique.
Your Company is more than just an AdWords account
All of the PPC Audits done through Bryant Garvin Consulting starts with, an onboarding questionnaire (of course once the contract is signed). This document will help me understand your company structure, the width and breadth of your marketing team, or agency, and important factors which many don’t associate as directly important to PPC.
Next, I am going to do an audit on all of your Paid Media accounts. That could mean, AdWords, BingAds, Facebook, Retargeting networks you currently use and possibly more. If you use an analytics platform whether that be, Google Analytics, Adobe Site Catalyst, Core Metrics, or some other one, I will be digging into that data as well.
Once I have spent hours, playing in Excel-andia, and viewed more charts and graphs than somebody attending a Power Point convention, I start putting it all together. You can then expect a long, boring document that you will read, or print once and then it will collect dust. Not really, I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention, because that last sentence was far from the truth.
A PPC Audit equals Actionable Knowledge
A well done PPC Audit should be more than a data dump. Of course it should provide data so you know the issues, but that is just the beginning. Each one of the paid search audits delivered to my clients, will include data, why that data is important and most important what to do next.
You and your team will walk away with a list of tasks which can be implemented immediately to make and impact. You’ll also come away with long term strategies and action plans to make sure your PPC Marketing stays in tip-top shape.
What should I expect in your PPC Audit?
Each paid media audit is completely customized and tailored to the unique needs of the client, as well as the data analyzed. Most of the PPC audits though will contain at least some of the following:
- Account Structure – How your account is structured can make a huge difference in how well your ppc accounts can be managed.
- Keyword Analysis – This includes not only making sure you are bidding on the correct terms, but also your keyword match type strategy.
- Query Analysis – Depending on how you have structured your accounts, the search query analysis could be as important, if not more important than your keyword analysis. Just this analysis alone on one audit, brought to the surface $400,000 in spend that had only driven $32k in revenue over 12 months. Even if you spend millions a month, $400k could make a difference if invested in more profitable channels.
- Geographic Targeting and Relevance – This can either be a non-issue or a huge issue made by the simplest of mistakes.
- Ad Copy – Make sure you are using best practices. Simply changing your ad rotation settings, or pausing certain creatives could have an instant impact on your revenue and ROI.
- Quality Score – Paid Search practitioners will debate forever how useful visible Quality Score is for advertisers, but it should not be overlooked. This one metric can give you more directional insight than any other single metric.
- Mobile & Tablet – How is your mobile marketing doing? Are you making the most of mobile optimized ads, sitelinks, etc? What is the Mobile User Experience like for users
- Website Useability – Basic analysis of the path to conversion. Are you causing perfectly targeted traffic not to convert inadvertently?
Paid Search Audit Follow-up
Once the PPC Audit is delivered to you and your team, I don’t just say Adios. We will schedule a call (at least an hour) to go through the audit findings, and answer any of your questions.
I will make sure you understand the action items, and help establish a priority in how they should be implemented. Many times our clients have the resources & talent available to implement at least some of the action items. For those that do have the resources, we would potentially work together in a more collaborative way.
If needed and there is an opening in our availability, my team may be able to help implement some or all of the action items from the audit for you & your company.
As another alternative, I am available to help train your staff so that you have the in-house capability to implement and/or follow-through on the implementation
PPC Consulting Services
If you decide to implement all of the action items, either in-house, or through a 3rd party agency or consultant, I am available for ongoing PPC consulting services. One of the things I have found over the years is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Clients have found in many circumstances, that having me act as a intermediary (without any conflicts of interest), between in-house teams, and agencies helps ensure the accurate implementation of the action plan. Given both my in-house and agency background I understand the nuances and can easily communicate in a way that ensures the integrity and accountability of your PPC marketing programs.