PPC is an effective advertising model on many levels, but only if done right. In 2020, PPC was one of the top three most effective channels for high-volume leads.

PPC audit helps businesses identify and improve the key areas that require optimization and improvement and devise strategies to increase conversion rates.

What is PPC?

PPC, or pay-per-click, is an advertising model in which advertisers pay a publisher (typically a website owner) a certain amount of money every time someone clicks on an ad. According to Sparktoro, in 2019, PPC ads generated an 11.38% click-through rate.

Why PPC Is Important For Your Business

PPC is an important marketing strategy because it provides quick access to customers. Approximately 65% of customers click on PPC advertisements, while PPC ads yield 200% ROI. PPC has so much to offer businesses with the right strategy in place.

  • PPC is one of the most effective channels for high-volume leads
  • Paid search also drives more qualified traffic to websites, as users who click on PPC ads are intentionally looking for the products or services you offer.
  • Increased traffic: PPC can help you generate more traffic to your website through targeted ads. In fact, according to a study by Wordstream, businesses that increased their spending on PPC saw an average increase of 36% in website traffic.
  • Improved ROI: PPC also helps improve ROI as it is a very targeted form of advertising. Businesses that use PPC see an average ROI of $2 for every dollar spent.
  • Increased leads: PPC can also help you generate more leads through targeted ads. PPC campaigns generate two times as many leads as organic search engine results.
  • Easier to manage: PPC is a more precise form of advertising as it allows you to target specific businesses or consumers.
  • In addition, PPC campaigns are easier to monitor as they allow you to measure the performance of each campaign daily.

PPC Audit Checklist – Steps to Auditing Campaigns

Now that you know the importance of PPC let’s take a look at the steps you need to take for a successful PPC audit.

Audit your current campaigns

Review your current campaigns and determine how well they are performing. Check the PPC campaigns you have run to:

  • Determine which keywords are generating clicks and leads
  • Identify the ad groups that are performing well and those that need improvement
  • Check the quality of your landing pages
  • Analyze your budget and spending
  • Look for negative keywords
  • Review your bid strategy
  • Track conversions

Know your goals

Knowing your goals is a vital step in a successful PPC audit. Your goals may include:

  • Decreasing the cost per lead or increasing your profit margin
  • Improving sales conversions, click-through rates, or website traffic
  • Optimizing ad copy to improve CTR
  • Creating new leads
  • Segmenting your audience

Evaluate your budget

Before setting a budget for your PPC campaigns, you need to evaluate your overall marketing budget. Your PPC budget should be based on the goals of your campaigns and the potential return on investment (ROI).

Your budget has an implication on:

  • The types of keywords you can target
  • The number of ads you can create
  • The bid amount for each keyword

Create a negative keywords list

Negative keywords are a vital part of any PPC campaign. A negative keyword is a word or phrase that you add to your campaign to prevent your ads from appearing when someone searches for that term.

Some common negative keywords include:

  • Free
  • Quotes
  • Coupons

Review your ad copy

Your ad copy is one of the essential elements of your PPC campaign. The following are some points to consider when it comes to ad copy:

  • Ad text – What words and phrases do your ads use?
  • Call-to-action – How compelling is your Call-to-Action (CTA)?
  • Landing page experience – Does the ad lead directly to the landing page?

Refine your keywords and ad groups

Keywords and ad groups are two of the most critical elements of your PPC campaign. You should continually refine your keywords and ad groups to ensure effectiveness.

Some tips for refining your keywords include:

  • Use keyword research tools to find new keywords
  • Target long-tail keywords
  • Group similar keywords together into ad groups
  • Incorporate keywords into your ad copy
  • Test different keyword variations
  • Measure the performance of your keywords

Track your conversion rate

The best way to measure the effectiveness of your keywords is to track their conversion rate. This will tell you how many people who clicked on your ad ended up converting into customers.

You can track conversions in two ways:

  • Track conversions through your website analytics
  • Use a conversion tracking tool

Evaluate your landing pages

Your PPC landing pages need to be high-quality and relevant. A landing page is a website a person sees after clicking on your ad. It should quickly answer the question they ask when they click on the ad.

Tips for evaluating your landing pages:

  • Check if your call-to-action is clear
  • Include keywords in your landing page titles
  • Make sure your landing page is relevant to the ad
  • Ensure that your landing page loads quickly

Audit your target audience

Before you create your ads, you should review your target audience. A good ad campaign starts with a valuable customer experience.

You can refine your target audience by:

  • Using pixels to track user behavior on your website
  • Tracking conversions or leads generated from previous campaigns
  • Reviewing your keywords and ad groups to see if they are relevant to your target audience

Evaluate your bidding strategy

Your bidding strategy should be based on your campaign goals. There are three main types of bidding strategies:

  • CPC (cost-per-click)
  • CPM (cost-per-mille or cost per thousand impressions)
  • CPA (cost-per-acquisition)

The most common type is CPC, but CPM and CPA bidding strategies can also be effective.

Evaluate your quality score

Your quality score is an integral part of your ad campaign and helps determine:

  • How much you will be charged per click (CPC)
  • Whether or not your ads show up on search engines

A high-quality score can reduce the cost for CPM and CPC campaigns. A low-quality score can cause an increase in CPC bids. Your CTR can influence your quality score.

Consider utilizing location-based keywords

Targeting location-specific ads can be very effective because it considers the search habits of people in different locations. For example, if you are a pizza delivery company that delivers within five miles of a city, then targeting ads to people who live in that city is likely to generate more clicks.

Tips for using location-based keywords:

  • Use the Advanced Search option to find keywords by city, state, zip code, or radius
  • Create different ad groups for each geographic area you want to target
  • Create separate ads for each geographic area you want to target

Ensure your ads are mobile responsive

Due to changes in search engine algorithms, it is now more important than ever to have mobile-responsive ads. More people are using their phones to search for information than ever before.

Here is how to create mobile responsive ads:

  • Use a responsive design or create separate mobile and desktop ads
  • Make sure all of your landing pages are mobile-responsive

Track your performance and reporting

It is vital to track the performance of your ads so you can make the necessary adjustments. You should review your:

  • Campaign results
  • Ad group results
  • Keyword results
  • Landing page results

You can use reports to help you evaluate your ad campaign performance. The most common type of report is the Campaign Performance report. This report shows how your ads are performing across all of your campaigns.

You can also create custom reports to track the performance of specific ad groups, keywords, or landing pages.

Optimize your campaigns

Once you have evaluated your ad campaign and made the necessary adjustments, it is time to optimize your campaigns.

Here are some tips for optimizing your campaigns:

  • Pause or delete underperforming ads
  • Replace underperforming keywords with more relevant keywords
  • Increase your bids for high-performing keywords

Create a regular PPC audit schedule

Creating a regular PPC audit schedule will help ensure that your ad campaigns run as efficiently as possible. By audits, you can:

  • Evaluate how well your keywords are performing
  • Check to see if you are targeting the correct audience
  • Make sure your landing pages are relevant to your ads
  • Track your campaign results so you can make necessary adjustments

A good audit schedule is set for every month or week. You can use your reporting data to identify when poorly performing keywords or ads affect your campaigns’ overall performance. Then you can create a plan to adjust them accordingly.

Integrate your PPC strategy with other digital marketing strategies

Your PPC campaigns should be integrated with your overall digital marketing strategy. If you run a website, then your website content should contribute to the success of your ad campaign. Here are some things to consider:

Develop a strategy that ensures ads and landing pages provide a good user experience

Do not interrupt users with pop-up windows or other ads that will cause them to leave your site

  • Make sure your website is mobile-responsive
  • Ensure that all of your website content is relevant to your ads
  • Link to your website from your social media profiles

By integrating your PPC strategy with other digital marketing strategies, you can help improve the overall performance of your campaigns.

Make use of ad extensions

Ad extensions will help you show more information about your business and products. Extensions allow you to include:

  • A site link that takes the user directly to a page on your website
  • An offer extension showing special deals or discounts
  • A call extension enabling users to make contact by phone
  • An app extension where users can download your mobile app

Optimize your bidding and budget settings after each campaign launch

After launching a new PPC campaign, it is essential to adjust your bidding and budget settings accordingly.

Here are some tips for optimizing your bidding and budget settings:

  • Start with a low budget and increase it if your campaigns are successful
  • Start with a high budget and decrease it if your campaigns are not successful
  • Set your bids higher for more competitive keywords
  • Set your bids lower for less competitive keywords
  • Use different bidding strategies for each campaign

Keep in mind that you will need to make changes to your settings daily or even hourly, depending on the results of your campaign.


By following these tips, you can optimize the success of your ad campaigns. An effective PPC audit checklist will help ensure that your campaigns run smoothly and meet your campaign goals.

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