7 Signs You Need a PPC Audit ASAP

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a brilliant way to drive leads to your site, nurture customers, and raise brand awareness.

However, it’s vital to keep track of your campaigns to make sure they don’t lose their effectiveness and, most importantly, you don’t lose money on wasted clicks.

Here are seven tell-tale signs that it’s time to audit your PPC accounts.

1. You’re Running Out of Budget Faster Than You Used to

When managing a PPC campaign, you want to make sure your average cost per click (CPC) is as low as possible. 

According to Wordstream, the average CPC for Google Ads is $4.22, but this can vary depending on the industry you’re in.

If you find your CPC slowly creeping up and your daily budget not lasting as long as it used to, it’s time to reassess your PPC account.

What can lead to a loss of budget? There are a wide range of different factors that come into play, including:

  • Overly aggressive bids
  • Poor-quality landing pages
  • Irrelevant and extremely broad keywords
  • External influences like new competitors and industry changes

A PPC audit will identify the elements that are responsible for increasing your cost per click and help you make changes that help you regain control of your budget.

2. You’re Not Getting Clicks on Your Ads

You’ve spent ages creating the perfect ad… or so you think. As a result, when it launches, instead of clicks, you get tumbleweeds.

It can be frustrating when people don’t click on your ads. When your click-through rate suddenly drops, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with your PPC account that needs investigating.

For example, you could be focusing on overly specific keywords or targeting customers who just aren’t interested in your products or services. Alternatively, your ads could be getting too repetitive and people might be getting bored.

When your click-through rate is lower than you’d like, a PPC audit conducted by specialists can identify potential issues and rank them in the order of priority they need to be solved. You’re then in a great position to make changes to turn things around.

3. You’re getting the wrong type of traffic

You’re seeing the exact opposite of not getting enough clicks on your ads; you’re getting a lot! 

The only problem? These clicks aren’t resulting in anything positive. If this is the case, it might be that your PPC ads are targeting the wrong people.

Image source: Nielsen

Did you know that brands waste 40% of their digital advertising budget on the wrong audiences? This doesn’t just lead to wasted ad spend, but wasted time trying to sell to people who just aren’t interested in what you do. 

As a result, targeting the wrong people can have a negative effect on your entire sales and marketing team.

So, what is to blame? Businesses can accidentally focus on the wrong customers with the wrong keywords, ad copy, ad placements, and targeting options. 

Once, we worked with a company that had made a mistake with its targeting and served its ads to the completely wrong country. All it took was one slip of the mouse! Luckily, we spotted the issue and quickly resolved it.

The first step to solving the problem of incorrect targeting is to have a clear target audience and customer profile in place. Then, it’s a case of conducting a thorough PPC audit to make sure you specifically gear your campaigns towards these prospective customers.

Alternatively, a PPC audit can also identify if it’s worth moving your ads to another platform to get the attention of your target audience. For example, rather than Google Ads, which can be highly competitive, it may be that Microsoft Advertising (Bing) or Reddit Ads are better options.

4. You’re Failing to Stand out From Your Competitors

Have you ever checked out the auction insights report on Google Ads? This chart shows you who you’re competing with, when you beat them in the rankings, and when they outrank you. It’s a handy tool to see which businesses could potentially steal your clicks!

It’s critical to keep an eye on your competitors on PPC, whether on Google Ads or paid social. A campaign that was working well just a week ago can quickly get derailed if a competitor makes changes to how they advertise.

A PPC audit will let you know if there are any new competitors you should be aware of or if an existing competitor has upped its game when it comes to PPC advertising. When you work with a PPC specialist, they can suggest how to make amends to your account or campaigns to get an advantage over your closest rivals.

5. You’re Not Getting Conversions on Your Website

PPC advertising isn’t just about the ads you serve; it’s about the entire experience from beginning to end. It might be that people love your ads, but they don’t love the landing pages the adverts take them to.

If your click-through rate is high, but the conversions on your website are low, it’s important to investigate the cause with a thorough audit.

As a starting point, is your conversion tracking set up correctly? We’ve found that many businesses have had issues tracking conversions since the migration to Google Analytics 4.

If conversion tracking is not the problem, it might be that your landing pages need adjusting, or you need to tweak your ads to steer people more likely to convert to your pages. A PPC specialist will make recommendations to keep the traffic flowing and your sales growing!

6. You’re Spending More Time in Your Account Than Usual

We always say that managing a PPC account is a lot like owning a vehicle.

Both need ongoing maintenance and tweaks to help them run smoothly. If not, problems can quickly develop, and you can end up spending more time and money on them than you initially expected!

PPC accounts can get disorganized over time, which leads to more time spent finding information and optimizing details. For example:

  • Keywords and campaigns in unrelated groups
  • Poor naming conventions
  • Outdated targeting lists
  • Not using the shared library in Google Ads to centralize data and lists

A PPC audit will identify inefficiencies and make it easier to make changes in your account. This means you free up your time and can focus on new ways to grow your business!

7. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Did a PPC Audit

The last time you carried out a PPC audit, Google Ads was known as ‘AdWords’, X was known as ‘Twitter’, and ‘Meta’ was just a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye.

Sounds familiar? If the answer is yes, it’s probably time to get an audit booked in.

PPC platforms regularly change and evolve, and it’s important to make sure you’re up to speed with any modifications. For example, in 2023 alone, Google Ads has:

  • Got rid of similar audiences
  • Expanded Performance Max campaigns to include Smart Shopping and Local
  • Removed YouTube ad content targeting
  • Introduced vehicle listing ads
  • Added the ability to see which ads your competitors are currently running

Frequent auditing means you can take advantage of new features and get ahead of your competitors.

How often should you run a PPC audit? Depending on your budget and account size, we recommend auditing either quarterly, every six months, or yearly. If you’re not sure how often to audit your accounts, get in touch, and we’ll be happy to advise!

Knack: a PPC Auditing Case Study

SaaS company Knack already had Google Ads and Microsoft Adverting accounts. Its goal was to increase conversion rates and get a better return on investment from its existing campaigns.

We looked at Knack’s historical ad data and used it to optimize their accounts, building, launching and testing new campaigns, and disabling campaigns that didn’t lead to subscriptions. Over time, we tested the campaigns further to ensure the best results.

As a result, conversion rates increased by 317%, and cost per acquisition decreased by 69%.

Time for a PPC Audit?

If your PPC campaigns aren’t performing like they used to, a PPC audit can help get your marketing back on track.

PPC audits are our speciality at Aimers. Our expert team of paid advertising specialists will review your PPC accounts, identify where you’re wasting money, and recommend easy ways to optimize your campaigns for clicks and conversions.

(And, of course, we’re more than happy to make the changes on your behalf).

With accreditations from Google, Meta, Microsoft Advertising, and LinkedIn, we’re the PPC specialists that businesses all over the world trust.

Ready to deep clean your PPC accounts? Get in touch with us today, and let’s get started!

Denis Yurchuk

CMO

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