7 Things to Check For A Top Notch Google Ads Audit | Search Scientists

7 Things To Check For A Top Notch Google Ads Audit (Video)

Do you have an accurate view of your PPC campaigns performance?

At Search Scientists, we’re doing around 150 Google Ads audits every year. That’s about three different accounts a week. 

Today, Mike discusses 7 of the most important points to check in a Google Ads audit. Fixing these will mean a massive improvement in your cost per conversion.

Make sure to subscribe to the Search Scientists YouTube channel, so you don’t miss out on weekly goodness on all things Paid Traffic.

Video Transcript

Hey, I thought that this would be a really interesting video to create. I just got done auditing a campaign on Google Ads, and I really just wanted to share what I found. So, I have some screenshots here, and I thought it would be really interesting to explain it.


So, basically, one of the first things that I checked out in this account, which is really unique – there’s a lot of international opportunity for this particular client. And what you see here is they had 2.6 million impressions in the US, 1.5 in Brazil, 1.5 million in Serbia, so on and so forth.

adwords audit - international potential

Then, when you actually take a look at the cost per conversion – it’s wildly different depending on what country that you’re in. In the US, it was $3.50 per conversion. In Brazil, it was $15.70, so the differences in conversion rates here is massive. And this particular client had no segmentation. They weren’t segmenting a US versus Brazil versus Serbia versus Spain, and all of these got a significant amount of impressions.

So, the opportunity is very apparent to fix this up. Even though we’re paying just six cents average cost per click in Brazil, we can probably reduce that even further to try to improve what’s going on here with the cost per conversion of $15 or $23 in Serbia. Then, you look at a place like Spain, which is doing even better than the US, the cost per conversion was $2.11!

So, there’s so much opportunity here to segment these campaigns throughout country, and optimize each one in a new dimension. Because currently everything is lumped together, and I wouldn’t recommend optimizing a bid at such a global level. And this was just one screenshot out of a list of dozens, and dozens of countries. So, this is definitely an area of opportunity and what I would expect to happen is once we start breaking these things out, and optimizing them independently of one another, every single country should improve.

Then, when you look at the amount of spend that they were spending, this is over the course of about a month. When you look at how much they were spending, if you can improve every single individual country 10%, 20% you can imagine what kind of grand impact that would have.


The second thing was bid optimization. This was pretty interesting. In this screenshot, basically, over the course of a particular month, $12,000 in ad spend and only about 2,000 bid changes and particularly some of these had very few bid changes.

adwords audit - few bid changes

So, when you think about this, where there’s so much opportunity for optimizing bids in each individual country, they had everything lumped into one. So, they were appearing from more than 36 countries, yet they only have 36 bid changes, which is an average of less than one bid change per country. So, there’s so much opportunity there.


The third thing – conversion tracking – was a bit off in a few certain areas.

So, if you actually take a look at this, there was one particular click that led to 14 conversions. It’s like a conversion rate at 1400%. So, there’s something a little bit off with their conversion tracking. It’s always good to do a conversion tracking audit. Just look at – what counts as a conversion? How are we tracking it? Is this truly accurate?

There were probably maybe 10 rows that had over two conversions in this spot, so it’s always good to sort of be aware of that. 

Tracking conversions

4. OPTIMIZe by age

Now, this one was really interesting – conversions by age. The age breakdown of conversions and spend was very distinct. 

adwords audit - age breakdown
age breakdown clicks

So this is from a display ad, and this display ad was doing quite well, it was generating conversions at a fairly good cost per conversion.

And if you take a look at it, where the conversions actually came from, the thing that I wrote down over here was 67% of their conversions come from people who are 45 and up. 67%, so two-thirds of their conversions: 45 and up. Then, if you look at their clicks it doesn’t match up. In fact, if you look at the click breakdown most of the clicks are not coming from 45 and up.

So, in fact, over 50% of clicks were not coming from 45 and up. So, there’s some good opportunity there to either trim the dead weight, of this age range of 18 to 24 barely converts at all. In fact, it hasn’t gotten any conversions. 25 to 34 – the conversions are pretty low, 6% of conversions. But 18% of ads have clicks.

Fixing this would be a huge cost per conversion fix.


This particular client didn’t have search on, and they said, “Oh, you know, it wasn’t really working, so we wanted to turn it off.”

Search exact match impression share

And if you take a look here the Exact Match Impression Share was only 30%, so what that means – they had a lot of terms that were broaden phrase, modified broad that they actually weren’t appearing for.

They were showing up for the variants of these terms 70% of the time. So, Search Exact Match Impression Share is something that not a lot of people understand, but basically if I’m bidding on sunglasses broad match I might show up for kids sunglasses, or sun visor. And in this case, they were showing up for words that were not sunglasses 70% of the time, so they were only appearing for sunglasses 30% of the time. So, that’s what Search Exact Match Impression Share means.

6. SEARCH retargeting

The other big thing, they had no retargeting on search. RLSA, they didn’t have any audience based search modifiers, where you can bid differently on genders, or ages, or audiences and things like that.

7. invest more in youtube

And then, on YouTube, they were getting two cent views with YouTube ads, but one of the things that was happening was they didn’t really know how to translate that back into actual tangible business results, so that was a conversation that we’re definitely going to have.

So, this was just a quick video talking about a few things that I like to look for whenever I audit an Google Ads campaign. Hope you found this useful.

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Picture of Andreea Popa

Andreea Popa

Andreea is an enthusiastic full-stack marketer. She enjoys connecting multiple facets of a business. She's mixing and connecting data from multiple channels, from PPC campaigns to content creation, audience engagement, and different inbound strategies. She'd like to have more time for writing about PPC.

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