PPC Audits

There’s no such thing as a perfect PPC account. Even for us at The Search Mechanics. Markets are fickle, demands change, products change, platforms change – there’s always opportunity to keep tweaking and improving. For that reason, PPC audits are a necessity if you’re going to stay on top of your account management.

What is a PPC audit?

There are two types of PPC audit. The first is the kind you might do when taking over an account – normally a comprehensive analysis to understand how the campaigns have previously run and how successful they’ve been. The second is less time consuming and should be conducted more frequently. It should encompass a dig around into your account to identify areas that need more attention and to take a more objective look at performance.

When should I conduct an audit?

Perhaps the most obvious time to conduct an audit is when performance is suffering, but once every three to six months– depending on the size of the account – is a fairly good guide. You won’t, however, want to plunge into an audit straight after a strategy change as it could skew the information and end up causing more harm than good.

What’s involved with a PPC audit?

Obviously almost any aspect of your account or campaigns can be looked at in detail, but here’s where to start if you’re doing an audit for the first time.

Date range

Set the date range to a long enough period that you can effectively analyse the date. Think in terms of three to six-month periods, or even up to a year if you need to look at seasonal changes.


Identify the key metrics that the account or campaign focuses on. Is the number or conversions most important or is it the cost per conversion? Perhaps it’s the revenue generated by the conversion. You’ll need to know this before starting the audit.

Account Structure

Account structure is something that can become messy over time, with ad groups and campaigns being added, switched off, abandoned and revised. Ensure the account structure follows a logical pattern and that no irrelevant items are active.

Ad content and quality score

Changing the wording of your ads can have a significant impact on quality score, which can also affect how many impressions the ads get. Take a look at which content achieves the highest score and contributes best to your KPIs. Remember to also look at the landing pages of your ads to gauge their relevancy.


Are the settings of each of your campaigns still pertinent? Often settings are determined at the beginning of a campaign and not adjusted thereafter. Check whether the geo-targeting, ad rotation, the audience and other settings are still relevant, or if changes can be made to improve performance. If the settings have been tweaked over the time frame you’re investigating, look at the impact of that.

For advice on how to do a PPC audit, or to obtain an independent audit of your account, contact The Search Mechanics today.

Jon is the founder of the Search Mechanics, specialist PPC agency based in Kent.
He has worked in the PPC industry for over 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things related to online paid search including Google Ads and Bing Ads, he also has a thorough understanding of ad server systems as well as Google Analytics.