I audit Google AdWords accounts all the time and it still shocks me how often I find poorly managed and neglected PPC campaigns. These accounts are also supposedly being managed by some expert agencies.

Here are 5 ways to tell if your PPC agency or freelancer is doing a good job or are simply burning your money.

First of all, you will need access to your Google AdWords account. Once you have logged in set the date for the last 30 days and work your way through the following list. It should only take 5 minutes in total to carry out your own audit…

1. Are your adverts being shown at your target location(s)?

Click on the spanner icon in the header and navigate to the User Locations option.


Here you will see all the different geo-locations of where your advert is being shown. If you are targeting people in your local area then the following would be your worst nightmare!


What you want: A list of locations of your target audience

What you don’t want: Geo locations of places you don’t want to target

Why is this important? You may be spending money on clicks where people will never purchase from you. Even if they don’t click on your advert, an impression will affect your CTR and Quality score which will cost you more per click.

Easy fix? Yes, just a few clicks to exclude these locations.

2. Have there been any changes to your account?

Here you will be able to see the changes that have been made to your account, what they were, by who and when.


What you want: For a PPC management cost of around £200 a month, expect to see around 10k changes, although this may vary depending on other responsibilities that the agency or freelancer may have.

What you don’t want: Zero changes or very few made infrequently.

Why is this important? Google AdWords management is critical for success. An account manager worth their weight will be continually developing campaigns by adding and removing keywords, creating new ads (if automation has not been applied) A/B testing and much more.

Easy fix? Yes, contact me today and I’ll get your PPC working for you.

3. Are the actual search terms you’re paying for accurate?

On the “Keywords” tab navigate to “Search Terms”. Here you will be able to see how all your money is being spent.


What you want: A list of keywords that are high intent, that are associated with your website and there is evidence of keywords that have been “Excluded” or “Added”.

What you don’t want: Keywords that are of no value to your business, that have not been “Excluded”.

Why is this important? New search terms are being used every day to find your business online, especially with the increase in voice searches. Therefore if your account is not carefully managed you could be burning through £££ by appearing for irrelevant keyword search terms.

Easy fix? Moderate

4. Have conversions been set up?

One of the biggest indicators, whether your campaign is performing well or not, is conversion tracking. By having conversion tracking correctly set up you will know which keywords are getting you new customers and which are not. Knowing this alone will save you £££. There are countless benefits of having this in place, I would recommend the following as standard should be set up using Google Tag Manager and reported to Google Analytics and then being pulled into your AdWords account.

  • Contact form tracking
  • Email text click tracking
  • Phone tracking
  • Purchase tracking (for e-commerce)

There are many other things you could track on your website and I would recommend setting these up for all visitors, not just from AdWords as you will be able to see assisted conversion data, Time lag and many more data sets that will allow you to grow your business online.


What you want: A list of different types of tracking, ideally being pulled through from Google Analytics and where the Attribution is not last click

What you don’t want: No conversion tracking

Why is this important? This will allow you to calculate your true PPC ROI.

Easy fix? Moderate

5. Are ad-extensions being used?

A powerful addition to your expanded text ad is the ad extensions. Navigate to “Ads and Extensions” and then click on “Extensions”. Then click on all the different extension types in the list. Every business should as standard be utilising the following:

  • Sitelink Extensions
  • Callout Extensions
  • Structured Snippet Extensions
  • Call Extensions


What you want: A good range of creative ad extensions

What you don’t want: Little to zero ad extensions and variations of appearing

Why is this important? Ad extensions are powerful as they will increase the size of your general advert and give various options to appeal to searches to engage with.

Easy fix? Moderate

You should be really worried if…

In January 2017 Google stopped marketers being able to make regular text adverts as these were replaced by “Expanded Text Ads”. If you have any adverts in your account that are still active, you should be worried. You can tell this by reviewing your adverts and if there are any that are missing the Headline 2 area – you should take action now!


All Good?

So, how did you score? Hopefully well, but if you found some things that concern you, stop wasting your money and get in touch for a full FREE PPC audit today.

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