Start The New Year With A PPC Health Check: Part 1

As Group Head at a fast growing search agency, I’ve carried out hundreds of campaign checks over the years. In my contributions here, I’ll be sharing my top tips on things to look out for when reviewing your own campaigns. Some of these things are obvious, while others might have slipped past you because you’re not up to date on recent changes or are just too close to the day-to-day running of the campaign.

It can be easy to just leave your campaign(s) running and not delve into the detail of things such as the settings of your campaign, especially if your campaign is performing well. But auditing your account on a regular basis and carrying out health checks are big keys to the success of any campaign. In the fast paced world of Google AdWords, even going on holiday for two weeks might mean you miss a big announcement of an upcoming change or new feature.

In part 1 of my PPC Health Check series, I’ll be covering structure, settings, conversion tracking, and budgets. This is laid out in a way that should be really clear and easy to follow, with step-by-step instructions on what to examine in each category.


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These questions should give you the building blocks for performing a health check on your PPC campaigns. It’s really important to try and self-assess (or have a colleague assess) your PPC campaign every few months, as there can be so many changes within the interface and settings that suggestions for improvements can always be made.

One of the main areas worth examining during your audit is your campaign budget. Being limited by your budget isn’t really a good way to start the year. Assess the results of the campaign, and if performance is good, see if you can secure more budget for your PPC campaigns this year. In order to get growth from your PPC campaigns, you’ll often need to increase the budget to remain competitive and to take advantage of new campaign features and types.

Another key subject for analysis this year are your bid multipliers; these are still often underused in many accounts. Schedule yourself some time to carry out analysis and adjust things like time-of-day, location and device.

The mobile landscape has become more competitive than ever; as an agency, we’ve seen CPCs increase since the launch of Enhanced Campaigns. With this in mind, make sure you’re not falling behind the curve and missing out on this traffic. Remember: there are only positions 1 and 2 in the banner for mobile, and if you’re not showing there, you’re unlikely to be seen!

In my next post, I’ll be covering ad copy, keywords and performance so make sure to check back for updates from me!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | How To: PPC | How To: SEM | Paid Search Column | Search Ads


About The Author: is one of the longest standing PPC team leaders at Periscopix, a fast growing PPC agency, serving as the company's Group Head of Search.

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  • Toby Crabtree

    This was very useful information posted. Thanks alot. I have been doing PPC for almost 3 months for my business and it has really been very helpful. Your points have really been useful to me.


  • Rebekah Diedo

    Thanks Toby, glad you found it useful!

  • Rebekah Diedo

    Thanks Toby, glad you found it useful!

  • Brad Hawk

    Good stuff. You mention under ‘conversion tracking’, to use AdWords instead of GA/Analytics. Is there a specific marketing reason why, or is it a technical concern?

  • Rebekah Diedo

    I would recommend using AdWords tracking where possible because this will allow you to see the full picture within AdWords. If you’re using GA tracking and the final click came in from an organic click then this conversion will not get pulled into AdWords. Also there is a difference in the cookie duration when as when using GA tracking the length is much longer. One of the most common issues I see with campaigns that come to our agency is that somebody has pulled in GA tracking as well as AdWords tracking and so in effect double counting is happening which is always going to be an issue. I would recommend using GA tracking where you are not able to track using AW code, for example if you need to use event tracking, or response tap tracking. In addition to this if you want to use standard remarketing you can’t set up an audience for GA tracking code at present, you’d need to use GA remarketing, so this could make things difficult when excluding one audience from another. Hope this helps!

  • Brad Hawk

    Very helpful, thanks Rebekah.

  • Betsey

    This is incredibly helpful, Rebekah, thanks! As soon as I read your note about the default remarketing targeting being worldwide, I had myself a little mini heart attack and quickly went to double check my clients’ accounts. (Thank goodness they were correctly targeted!)

  • Rebekah Diedo

    Glad you found it useful Betsey, this was quite a recent change so if your client’s remarketing campaigns have been active for a while then you wouldn’t have had this as your default. Part 2 will be out soon!


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