Using Wordstream’s AdWords Performance Grader For An Instant Audit

No matter how good you are at something, you can always use a second opinion.

For paid search, getting even a surface level audit of your AdWords account can be fairly expensive. A consultant would have to access your account, pull your reports, check your settings, and evaluate your Quality Scorse, match type usage, etc. Then, putting together their findings in a report (along with links to more information) could easily take hours.

Luckily, search marketing software and services provider, WordStream, has a new tool that can not only find issues with your AdWords account, but is also free for every search marketer to use.

WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader free evaluation service is a quick and easy way for search marketers to instantly identify where improvements could be made in their AdWords campaigns. It also provides benchmark comparisons to other accounts with budgets in the same range.

I asked Larry Kim, WordStream’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer, what was the inspiration behind building this free tool:

“First, we do account audits and assessments for both prospective and existing clients – for example, we have this Quality Score Toolkit that is basically just an Excel file that does a bunch of number crunching on data from your AdWords account. People liked that but we wanted to make it more automatic.  Second was that we found that advertisers are generally curious to see how they’re doing in paid search.  And lastly we found that there just wasn’t any way to do an instant audit of a PPC Account and compare the results against other accounts.”

The AdWords Performance Grader examines key campaign features including:

  • Effective use of negative keywords to control spend
  • Quality Score for text ads and the keywords targeted
  • Click-through rates on ads
  • Impression share for ads
  • Long-tail keyword optimization
  • Text ad optimization
  • Landing page optimization
  • PPC best practices

How does it work? Simply input your contact info and Google login credentials (Wordstream will not share or save your login) and the report is delivered to you in moments. Couldn’t be easier!

As always in Search Marketing Toolbox, we go under the hood. Let’s take a look at some of the information from an example report offered by the AdWords Performance Grader to see if it might be a good fit for you.

At the top of the report, you will get an initial summary of the findings along with Wordstream’s propriety score for your overall grade.

Something every search marketer spends a lot of time thinking about is Quality Score.

You can also get information on your Click Thru Rates…

…and your landing pages.

Finally, my favorite section of the report is a check on common SEM practices and how your account stacks up.

There’s more to the report than I was able to show here. Also, as you can see from the screenshots, there are links to more information for search marketers to take the insights they find and actually do something more with them.

I asked Larry what other features are in the works for upcoming releases. He said, “The most exciting thing on the road map for the AdWords Grader is enhanced grading. Now that we’ve collected a bunch of data, we can do even more interesting things with the AdWords Grader scoring algorithms, for example, by providing more granular segmentation by industry, like “Finance & Insurance”, etc.”

What a great, free tool. If you’re one of the select few search marketers whose accounts are doing so well that you don’t need any outside expertise, then I congratulate you. For the other 99.9% of us, WordStream’s new AdWords Performance Grader is a fast, free way to get an extra set of eyes on your account.

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

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Search Marketing Toolbox


About The Author: has been a search marketer since 2003 with a focus on SEM technology. As a media technologist fluent in the use of leading industry systems, Josh stays abreast of cutting edge digital marketing and measurement tools to maximize the effect of digital media on business goals. He has a deep passion to monitor the constantly evolving intersection between marketing and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @mediatechguy.

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