Hey, how’s it going gang? Again, Justin Croxton here. Super excited because Google Ads is, it’s the platform that you just got to be on. You have to. If you are, great. You need to be able to measure conversions. You need to be able to measure a lot of different things and be able to do audits. Whether it be yourself, if you’re a brand manager, or if you’re an agency, sometimes you just need to get into an account and just see what’s going on. We have certain methodologies here at Propellant Media, our organization, where we’re actually able to do audits, not so much quickly, but if we just want to see what’s going on and to just give us a lot of perspective, this is also what we’re able to accomplish.
So, a lot of times you don’t have time. You just want to get a sense of what’s going on with an account, its overall performance, and how you can make it better. In my judgment, there are some folks that, if you’re trying to audit an account that’s doing $50,000, $100,000 a month, it’s no different. There might be cases where you have 50 campaigns or 100 campaigns. Maybe you’re running a PLA, an e-commerce campaign or something more along those lines, maybe a local services campaign, et cetera, et cetera, the world’s your oyster. But I think the fundamentals of what we’re going to discuss still rings true. This is a process that we go through, if we just, for every account before we actually, even before we actually do a formal audit for a client, this is actually part of the quick process to see if we can get some quick perspective on accounts and campaigns that we’re running.
So, I wanted to just give everybody a little context here. This is the process that we go through. I want to take you through a live example, a client that has actually paused, which is actually works out to everyone’s benefit. But in this case, this is, there’s a couple things that we start off with the first, and this is actually more important than anything else is you need to understand, and to get context from the client. You need to understand what have been their campaign goals, their average customer value, who their customers are. Are they running other media? How are they measuring success? Are they measuring success through Chatbot, form submissions, phone calls, phone numbers? Having that context allows you to shape how you’re going to do your audit and how you’re going to determine what’s working, and what’s not, from a success standpoint.
So, we always ask those questions during the discovery phase, and when a client grants us access to their Google Ads campaign, we would’ve gotten that information before we touch or look at anything, because once you have that perspective, then you can kind of know what to look for. In this next example, double-checking Google Tag Manager, to make sure that it’s placed properly, as well as going directly into conversion tracking within Google Ads, to make sure that conversion tracking is set up properly. So, what I mean by that is yes, maybe you want to make sure that Google Tag Manager has been set up properly. Maybe you have like a Ghostery Chrome extension or something along those lines, you’re saying, “Ah, is Google Tag?” Okay. Got it. Okay. Great. Perfect.
All the proper tags like Google Ad’s AdWord Version Tracking, or Google Analytics. If you’re pulling audiences from Google Analytics, into Google Ads, all that’s find and good. But the place that our team always goes into is right here into tools and settings and then conversions. We want to see, okay, do you, in fact, have Google conversion set up? Is it set up properly? If it’s not set up properly, why is it not? Why are we seeing zeros? This campaign has been paused. So that’s, what’s going on here in this case. But at least it gives you context into what’s been going on, what’s working, what’s not. Then afterwards, you can ensure that you’re looking at things like, well, the reason why you’re not getting conversions is because your conversion tracking isn’t set up. Okay. You’d be surprised how many folks we run across where that actually is the case.
So, it’s nice with conversion tracking. You can track form conversions, chat conversions, other types of triggers within Google, which is pretty powerful. So, that’s the first thing that we always look at on the front end. Then, that’s when we get into the meat and potatoes. So, this is a good process that I think everybody can start off with when you’re looking to do a quick audit of Google Ads campaign. The first is we like to look at, look at the campaign from, more so, from an overarching perspective. So, we’ll look at all of the different campaigns that were alive for whatever period of time. And then we like to segment everything. The segments that I love personally, more than anything else, are network with search partners, because sometimes individuals will have the Google partners network turned on, which we, depending on the budget, we typically recommend you leave that off, initially.
Then what’s also nice about it as well is you can see how your conversions and cost per conversion is at the network level. There’s a lot of times when we have clients that have Google Conversions set up and we’re like, “No, don’t have,” I mean, not, excuse me, not Google Conversions, Google Display Network turned on, and so, we like to look at that. That’s one of the ways that we’re going to segment the data, give us some quick perspective. We’ll also look at device. We want to see what devices are, are or are not performing well, so we can give some context there. We’ll also look at the conversions by action. Depending on how the conversions were set up, we’ll look at conversions by action in this case. So, we want to see which campaigns have in fact converted or turned into conversions for the client were segmenting at that level.
Sometimes, we will also look at top versus other, but I don’t think that’s as important. It’s not as important. It’s important, but not as important. At least it gives us a flavor of what’s going on, and then sometimes we do look at click type as well, just out of curiosity. Like, we want to see like, what extensions are actually translating into some decent conversions. Maybe I need to play around with my extensions to improve click through rates there, or play with the ad copy there. We’ll do certain things like that, from that perspective as well. So, we’re looking at that on the front end and it’s really helpful when we’re doing that sort of an audit. So, and then also of course, we’ll look at day of week and hour of day as well. Those are just tidbits of information that we use internally to determine if, for example, if this is, a phone number-based campaign, then you shouldn’t be, have your campaign turned on after 6:00 or 7:00 PM, as an example, just little things like that.
Afterwards, we’re going really into each of these campaigns, and typically we’re going to go into the campaign settings, for the campaign that has the most data. Now, I have like all the data showing up for this client, but usually you want to look at last 30 to 60 days, if that’s how long the campaign has been running. We usually don’t go above 90 days. But I think starting off with 60, I think is a good metric. In this case, we’re just doing it, just kind of give you all sort of a stylized example. If you want to look at the data for 60 days, I think that’s fine. Then I’ll come over here into settings. Once you come over here into settings, that’s when you’re able to really get some context on how the campaign was set up or campaigns were set up.
So, in this instance, taking a little bit of time, goal tracking, you can see kind of what’s set up right now, which is nice. This really doesn’t do anything, but you can put this over to leads. Not a big deal, but we just kind of switch that over. You can see that we have Google Search Network is turned on. Sometimes clients or prospects will have the search and the display network. We always leave the display network turned off initially. Sometimes we do have search network turned on if the client has a vast budget, but we like to leave that turned off initially. This is a big one everyone. Sometimes if you’re a location targeting, if you’re a B2B, and you can target all the United States, maybe a little different, but I still use this as the best practice.
I never ever turn on presence or interest. I always focus on people that are in or regularly in my targeted location. The reason for that is, if I’m here in Atlanta and I do a search for plumbers, like incredible plumbers in Atlanta, Georgia, and if I’m like, or say for example, if I were to actually do that same search for Charlotte plumbers, if I’m an advertiser in Charlotte, my ad can show up to someone that’s in Atlanta. Now that might be the intent, if someone literally typed in Charlotte plumbers, but in many cases you end up getting a lot of waste. So, we actually don’t recommend that approach. We actually recommend just focus on presence, and you’re going to limit your waste, and you’re going to get a lot of success from that sort of a campaign.
Usually, we like to set our budget. Now, this is another big one as well. Bidding. If you have your conversion tracking set up, we do like to have manual CPC starting out initially. Then afterwards, we typically switch over to max conversions, then CPA bid strategy, and then we start transitioning things over to a ROAS strategy as well, to try to focus a little bit more on return on investment, rather than just a CPA bid strategy. Sometimes we’ll check the client’s, some of these other things like ad rotation. It’s okay to do optimize, but if you want to see some split testing, which you really don’t need to do this now a day, but if you want to, you can. That’s usually pretty helpful. So, that’s part of the process that we go through, when we’re looking at the campaign settings. Then. We’ll go into looking at the reviewing the individual ad groups themselves. So, for us here at Propellant Media, we like to take a little bit more of, how do I say this, more of a single keyword ad group strategy.
It’s just easier to spot-check things, but there are cases where we’ll use more of a thematic type of an approach when we’re doing these different audits. In this case, it just allows us to spot check things a little bit more quickly. Some people say that when you have your default Max CCPC set to like one cent, that’s impacting performance. It actually doesn’t. Your bids are really predicated on your actual ads. When I say your, for ad groups, I mean for the search network. If you were to have one cent set for your ad groups within the Googles Display Network, then your ads will not deliver as well. That is for sure. So, wanted to give that context as well. But we do like to look at which ad groups are or are not performing well, so we can give some context to what needs to be paused or what terms are not really producing fruit for the client. So, it’s just kind of helpful, but then once we’ve done that, we’ll then go into one, and then try to take a look at the individual ads for that campaign.
As you, some of you may already know, expanded text ads are going away. So, this campaign was built a while back when expanded text ads was a little bit more important. Right nowadays, it’s responsive text ads where you have 15 headlines, four description lines, two paths in a URL. The one advice that I’ll give everyone, if you can get your status to good or excellent, relative to your landing page, relative to your ads and your keywords, you’re going to vastly improve your quality score, vastly, vastly improve your quality score. They actually give that real time when you’re developing those responsive ads. We’ve seen cases for nonprofit accounts that we run, where a client had a poor or an average ad that wasn’t delivering, the moment that we made some significant tweaks to it, to get it up to a good or an excellent ad score, started delivering immediately. So, that’s a quick tip that I think should make a difference for everyone that’s out there.
All right. So, review the ads, making certain that the ads look good, it’s relevant to the context of what the client’s looking to accomplish. Everything’s great from that standpoint. Then, again, we’re sort of in the vein of trying to do an audit in less than 15 minutes, right? So, we’ll come over here to the search keywords. We’ll look at it from a high level at the individual campaign level. Back in the day, we had broad match mod. Right now, it’s phrase match and exact. Right now, Google’s pushing folks to do a little bit more broad match. I don’t recommend that. Start off with phrase and exact. Have all your negative keywords in there. Then, if it makes sense to switch over to broad, because you wanted to show up more often, you can certainly do that, but this is typically what we recommend initially.
So, looking at your search keyword, doesn’t give as much context as go going to your search terms report afterwards, and seeing the actual terms that have been showing up. If you start, if you’re going through this and you know, the context of the account that you’re auditing, and the client itself, you’ll be able to come in here and see the difference between a keyword that is a little bit more out of context than what you expect it to be. In this case, spray foam insulation. You have people that offer the service of a spray foam insulation. Then you have people that are looking to buy spray foam insulation products, like cans and things of that nature, so they want to go like a Home Depot. So, after knowing that, we were able to take a lot of those negative keywords, Home Depot, Lowes, spray paint can, DIY, do it yourself, and limit the waste of a campaign.
If you’re doing an audit, that’s the sort of context that you need as you’re doing such an audit for any client, or doing it for your own organization, or holding another organization accountable. A lot of times when I’m going through such a report, I want to download that report here, and I want to look at it in really great detail, and then weed out the ones that we should absolutely add as negatives when we’re auditing an accounts itself. Then, the last thing, and I know this is kind of quick, gang, but literally this is, was the intent to do this in less than 15 minutes. So, what we’ll also do is we will look at the targeted locations of report. So, this is a little bit more helpful when you’re doing this across all the United States, but even if you’re doing it within a state, you can look at it at the city level, which is pretty sweet.
So, if I switch this over to, I think it’s matched locations, if I’m not mistaken, and if I click there into United States, and I wanted to see like individual city reporting, that’s where I can see kind of like which cities are really bearing fruit for me versus which ones are not. So, I’ll look at this, and this will guide us on what we need to do from, in terms of which cities we should or should not be targeting, or bidding up or bidding less on. You can actually create some various bid adjustments here. There’s some cool stuff that you can do from that standpoint. Yeah, and then the last thing is we do look at the ad schedule, but we’ve kind of already done that, within the segmenting of the campaigns report itself and gang, I kid you not, if you’re performing that sort of an audit, maybe you want to look at some of the recommendations that Google has provided. We do that from time to time.
We don’t always read all of them or act on all of them, but some of them can be helpful, just from a spot-checking perspective, to make sure that you’re doing the right thing that you expect to do during your initial audit phase of an account. But that’s, gang, that’s the playbook right there. I mean, if you’re doing those things, you are absolutely in a good place for any client that you’re working with or for your own organization. I mean, there’s a lot of other nuances, but these are the high-level ones that can help you really turn up a good campaign. So, hope this was helpful everyone. Thanks for taking the time. Really appreciate it, and I’ll talk to you soon.