A Google Ads audit is a routine wellness check into your Google Ads account, exploring the latest assets, tools, functions, settings, and campaign types within the platform.
Basically, a Google Ads audit determines whether your ads are set up for success — but it’s easy to forget about.
Before we explain when to audit a Google Ads account, let’s start by exploring the benefits of a Google Ads audit.
4 Key Benefits of a Google Ads Audit
We could go on and on about the many benefits of performing a Google Ads audit, but for brevity’s sake, we’ll stick to the four most important ones.
1. Identify Wasted Money
When we perform Google Ads audits for our clients, wasted ad spend is the first thing we look for — because we always find it.
This is the most important metric because wasting money isn’t an option. We treat our clients’ ad spend like it’s our own. No business wants to throw money away.
2. Identify Outdated Strategies
Outdated strategies can hurt your campaign by costing you money through lost conversions. For example, CPC and click-based bid strategies are about two years old and don’t perform as well as business owners often hope.
3. Identify Outdated Campaigns
Over the years, Google has sunset several ad campaign types, including Local Campaigns. If you’re still running these, they’ve automatically updated to Performance Max, but they weren’t automatically optimized. Unfortunately, this means they probably aren’t working well for you.
Expanded Ad Copy is another example. These ads are so outdated that Google doesn’t even run them anymore. In this case, you’re not losing money on underperforming ads; you simply think you’re running ads when, in reality, you’re not.
4. Identify Broken or Missing Tracking
A good audit will reveal missed tracking opportunities in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). If you’ve made changes to your website or landing pages, or if you’ve never set tracking up, an audit identifies related tracking issues so you can address them promptly.
Why is tracking important? First, you can’t measure the success of your ads without good tracking. Second, poor tracking reduces Google’s ability to optimize your ads, making your campaigns less effective.
When to Audit a Google Ads Account
If you’re not running ads, then (of course) you don’t need an audit. Additionally, if you’ve had an audit in the last six months, you don’t need to do another.
Everyone else running Google Ads could benefit from an audit today.
The following four signs are specific indicators that your business could benefit from a Google Ads audit soon.
Four Signs You Need to Audit Your Google Ads Account
Sign #1: You Haven’t Audited in Over 12 Months
The industry standard used to be to audit every two years. However, when it comes to Google Ads, things change so quickly now that we strongly recommend performing a full audit every 12 months. It’s a better way to stay on top of your ad campaign health.
Sign #2: You See New or Unfamiliar Functions on the Google Ad Platform
If you see anything you haven’t seen before on the Ads Platform, it’s a good indication that you should perform at least a light audit. It’ll help uncover potential opportunities or new functionalities to leverage.
Sign #3: You Notice Performance Trending Down Over Time
While seasonal trends are typical, such as a big uptick in conversions before summer camps, your numbers overall should stay consistent.
If you see a steady decline that impacts your revenue month-over-month — for example, if your performance went from 500% to 100% over the past six months — that’s a sign of a bigger problem, and a sign to perform an audit.
Sign #4: You Have New Competitors in Your Area
If you have new competitors in your area, they may be taking away from your impression share and ad placement. Even if you haven’t seen their ads, you need to determine whether they’re running ads that affect your campaigns, cost per click, impressions, and share of the ad space in the market.
Learning about your competition can help you reevaluate and revise your own campaigns as needed to further differentiate yourself in a more crowded market.
If You Don’t Manage Your Own Ads, Invest in an Outside Audit
One of the best investments you can make in your business is to have an outside audit done on your Google Ad account every six to 12 months.
We love audits. Here’s why:
- Audits may uncover something your account manager missed. This isn’t about blame. It’s about getting more qualified eyes on your account with a different perspective to find more opportunities and every potential problem.
- Everything in Google Ads costs money. It’s a great investment of a few hundred dollars to make sure you’re capitalizing on every possible asset and your account is in the best possible shape.
- Audits give you peace of mind. You know you’re doing everything possible to maximize and optimize your ads.
- We believe in transparency. When we partner with clients, we want them to know we’re handling their accounts like our own. That’s why we encourage third-party audits.
- Paid ads have so many moving parts, and even the most capable professional can miss something here or there. We always strive to do our best. Sometimes, that means partnering with other professionals.
So, when is the best time to audit your Google Ads account? Right now! And then every 12 months after.
We hope this post has convinced you, because we want your ads to do their absolute best for your business.
Once you decide it’s time, give us a call. We’d love to help!
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