Audit of Google Ads account for IT company


Services provided by adburo: audit
Senior PPC Manager
Max Tarabashchuk
IT company from Cyprus which provide hosting and virtual servers services. Google Ads campaigns were managed internally.

What to do?
Despite the fact that overall results were good enough, client needed both to find out if there were any points of growth and make an audit of skills of current marketing manager.

What has been done?
We conducted an audit of Google Ads account and built strategy and recommendations how to improve results and what to optimize in all processes.

Our recommended improvements can lead to 20-40% results’ growth. It varies between 700$ - 1400$ saved per month considering client’s budget and minor changes in level of bids.
3 active ads in each ads group
There should be 3 active ads in each ads group. Different ads should be tested since their effectiveness usually vary. If all the advantages are included in one ad, then it is worth making its copies and test updated headlines.

Only one ad in each ads group

More than 5 advantages in each ad
Ads have to be informative and include competitive advantages. To add more headlines is recommended by Google, 15 on average. However, it’s not always possible to add 15 headlines, so 5 is a minimum.

Client had enough info in ads

2 calls to action
There has to be 2 or more calls to action in each of the ad. It requires user to do some kind of action, like to leave email or sign up. As a result, it can increase number of needed actions on website.

Clients’ ads didn’t have any of calls to action

4 descriptions in each of the ad
It’s advisable to describe an offer in detail up to 90 symbols. It’s highly recommended to write all 4 descriptions in most of the cases.

Client had 2 descriptions in each ad

Operator {KeyWord:}
This operator makes it possible to write down a keyword in the ad’s headline which caused this ad to be shown in Google search. It can influence CTR since users will pay more attention to ad and click on it. However, if there aren’t enough negative keywords in Google Ads account, then ads can be shown to users whose search query differs a lot from a keyword which caused this ad to be shown. In that case there would be included a phrase into an ad which is irrelevant for a user’s search query.

Client incorrectly used this operator. For example, search query “contabo” is third popular for keyword “vps server” in Ads campaign VPS [Ukraine] and Ad group “Linux”. It means that in ads in two lines there is a “vps server”, while user searches for “contabo”.
Ads extensions
Ads extensions help highlight ads among competitors. The more extensions are used, the more visible ads. It means that ads take up more space on screen and can displays your competitors. Hence, it is important to add all possible extensions and plan their content.
Attached pics don’t have any meanings and are needed only to attract attention. No logo or text can be added there.

Extension added

Additional links
Allow to add links to a website page with additional description. For example, for general inquiries service center advertising, you can add links to 4-6 most popular services, or to the advantages of the advertised product.
  • Apart from mandatory headline and webpage address it’s recommended to add 2 lines in description.
  • It’s recommended to add no less than 4 links
Client had similar additional links for all campaigns. To add them on campaign level rather than on account level would be better. Account management will be easier this way. Meanwhile some of clients’ additional links were added on group level, while others on campaigns level.
✅ Descriptions are added
❌ Only 3 links are added

Clarifications usually indicate additional information or advantages. 4+ clarifications are recommended to add.

Clarifications are added. 6 clarifications in each company.

Structured description
This type of description includes types of services, brands, clarifications.

Descriptions are added to all campaigns

Phone number
Phone number is added for ads growth in Ukraine. It’s unlikely that the user will click on the number before reading the information on the site. It is desirable to add a number, but its absence is not critical.

Phone number isn’t added. But it’s irrelevant taking into account business specific.

Business location. It’s recommended to add address if there’s a branch.

Location isn’t added. But it’s irrelevant for client’s business.

Products’ prices can be indicated in a few currencies only. In Ukrainian UAH is impossible. It’s worth indicating it if price is in dollars for example.
Prices aren’t added but it’s better to check if it makes sense.

Information about promotions or special offers.
Add if there are any.

General comments/advise
Decide which ads are needed and which are irrelevant.
remove extensions at the group level, and add campaign levels for more convenient management.
Account settings
Automatic tagging.
A setting which tracks ads campaigns’ effectiveness in Google Analytics.


Tracking template.
A template which helps to automatically add information about a keyword, group, campaign, etc. to all ads, which worked. This setting is optional
Опція не є обов’язковою because it’s needed to track the results of Google Ads in third-party services. For example, in the Ringostat call tracking service or in any other.
✅ ❌
Not configured but there might be no need.

Google Analytics and Google Ads integration.
Google Analytics is used for website’s users’ behavior tracking. Including useful actions execution: calls, request, etc. It’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising without data exchange between these tools.

Data transfer was configured.

Conversion tracking.
Tracking of preferable actions on the website: calls, purchases, applications. If you don't have conversion tracking, you won't be able to measure the performance of your ads.
✅ ❌
Single conversion tracking was set up. Client should probably set up micro conversions. That is, those that are not the final goal, but signal the visitor's involvement. For example: domain verification, "Order" button

Google Tag Manager.
Google tool which helps to conveniently connect other services to website and set up more accurate tracking of user behavior than through Google Analytics. For example: scrolling depth, click on a specific button, time on the site.

Google Tag Manager was connected

Conversion settings.
If only conversions are tracked by Google Tag Manager, then second and third points could be adjusted. But if conversions are tracked by Google Analytics, then only first point will be adjustable.

1. Calculation of conversion by clicks period. It may take some. Some time may pass between click and conversion. For example, user could have clicked on ads and went to website but haven’t done a needed action. Then he came back later through the search query and thus influence conversion. So as to track such conversions with a delay you need to specify a period of 30 days or more.
2. Calculation of conversion by impressions period. Same as in the previous point but user has only seen the ad without clicking on it. Then we do everything the same way. Conversion is performed later. It’s preferable to monitor which advertisement influenced user to do a required action. Period should be at least 30 days.
3. Conversion attribution model. For example, user went to website on Monday through a different keyword and influenced conversion. On Wednesday he went through another keyword and influenced conversion. Attribution model - this is a conditional distribution of value between these keywords. If there was no first transition, then there could be no second transition either. To better understand the value of different advertising, we specify a linear attribution model, or just basing on data.
✅ Calculation of conversion by clicks period is 30 days
❌ Calculation of conversion by impressions period is 3 days. Better to set up 30 instead
✅ One of the recommended attribution models is selected

Conversion calculation mode.
For example, if you run a web shop, then it’s preferable to track each purchase. Or if you provide services like building construction, then applications left secondly most probably
will be left to clarify some information by those who left an application before and have already been included into statistics. Such repeated applications should not be considered. When counting conversions, you need to specify whether each conversion is counted or just one.

One conversion is included into calculation
Quality indicator.
Quality indicator is calculated from three other indicators: relevance of the ad, the expected CTR, the quality of the landing page. The higher the indicator, the lower cost of advertisement and more chances to win in auction among competitors. Not all of the keywords could have high quality indicator. However, we pay attention to keywords which quality rate is lower than 7.

1. General estimation
2. Advertisement relevance
3. CTR
4. Landing page quality
Out of 214 active keywords, 91 have a quality indicator

1. 51 keywords among them are below 7.
2. Level of relevance is lower than on average and equals 61 keywords
3. Forecasted CTR is lower than average with 27 keywords
4. Landing page quality below average with 9 keywords

Low CTR.
CTR - the ratio of the number of clicks on the ad to the impressions of the ad. The higher the CTR, the more conversions you can get from existing impressions. Absence of some of the negative keywords, low keyword rate or low keyword relevance for ads can result in low indicator. We estimate keywords which brought more then 30 impressions during the period and has CTR lower than 7%.
In the last 30 days (as of 08/25), more than 30 impressions received 117 keywords. 99 out of them have a CTR below 7%.

Client doesn’t have lots of negative keywords. For example, keyword “vps” brought 2 604 impressions. 3 948
У вас не додано багато мінус-слів. Наприклад ключове слово “vps” дало 2 604 показів. Out of З 948 of the queries returned by this keyword only 431 have “vps” in the text. It means that the display of advertising is not accurate.

Negative keywords’ lists.
You can select a set of words for each business that describe a service that company doesn’t provide. For example, company provides full cycle apartment renovation and doesn’t repair separate parts of it. While user may be looking for “kitchen renovation Kyiv”. These separate parts of apartment which users may be searching for can be added to negative keywords list. Hence, reduce the costs.

It’s possible to add negative keywords with questions in most cases like “what is”, “how to”, “why” and etc. Or locations like towns, countries.
✅ ❌
Client created 3 negative keywords lists. Hosting list “.ru”/”.ua” added to 2 campaigns out of 3. “Windows” list isn’t added to any of the campaigns.
It’s better to add a list of questions and more negative keywords in total. You can add a few hundreds of them.

Keywords match types in search campaigns.
There are 3 match types in Google: broad, phrase and exact matches. Broad one can bring advertisement for irrelevant searches. For example, you run a car service and added a keyword “car repair in Kyiv”, whereas ads are shown for those who searches “fridge repair”. This type can be used but it’ll be time-consuming for you to add negative keywords after that. Exact match type brings ads with exactly the same keyword in a search query.
A disadvantage can be considered the fact that the keyword "car repair Kyiv" can be added, the user entered "car repair in Kyiv prices" and ad did not appear. Phrase match type is used more frequently as it’s more flexible. We manage it the next way: attach keywords in phrase match to ads and add and update negative keywords. Then we can test other match types.
✅ ❌
Client used broad match together with automatic rates assignment. It’s recommended by Google. It requires you to add negative keywords on every day basis or use phrase match which is more precise at the first time.

Keywords’ duplicates
If same keywords are added in different groups or campaigns, it may result in incorrect ads’ display. Different ads should be written for different groups. It increases quality score and decrease cost per click. If ad display comes from a different group than should be, then a click will be more costly and ads account management more complex.

Keywords are duplicated in different campaigns but they might have different location targeting.

Groups segmentation
Keywords have to be divided by groups. There’re different segmentation ways but the most popular is keyword segmentation into groups based on user intent. For example, user can search for apartment renovation using general keywords “apartment renovation Kyiv”, “apartment renovation cost”. But some may add details like “apartment renovation calculator”, “renovation of bathroom in Kyiv”, “repair of secondary housing in Kyiv”. These details should be added to different keywords’ groups. Ads have to vary as well. And would be great if different relevant landing pages would be created.

Client has segmentation by operational system type. However, in “Linux” group there are keywords without the word “linux”. It’s worth dividing keywords into "windows", "linux", and "general" groups. It means that requests without specifying the OS should be placed in a separate group. Thus, it will be possible to track more clearly which segment of keywords gives which results.

Cross negative keywords among groups
If keywords are already segmented into groups using negative keywords at the group level, you need to get the ad serving to work correctly. Based on the example mentioned above, let’s assume that we have keywords group with general renovation search queries – “apartment renovation general” and another group “apartment renovation calculator”. The word “calculator” has to be a negative one for the first group. In that case, if user searches for apartment renovation with approximate cost calculation, then he’ll get an ad from correct group. Otherwise, ads may be displayed from any of the groups.

Client didn’t have enough negative keywords in “windows” group in “VPS [Ukraine]” campaign

Report on search queries
This report shows exact Google search queries which user has used to click on the ad. It’s highly recommended to check it regularly, add matching queries and add negative keywords based on queries which don’t match.

1. All one-word queries should be added to negative keywords list. For the last 30 days there are 206 queries in “windows” group and “VPS [Ukraine]” campaign.
2. Negative keywords with competitors have to be added.
  1. Add suitable requests like “vps server”.
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