The Mother of Optimizations: Audit AdWords Ads

Your ads are the doorway through which the customer walks to reach your website and eventually become your customer. They often facilitate the user’s introduction to your brand, and represent a number of unique opportunities beyond organic search to deliver a better experience by connecting the user to what they want faster. Here are you top factors to consider when auditing ads.


Audit your ads and make adjustments based on the following suggestions:


  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling — Needless to say, your ads should not contain misspelled words. When working in big accounts with lots of ads being added on a regular basis, it’s often easier to sacrifice quality for quantity. Don’t do that. Make sure all ads meet a high standard in these areas.
  • 30 Characters or more per description line — Studies show that ads with more filled-out description lines perform better. Each description line allows for 35 characters. Be sure to use at least 30 per line.


Full ad description lines



  • Strong Call-to-Action — Studies also show that ads featuring action-based language do better. Experiment with CTAs like ‘Buy Now’, ‘Learn More’, and ‘Sign Up’.




  • Accurately represents landing page experience — Make sure your ads correspond closely to the landing pages to which they lead. This is important for Quality Score, and, more fundamentally, to ensuring that the user finds what they’re looking for when they reach your site.
  • Expired offers and prices — Be sure that active ads feature current information about offers, discounts, and pricing.
  • Sitelinks and other extensions — Run call, offer, review, app, location, and sitelink extensions with your ads.
  • Sitelink Descriptions — Add another 70 characters to each of your sitelinks. Sitelink descriptions basically mean five ads in one (usually, only four will run, plus your primary ad). This means bigger ads for higher CTR, and more options for product descriptions, deals, shipping information, other company info, and more landing page flexibility.


Sitelink Descriptions

  • Consistent Inter-capitalization — That may only be a world in Googleland, but it’s been found that ads perform better when all words in the ad are capitalized.
  • Correct ad rotation setting — Optimize for clicks, conversions, or rotate evenly settings. Choose which is right for you.
  • A/B testing — Run multiple ad variations consistently for continual progress toward finding high performing ads and ad elements.
  • At least two creates per ad group — Run at least two ads at once, minimum.
  • Dynamic keyword insertion where logical — DKI is great, but make sure it’s being used strategically and correctly. For example, don’t use DKI when buying keywords that wouldn’t make sense as part of your ad, such as sentence fragments. Also, it’s always a good idea to test DKI ads against static ads.
  • Check ad delivery settings —  Two options: Standard (ads serve evenly throughout the day), and Accelerated (Ads serve at maximal exposure until daily budget is reached).
  • All image sizes included for GDN image ads — Not all placements on the GDN allow all ad sizes. To maximize exposure of your image ads, be sure to include your image ads in all size variations.


Checklist For Auditing Ad Messaging


  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • 30 Characters or more per description line
  • Strong Call-to-Action
  • Accurately represents landing page experience
  • Expired offers and prices
  • Sitelinks and other extensions
  • Consistent Inter-capitalization
  • Correct ad rotation setting
  • A/B testing
  • At least two creates per ad group
  • Dynamic keyword insertion where logical
  • Check ad delivery settings
  • All image sizes included for GDN image ads





Certified Knowledge AdWords Audit: Ads


Better Ads, Better Performance:


AdWords Optimizations Guide