The Mother Of Optimizations: Organizing Your AdWords Audit

Before you dive into your audit, you need get organized. Getting prepared before drilling down into the 5 pillars of optimizations will ensure that you’re approaching your optimizations in an organized and methodical way—always a plus! Follow these five steps for organizing your data:


1.) Identify Account Goals

Simply put, why are you running an AdWords account? It’s good to revisit this simple question in advance of diving into the data. Here are some of the most common reasons for running an AdWords account. Check off the ones that apply to your business:

  • Lead Generation — You generate online leads for offline conversions
  • E-commerce Sales – You sell products online
  • Branding – You use AdWords to generate awareness


2.) Identify The Key Performance Indicators (KPIS) Associated With Each Goal

Each of these goals are measured by a specific metric or set of metrics.


  • Lead Generation — You measure conversion volume, CPA. (You may even have specific values associated with conversions from different sources based on the relative quality of the leads, but, at minimum, you’ll be looking at how many leads you receive, and how much you’re paying per lead.)
  • E-commerce Sales – You measure profit. (There are many ways to measure e-commerce performance, but don’t forget that the ultimate goal is profit. If you have target CPAs or ROAS goals, that’s fine. Just remember that neither tell the whole story.)
  • Branding – You measure traffic quality, micro-conversions. (Engagement metrics are things like: Bounce Rate, Time on Site, etc. You should also be measuring harder conversion actions called ‘micro-conversions’ that indicate significant user actions, short of completing a macro-conversion—viewed a key page, watched a video, downloaded an e-book)


3.) Factor In External Elements Before You Begin

This is very important. You must consider your data in context. Always. Think about the bigger picture:

  • Market Changes – Have you experienced any across-the-board fluctuations in demand? Has your inventory changed? What can you point to within the market in which your business is operating which might affect your AdWords performance?
  • Business Goals – Are there big changes happening in your company? New management? New directions for products, services, marketing and advertising strategies?
  • PPC / Market Competition – Do you have new competitors advertising with AdWords, resulting in higher CPCs? Is your market becoming more saturated across all advertising channels?
  • Seasonality – Does your business experience significant fluctuations in performance based on the time of year?


4.) Look At Your AdWords Account History

Don’t forget to consider any major events in the history of your AdWords account itself that may obfuscate performance insights over time. If you’re seeing major spikes, dips, or other oddities in your long term performance trends, understand what caused them before you begin:


  • New Management — This often means a different strategy and style, potentially resulting in huge performance swings.
  • New Channels — For example, adding Display Network targeting to your channel portfolio will mean a lot more traffic.
  • New Products and Services — You significantly expanded your product line or suite of services at some point


5.) Confirm That Your Data Is Accurate

Compare AdWords data to Google Analytics data (or your preferred analytics solution) to make sure there aren’t any significant discrepancies which might suggest there’s some issue with your tracking.



Five Steps for Getting Organized:


  • Identify Account Goals
  • Identify The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Associated With Each Goal
  • Factor In External Elements Before You Begin
  • Look At Your AdWords Account History
  • Confirm That Your Data Is Accurate