Start The New Year With A PPC Health Check: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my PPC Health Check series! In part 1, I covered account structure, settings, conversion tracking and budgets. Today’s piece will help you understand the areas you need to be checking with regard to keywords, ads and performance.

Reviewing a campaign properly isn’t something that is done in 20 minutes — you’ll need to spend hours checking these things over in detail, depending on how large your account is. Please keep this in mind when checking over your own accounts.


Click to enlarge.

As a further point on ad extensions, below is a great example of an ad that almost has it all (for the adventure holiday company Alpine Elements). Social extensions and seller reviews are missing, but it’s making use of some great image extensions that show the core areas of their business: call extensions, communication extensions, site links and site link descriptions.

If only all ads could take up this much space! You’ll mostly only be able to achieve this on your brand terms as they’ll always be in high positions, but it’s worth trying to add all these extensions to all your campaigns.

Extensions 1

Here’s an example of an ad with seller reviews and social extensions. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? These kind of extensions really make a brand stand out as trustworthy and reliable, and will almost certainly be leading more people to click on one advert over another.

Extensions 2

This PPC Health Check series has just covered the main areas you should be looking into — but there are also many other charts you could run for your account to determine whether it’s still in a healthy state or not with regard to performance. This post is primarily focused on paid search campaigns; you will need to look at some additional factors when analyzing campaigns on the Google Display Network.

While this series has focused on settings and the fundamentals of any campaign, it’s important to note that to improve performance in your campaign’s year-on-year, you need to be taking advantage of the many new campaign types that are available such as dynamic search ads, product listing ads, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) and dynamic remarketing. These will all help you gain additional market share in the year ahead.

Features within AdWords change frequently so it’s important to sign up to regular AdWords newsletters (and watch this column) to be kept updated on anything new that might be useful for your account. If you stay stagnant for too long you’ll be left behind in this industry and end up miles behind your competitors; regular knowledge updating and health checks are a necessity!