How to make a Google Ads account audit in 7 steps

A Google Ads account audit is a great way to ensure you're hitting your targets and using ad spend wisely. But what are the seven steps to take to unlock your ad performance?

Everyone wants their Google Ads to perform well. They are a vital source of site visitors, leads, and sales revenues. However, many businesses have disorganized, poorly performing ads despite their importance.

Sometimes this is your fault because of how you set up the account. In other scenarios, it’ll be because you’re taking over from someone else. But this article isn’t about pointing the finger of blame; it’s about finding a solution to a problem.

Here is a step-by-step guide to running a Google Ads audit so you can unlock the potential of PPC advertisement.


1. Define your goals

Any process begins with defining what you want to get out of it. Running a Google Ads account audit is no different.

Some of the most common goals of a Google Ads account audit are things like:

  • Lowering CPA (Cost per action)
  • Increasing conversions
  • Reducing CPC (Cost per click)
  • Whatever your aims, write them out before the audit. It will help you keep focused.


2. Evaluate your recent performance

Next up, you should analyze your Google Ads’ recent performance. You don’t need to go back for more than one or two months. That should be enough time for you to notice any significant changes.

Track the goals that you defined in step 1. For example, look at how your CPC has gone up or down. Where possible, try and identify what caused these changes in performance.


3. Check your account structure

It’s time to get technical. A well-structured Google Ads account makes it far easier to make changes and allocate your budget.


The best-run Google Ad campaigns segment each campaign. You can segment your campaign via:

  • keywords
  • goals
  • different services you offer
  • locations

Taking a more granular approach will give you more control and insight into campaign performance.

Single Keyword Ad Groups

Instead of running all your keywords together, Single Keyword Ad Groups can make your ad accounts more specific and easier to:

  • manage
  • modify
  • measure
  • optimize

Target one network at a time

Google Ads lets you target either Search Networks, Display Networks, or both.

However, depending on your product or service, you can burn through your budget quite quickly with both on.

So think about your product and only use Display Network if visuals are a big part of your selling point.


Run the right amount of ads

Run approximately three responsive search ads per group. This number is about right and allows you to test the quality of each ad without splitting your traffic too much and skewing results.


Think about location

If you run ads that target different geographic segments, you need to split them up to maximize ROI. One ad group that covers several time zones or locations won’t be able to optimize bidding based on local factors.

So split your ads out to make them more effective.


4. Take care of the little details

We’ve covered the fundamentals, but there are a few little things that go into creating a successful Google Ads campaign.

Conversion tracking: It’s essential to set up conversion tracking. It’s the only way you can tell how your ads are doing. Of course, you’ll need to tell Google what you consider a conversion. That could be app downloads, local actions, website actions, etc.

Remarketing: Lots of your website visitors won’t convert. It’s just the nature of sales. However, you can use remarketing to convert prospects and stay at the top of their mind.

Explore bid strategies: You can use Google’s AI to optimize your bid amounts. When you have enough data, this can be very effective at delivering ads to the right people.

Bid adjustment can also help improve advertisements ROI. Your ads might perform best depending on location, device, audience segments, or times. Get the info and make the adjustments.


5. Measure the metrics that make the most significant impact

In step 1, we advised you to define your Google Ads audit goals. They should be your main focus throughout the process.

However, here are three other key metrics you should track when formulating a successful Google Ads campaign.

Your audit should measure one, or in some cases, all three of these crucial metrics.


Cost per acquisition (CPA)

Cost per acquisition (CPA) divides ad spend by the number of conversions. Conversions can be any desired action, like a lead, website visit, or any other relevant CTA to your business.


Return on ad spend (ROAS)

ROAS is a very straightforward metric. It calculates the ratio of revenue for each dollar of ad spend. For example, if you get $100 business for each $10 of ad spends, your ROAS is 10.

This metric is essential for eCommerce stores, SaaS products, and any business that sells directly to consumers.


Conversion rate

Conversion rate is another simple metric. It divides the number of sales or leads by clicks. For example, if you get 5 deals from 100 clicks, your conversion rate is 5%.

What counts as a reasonable conversion rate from Google Ads depends on many factors, such as your sector, product, and profit margins.

Between these three metrics, you should be able to tell a lot about how effective your Google Ads strategies are. Of course, a lot will depend on your business model, but these measurements should be able to provide good insights into the strength of your ad campaigns.


6. Evaluate other ”minor” metrics

You’ve examined your metrics against your
a) goals
b) the metrics that measure Google Ads’ success.

However, some other metrics are important regarding advertising on Google Ads.

There are three other metrics that you should measure to see how optimized your Google Ads are.

They are:

  • Cost-per-click: this metric measures how much it costs each time a prospect clicks on one of your ads
  • Click-through-rate: this measures how many people click through your ad having seen your ad. For example, if 1000 people see your ad and you get 100 clicks, your click-through rate is 10%.
  • Impression share: impressions share measures the percentage of the total market you are reaching. Increasing this number could increase your sales.
  • Understanding these metrics and how they are related can help drive profitable actions. For example, if your impression share is low, it can explain poor total conversions.

In short, if your click-through rates and conversions are high, it may be wise to get your ads in front of more of your potential audience.


Step 7: Review your ads

As we’ve advocated above, it’s best to break your Google Ads into segments so that you can analyze them and have more control. However, the ads themselves decide what works and what doesn’t.

Some of the things you need to look at are:

Ad copy: Do your ads resonate with the keywords or terms you target? A/B test a few different versions, try out some persuasive copy and different angles.

A/B testing: A/B testing can be applied to more than just your ad copy. You can also use A/B testing to determine how different types of creatives impact your business, for example, which images, videos, colors, etc., work best.

You can use ad rotation to rotate the different versions of your ads and optimize which ones perform best. Sometimes the ads we think work best don’t make an impact, while the ads we feel need work resonate with consumers. Ad rotation provides feedback on what works best.



Performing a Google Ads account audit takes a little time, but it’s well worth it. A messy, unstructured campaign will generally deliver messy results.

So take the time to segment your campaigns, focus on keywords, ensure your creatives work, and A/B test to optimize.

And, of course, when possible, set your Google Ads up correctly from the start. It makes them easier to measure and adjust.

Related content

User-generated content (UGC) is an excellent way of making your brand more visible and engaging your existing and potential users. Let’s explore how and why you need to use it in 2024.
Short-from video will continue to dominate the market in 2024. But what are you meant to do if you don’t have a huge video production budget? Thanks to various innovative video production tools, AI could provide the answer.
Identifying content gaps helps you provide your target audience with more relevant, in-depth, and valuable content. But what tools are out there to help you do the job? Let’s explore the five most effective content gap analysis tools.

In this article

Stay updated

Get on the (email) list!

Stay updated

Join our newsletter