Pay Per Click 8 mins read

What is a PPC Audit?

Whether pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a huge piece of your marketing strategy or a tactic you haven’t yet explored, a PPC audit can provide valuable insights. 

We recommend conducting audits for all advertising channels to track ongoing campaign performance, but a PPC audit is especially helpful for getting the most out of your paid search efforts.

In this article we will cover:

  • What is pay-per-click advertising?
  • What does a PPC audit look for?
  • Why should you conduct a PPC audit?
  • Should you conduct a PPC audit if you haven’t launched PPC campaigns yet?
  • How to conduct a PPC audit.


What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay-per-click advertising is a digital marketing channel that drives traffic to your website from search engines. PPC advertisers run ads on a search engine’s platforms, including Google Ads and Bing Ads. Companies using this channel only pay when a user actually clicks on one of the ads.


Why PPC Advertising Could Work for Your Brand

There are many pros to running PPC ads, which is why it is such a popular marketing tool. 

The benefits of PPC advertising compared to other channels include:

  • Easy to get set up and start running ads
  • Straightforward measurement and reporting
  • Full control over budget spend and when ads run
  • Allows for audience hyper-targeting
  • Advertise using a variety of ad formats


PPC vs. SEO: Are They Comparable?

PPC and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seem to run circles around each other in marketing conversations, but they are very different marketing channels. While both PPC and SEO involve getting clicks from search engines, PPC clicks are paid, and SEO clicks are free and organic. 

Another major difference is how quickly both produce results. Pay-per-click ads start generating traffic right away, whereas SEO efforts generally take more time to rank in search results organically – sometimes months.

Rather than comparing these two channels head to head, we like to look at them as two pieces of a comprehensive and effective marketing puzzle. Brands should consider both SEO content and paid advertising to maximize brand awareness and website traffic.


What Does a PPC Audit Look For?

Audits of paid advertising channels should give a comprehensive view of all aspects of campaigns, budgets, and individual ads. PPC audits should be broken down into sections that detail best practices, identify wasted spend, review ad copy, and evaluate landing page relevance. They should also wrap up with recommendations for future campaigns and opportunities for expansion.


Why Should You Conduct a PPC Audit?

Things change rapidly with digital marketing, which may impact your organization more quickly than you expect. Conducting a PPC audit is a great way to make sure accounts are being managed correctly, and that campaigns are fully optimized for conversions (or other desired actions).

PPC audits are important because they help locate inefficiencies within your PPC channels that your organization may not have noticed otherwise. 

Conducting a PPC audit can reveal:

  • Reasons why campaign costs have increased in recent months
  • Missed opportunities for keyword and campaign gaps
  • Why a PPC campaign has stopped producing results
  • How existing campaigns that are performing well could do even better

Each of these revelations will provide valuable insights to your marketing team, and should help you adjust your budget to be more efficient and effective.



How to Conduct a PPC Audit

There are many online providers of free PPC audits, but we caution against relying solely on them as they are not customized for your paid media strategy, industry, or product. This is because these tools are based on automated templates that don’t take into account your individual business goals and the intricacies of your brand.

Our team is a certified Google Ads Partner, and each campaign manager is individually certified. We are standing by to conduct a custom PPC audit that takes your whole business into account. Let us show you the value in reporting from a niche team of experts, not an automated “free tool.” 

what is a ppc audit


How We Break Down Our PPC Audits

Best Practices

We detail the campaign and account structure, audience location targeting and usage, and the average KPIs for your brand’s industry.


Identified Wasted Spend

We break down your budget spend by analyzing ad schedules, keyword match types, and bidding strategies.


Ad Copy Review

Now we look at the details within campaigns: ad formats and usage, the effectiveness of different calls to action, and ad extensions.


Landing Page Relevance

In this section, we will talk about keyword density and context as well as page speed insights for landing pages.



The last section of our PPC audit provides detailed recommendations and identified opportunities for the expansion of campaigns moving forward. We will give insights that will directly increase your campaigns’ conversion rates, optimize ad relevance, and suggest optimal bid adjustments.


What if You Haven’t Launched PPC Campaigns Yet?

If you haven’t yet launched your PPC campaigns, or you haven’t even made a Google Ads account, our team can provide a PPC Outline as a starting point – this details the hierarchy of campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads. 

Our approach to new account creation for brands just starting out in pay-per-click advertising will focus on best practices, high-value keywords, campaign creative suggestions, and ad implementation recommendations. 

This initial launch plan will lay the groundwork for you to build and scale your PPC channel, leaving you feeling confident that you’re setting your campaigns up to generate cost-effective results.

For more information about how a PPC audit can benefit your company’s marketing efforts, send us a note with your goals and pain points to!




Does PPC Help SEO?

PPC and SEO are two different marketing techniques used to increase brand awareness and traffic to the website. Though PPC doesn’t directly help SEO efforts, both should be used in tandem as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy because they produce different results.

Is PPC or SEO Better for Marketing?

PPC and SEO are both great digital techniques that move you toward your marketing goals in different ways. SEO is an important strategy for boosting your website’s authority and ranking in organic search results. PPC is a great way to get your brand at the top of search results with relevant audiences. SEO may take longer than PPC to generate results, but it increases the value of your brand’s website and can be a cost-effective way to boost web traffic.

How Often Should you Audit PPC Campaigns?

PPC campaigns should be audited at least once a year, but audits can really maximize efficiency when they are conducted quarterly. This is because advertising channels frequently update their terms, policies, creative formats, and reporting capabilities. Additionally, your brand may change, add new content, or stop providing certain services over time that should be incorporated into active campaigns.

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About the author

Alexa Parker launched Crimson Park Digital in 2018 with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for digital marketing. With nearly ten years in the industry, she's been fortunate to learn from the best mentors, work on inspiring campaigns, and fine-tune her craft. Now, along with my team, she provides expertise to clients across the country and enjoys every day of it.