PPC Account Cleanup: Self-Audit

The other day on #ppcchat there was a good discussion on account cleanup and Matt Umbro posed the following question:

There was a lot of discussion around account audits and how those should be done, but a recurring theme seemed to be the idea of bringing in a 2nd set of eyes.

That could be your coworker or a friend, but it got me reminiscing on my experience as a 1-man PPC band. When I was the only guy I didn’t have anyone I could easily turn to and say “Hey, can you look this over for a few minutes and let me know what changes you would recommend?” If you’re the only person in your company doing PPC, you might be in the same situation as well. So I decided that I would write a self-audit for all the lone wolves out there who could use a hand.

PPC Account Cleanup Self-Audit

The format is primarily question-based, but I recommend you document the audit. Trust me. Mentally going down the list will only get you about 10% of the benefit. This should take some time. Start by copying these questions into a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet and then document answers.

Conversion Tracking

  1. List every conversion being tracked in the account and ask the following:
    • What is this tracking?
    • Is the tracking set up correctly?
    • Do the numbers in the interface match your analytics? The back end system? (i.e. Salesforce, Magento, Shopify, etc.)
    • Am I optimizing toward this conversion?
    • Am I reporting on this conversion?
    • If you answered no to either of the 2 questions above, consider deleting. This is likely clutter.
  2. How much is each conversion worth? Or another way, what is the target CPA for this conversion?
  3. When you hand a report to the client (or your boss) are you willing to stake your job to the numbers?

Campaign Settings

  1. Is the naming convention consistent?
  2. Is the naming convention helpful for navigation/reporting/organization?
  3. Are networks segmented appropriately for the campaign objective?
  4. Is geotargeting correct?
  5. Is geotargeting consistent?
  6. Are language settings correct & consistent?
  7. Look at your bid strategy: Is this the best method to accomplish you goals?
  8. Is your delivery method correct & consistent?
  9. If set to “Standard” you might consider using “Accelerated” and then setting up dayparting to control budget.
  10. Look at ad delivery settings: Is this the best setting for your ad testing?

Bid Modifiers

  1. Are you using location bid modifiers?
    • How were they chosen/set? When was that done?
    • Do they need to be updated/modified?
  2. Are you using time of day bid modifiers?
    • How were they chosen/set? When was that done?
    • Do they need to be updated/modified?
  3. Are you using device bid modifiers
    • How were they chosen/set? When was that done?
    • Do they need to be updated/modified?
  4. Note that bid strategies such as Conversion Optimizer will override these settings

Ad Copy & Ad Testing

  1. Do you have at least 2 ads running in every active ad group?
    • If no, why?
  2. How many elements of the ad are being tested?
    • If more than one, how will you determine which change is producing the change?
  3. Are you testing big changes or small changes?
    • Does this need to change?
  4. Is ad copy relevant to your keywords?
  5. Is ad copy relevant to the landing page?
    • Read the ad and then literally click on the ad in the interface and go to the landing page to simulate the user experience.


  1. Are you using broad keywords?
    • If yes, do you have a specific reason?
    • Further if yes, do you have numerous negative keywords in the same ad group/campaign as those broad keywords?
  2. What is the mix between broad, modified broad, phrase and exact match?
  3. When was the last time you reviewed the search terms report?
    • Pick your most clicked keyword over the last 30 days and look at the search terms right now. Add negative keywords as necessary.
  4. Do you have converting search terms that aren’t keywords?
    • Consider adding them or creating a new ad group for them.


Obviously we could keep going, but this covers the core areas of a PPC account. These questions should help you simulate having another set of eyes. Good luck and let me know what you would add.