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Maximize SEM performance with a SEM audit

Search engine marketing (SEM) has become an essential component of any digital marketing strategy, especially for businesses looking for cost-effective ways to reach their target audiences on a global scale. However, many advertisers and marketers fail to achieve their goals because they do not have a solid SEM strategy. Indaru reviews your existing search engine marketing accounts to help you improve your results. 

What is an SEM audit & why does your business need one?

An SEM audit is a comprehensive review of your paid search campaigns to identify opportunities and optimize performance. The audit includes an in-depth analysis of your keyword portfolios, ad copy, landing pages, and conversion data. It also assesses your overall SEM strategy and makes recommendations for improvements.

Analyzing your SEM campaigns in detail can help your business identify precise opportunities for improvement of the ROI of your investment.

 Overall, an SEM analysis can be instrumental in correcting aspects of your campaigns that are no longer working, eliminating unnecessary spending and ultimately maximizing the performance of each campaign.

SEM audit checklist

If you’re at a point where your conversions are dwindling, your CTR has stagnated or your ad spend is exceeding sales revenue, it is time to conduct thorough PPC audits. This is an intensive process where we assess various aspects of your search engine marketing strategy to identify areas we can improve on.

1. The account structure

When running an SEM audit, one common issue that can arise is a poorly structured ad account. This can be caused by several factors, but typically happens when an account is set up without a clear strategy in mind. Without a logical structure, it can be difficult to effectively manage an account, leading to wasted ad spend and missed opportunities for capturing leads or sales.

 There are a few key signs that you may have a poorly structured ad account:

  •  Duplicate Keywords: You will be competing with yourself in this instance and lower ROI
  •  Not a clear naming convention to clearly identify the product or the strategy that each ad group or campaign covers
  • Too Many Keywords: If you’ve got hundreds of keywords in an ad group, it is very hard to keep track of what is and is not performing.

 These mistakes can lead to a high volume of low-quality traffic, low CTR, poor conversion rates and little to no ROI from your campaigns.

2. The account configuration

Google Ads offers a great variety of settings to help you optimise your campaigns. These settings can be complex, and it can be difficult to know which ones to use. For example, you can choose bid modifications for different devices, an ad schedule, ad rotations, language targeting and a host of other settings.

Our SEM audit can help you identify which settings are most important for your campaigns, and how to use them to your advantage.

3. Optimization routines

An important aspect to review is your campaign optimization routines. To assess this we will evaluate how often you are making changes to your campaigns, what changes you are making and how you determine whether these updates were successful.

For example, sometimes Google’s system-generated recommendations can hurt your campaign instead of helping it, as opposed to making manual adjustments based on your own insights.

For example, Google may recommend you add certain keywords, change your bidding strategy or increase your budget. However, in our experience, it is best to make these kinds of adjustments yourself as you understand your budget and keywords better than AI.

4. KPIs analysis

Analyze how each KPI is evolving and check if the KPI’s you measure are the correct ones to help you reach your company goals.

5. Review of keywords

As we review your keywords, we consider for example the following:

  • Brand vs non-brand performance
  • Match types
  • Investment concentration
  • Max CPCs paid
  • Long-tail searches
  • Keywords without impressions
  • The use of negative keywords

6. Ad copies

Next, we will conduct an in-depth review of your ads. We will assess every aspect of the ads including copies, landing pages, ad strength, call to actions….

7. Extensions

Google Ads encourages ad extensions which provide the user with pertinent information about your product or service. We will examine whether your business is underutilising this helpful feature. For example, you can activate location extensions for your store/office locations and call extensions to make it easy for potential customers to contact you.

8. Landing pages

Your landing page experience is one of the most important factors in whether your campaign is successful or not. Your landing page is the first impression potential customers will have of your business so you should ensure that it is up to par so as not to lose any leads. We will look at the performance of the different landing pages used.

9. Quality score

The quality score of your ad campaign can have a big impact on your results. A high score means that your ads are relevant to your target audience and are likely to get clicked on. Google will prioritise ads with high-quality scores by showing them more prominently. To improve your quality score, you need to have relevant ads a a great landing page experience.

10. Audiences

None of this matters if your audience targeting is all wrong. If you’re experiencing a low CTR and conversion rate, likely, your targeting is off. We will analyse your audience targeting by looking at how broad/narrow your audience is, interest-based targeting, in-market segments, demographic targeting and how these compare to your existing customer data. This way, we can identify areas where we can improve the effectiveness of your audience targeting strategies.

Why choose Indaru
as your SEM consultant

As experienced search engine advertising consultants, we are well-positioned to provide recommendations to significantly improve your campaign performance and ROI. Our team has a working knowledge of the latest developments in paid advertising such as Performance Max and Hagakure campaigns for Google Ad clients.

We have worked with large corporations where several agencies have worked on ad accounts over the years, resulting in complex and messy structures and settings. We are experts in making sense of the mess and as unbiased outsiders, we have no affiliation with any agency.