Is Your Ad Account Just Wasting Money Away?

Don’t wait – identify performance bottlenecks and discover the growth potential of your Google Ads account today!

Prefer to do it your self?

Want to test yourself against our 100 thoroughly vetted optimization techniques? By all means.

An account audit is a deep dive into your Google Ads account to determine areas that could use further attention or work to improve performance. Conducting a PPC audit for a new client, or even an existing client, is essential to ensure that they are maximizing efficiency in their ad accounts.

If you have sincerely checked and optimized every point below, your account would probably belong in the top 1% of all ad accounts on Google. Take this as a PPC deep clean. It contains the list of the 100 most essential key points to audit inside any Google Ads account.

All of them are actionable. You can do it all on the same day, or in a week. As long as you finish it!

Click on the button below to download this list.

Update: List last updated on 20 January 2022.

Download the PDF Version Here


  1. What are your conversion goals for the company? Can you name them out in a piece of paper?
  2. What are the current conversion goals set inside Google Ads?
  3. Are your company conversion goals and the ones currently inside your Google Ads aligned? If not, why?
  4. Are your ads sending users to the best destination URLs for conversion?
  5. Did you set up conversion tracking correctly? (Pro Tip: Use Google Tag Assistant extension to verify your tags)
  6. Main conversions are not the only thing you can track. Are you also tracking micro-conversions? (That may be email signups or views of a key page. You can assign a value to them and let the machine algorithm optimize for those conversions. Remember, the more you let the algorithm know about your business, the better they can optimize for your results.)
  7. Did you check that the important conversions are included in “conversions”? Google’s machine learning algorithm only uses conversions that are included in the “conversions” tab when optimizing bids.
  8. Did you check your “click-through window” period to ensure that it accurately reflects your business cycle? Google allows advertisers to choose between a 30 to 540-day window. (For most businesses 30 days may be sufficient, but if you are B2B or selling higher priced items, a longer window may be required as customers usually take a longer time to consider a big purchase.)
  9. If you are tracking multiple conversion actions, are you using Google Tag Manager for ease of implementing the codes onto your website? If not, why?
  10. Google Forwarding Number is not available to use in Singapore, are you using 3rd party software to track call conversions?


  1. Are you showing your ads to your targeted audience or set of target personas for your business?
  2. Has your target audience or set of personas changed? If yes, is it updated on your Google Ads audience targeting?
  3. If you are running Display Ads, are you filtering where your Display Ads should not get shown? (You may consider excluding Mobile gaming placements if applicable.)
  4. Have you checked your brand safety tools to prevent your ads from showing on inappropriate sites? You can exclude them by accessing your Campaigns > Settings > Account Settings > Excluded Content in Google Ads.
  5. Have you identified your target audiences and the best way you can reach them? (Eg: Remarketing audiences, demographic, in-market, custom intent, customer match, etc.)
  6. Are you taking advantage of custom and combined audiences to further segment and group your target audiences?
  7. Have you looked into your audience demographic to exclude any potentially high-cost and low return audiences?

Campaign Settings

  1. Do you have a thorough understanding of the various settings you can set on a campaign level? (Eg: Geotargeting, dayparting, campaign level bids, budgets)
  2. Is your geographic targeting appropriate for your business? Do you see any countries or regions in the “locations” tab that you don’t want to appear on?
  3. Is your device targeting appropriate?
  4. Did you check your advanced location settings configured exactly as you want for your audience?
  5. Are the bid strategy, budget, and ad delivery methods set appropriately?
  6. Are you using the most optimal campaigns based on your goals?
  7. Are you regularly reviewing your “Recommendations” tab and applying the useful tips from Google?
  8. Are your campaign structure and ad groups appropriate for your business goals? Do you have too many campaigns or too many ad groups? (Tip: over-segmentation is as bad as under segmentation.)
  9. Did you check if your search campaigns appear on Google only, Google with display network, Google and Search Partners, or all three?
  10. Are you targeting the correct audience language under your campaign settings?
  11. If you are a retailer, are you currently taking advantage of Shopping Campaigns?

Keywords & Search Terms Report

  1. Are the keywords in your ad groups thematically related? (Tip: Try not to have more than 20 keywords per ad group.)
  2. Are there negative keywords in your account?
  3. Does the search query report show any search terms that are not relevant to your business?
  4. Are there terms that have zero conversions yet have high impressions, clicks, and/or spend?
  5. Are there keywords that have low-quality scores?
  6. Are there keywords that have a status of “ineligible” for showing right now? If so, are there any negative matches or other conflicts when you want them to be running?
  7. If using Manual CPCs, are the keyword-specific max CPCs set as the first-page bid?
  8. Are you regularly generating new keyword opportunities from the Search Terms Report?
  9. Did you check that you have added your profitable search terms as keywords?
  10. Are you regularly looking at search terms to generate new negative keywords?
  11. Are you reviewing your Keyword Match types to ensure it’s appropriate? (Tip: broad, phrase, and exact have different matching abilities)
  12. Are you checking if you have accidentally added any negative keywords that are still relevant to your business, or blocking other keywords that you are bidding on? (For eg: adding the negative keyword “free” when you offer free shipping.)
  13. Are you taking advantage of your branded keywords?
  14. Are your campaigns and keywords limited by budget?
  15. Are your keywords and ads impressions limited by ad rank?
  16. Are you working towards a high-quality score across your keywords? (Tip: Quality Score is decided on your landing page experience, ad relevance, and ad CTR)
  17. How often do you monitor the performance of your keywords?
  18. Are you moving your top-performing keywords or ads to a separate ad group or campaign?
  19. Are you cleaning up your keyword list and removing keywords with no impressions and conversions in the past 30/60/90 days?
  20. How many keywords do you currently have in each ad group? Is the number manageable? (Tip: Look for no more than 20 keywords per ad group if possible)
  21. Are the keywords in the same ad group thematically related?
  22. If your ad groups are too large, are you able to further segment your ad groups into more relevant ad groups?
  23. How comprehensive is your negative keywords selection?
  24. Are you taking advantage of negative keyword lists for organization and clarity purposes?
  25. Are your keyword quality scores below 5? If so, are you taking steps to improve it?
  26. Are there any keywords that are just overspending with minimal results? If so, are you removing it?
  27. Are you using too many broad match keywords with a small budget?
  28. In contrast, are you using too many exact match keywords that your ads are not showing up enough?

Ad Groups

  1. Do the ad groups align with each other and complement rather than compete?
  2. Are your best ad groups receiving enough of the ad budget?
  3. Do you have at least a few ads per ad group?
  4. Are you still using Expanded Text Ads (ETA)? If so, are you planning to update them into Responsive Search Ads (RSA)?
  5. Are the naming conventions of your ad groups clear, consistent, and easily understandable?

Ads & Ad Extensions

  1. Are you using dynamic search ads?
  2. Are you including call-to-action (CTA) in ad headlines and testing its effectiveness?
  3. Are there ads with low performance? If so, what can you change in it that can improve its performance? (Tip: Start by testing different headlines.)
  4. Is the landing page following the ad congruent with what the user is looking for?
  5. Are your selected keywords related to your ads?
  6. Do you depend on phone calls for leads? If so, are you taking advantage of call extensions and call-only ads?
  7. Are you making sure that you are using proper spelling and grammar throughout your text and image ads?
  8. Are you writing different types of ads to test the best-performing ones? (Tip: For eg, Price vs Benefits. Features vs Reviews)
  9. Are you labeling your ads for clarity purposes? Especially if you are testing different themes and variations of ads. (Tip: Enable “Label” in your columns.)
  10. Are you using Display Ads? If so, are you currently taking advantage of Smart Display Ads?

Campaign Budgets

  1. Are your campaign budgets planned out and distributed properly?
  2. Is there a specific ad group in your campaign that is taking up most of the budget? If so, did you consider moving it into a separate campaign by itself?
  3. Are you using the Performance Planner to help you see performance forecasts based on your ad budget? In your account, go to Tools > Planning > Performance Planner.
  4. Are any of your high performing campaigns currently limited by budget? (Tip: look to increase the budgets or shift budget from lower performing campaigns to your high performing ones.)


  1. Are you taking advantage of Drafts & Experiments to test different changes to your Campaigns?
  2. Are you taking advantage of predefined reports to quickly identify key optimization areas for your campaigns? (Tip: access it under Reports > Predefined reports.)
  3. Have you linked your Google Search Console to your Google Ads account? Search console is a brilliant tool to identify your organic search terms and any site crawlability issues.
  4. Are you taking advantage of the “Paid & Organic” report inside your predefined reports to find search queries that are not inside your paid campaigns? (Tip: You will need to link your Search Console to Google Ads to see this report.)
  5. Are you taking advantage of Google Ads Scripts for automation of manual tasks? (For example: Pause ads leading to 404 destination URL errors.)
  6. Are you taking advantage of Google Ads Automated Rules to streamline your optimizations? (Pausing low quality keywords, underperforming ads.)
  7. Are you checking if any of your ads have been disapproved by Google? (You can usually see it by clicking on the notification bell icon at the top right of your ad account.)
  8. If the above is yes, then are you currently taking action or talking to Google to resolve the disapproved ads? (If your high performing ads are flagged by Google, it is imperative to get it fixed quickly unless you are willing to take a dive in your KPIs.)
  9. When using Shopping Campaigns, are you regularly checking your Merchant Center for any disapproved products? This can be accessed in the “Diagnostics” section of your Merchant Center.
  10. Do you know that you can use automated rules to automatically pause keywords below a certain Quality Score?
  11. Are your landing pages loading too slow? Have you tested the loading speed of your site on different devices? Test your page speed with Google PageSpeed insights here. What can you do to quickly improve page loading time?
  12. Are you using a Non-Last Click attribution model? A first or last click model is inefficient for most businesses as it does not reflect accurate data.
  13. Google Ads is a fast-moving industry, are you regularly keeping up to date with the latest news and changes being made to the platform?
  14. If you are using Shopping Campaigns, have you checked that your Merchant Center is connected to your Google Ads?
  15. When using smart bidding strategies or smart campaigns, are you giving the machine time to learn and optimize before making changes to it? (Tip: Give 14 days before doing any changes.)
  16. Have you linked your Google Ads to your Google Analytics account?


  1. Are you using remarketing campaigns to capture audiences that have interacted with your business in the past?
  2. If the above answer is yes, are you segmenting out the audiences based on the different behaviors they exhibited on your website?
  3. Did you check the performance of your Display Remarketing campaigns and are they hitting your KPIs?
  4. Are you building thorough remarketing lists based on the user activity on your website that you may value? (For eg: Users who viewed a particular page, added to cart but no checkout, spend 10 mins engaged on your site.)

Bid Strategies

  1. Is your current ROAS or CPA aligned with your targets? If not, what can be done to improve it?
  2. Are you using the right bidding strategies that are aligned with your business goals?
  3. Are you still using Manual CPC bidding? If so, do you know that there are much better options to be bidding with your budget?
  4. If you are using Target CPA, is your daily budget at least 5 to 10 times your CPA? (Tip: If you do not have enough budget for it, stick to maximize conversions strategy.)
  5. If you are using Target ROAS, is there sufficient daily sales on your website? (Tip: Have at least 50 conversions per month before switching over to Target ROAS. Many experts suggest a minimum of 100 conversions.)

In Summary

As you know, Google Ads is a fast-moving industry. We will be actively updating this list to ensure that all points are up to date with the latest Google Ads changes. Bookmark this page to come back in the future. (Ctrl+D to bookmark)

When doing the audit, remember to pen and organize your results in a neat place so that you can share both your action plan and insights with key stakeholders. Make sure to carefully document the important points, the status of it, and the issues you need to address. With an action plan, you can put it into work into your Google Ads account. Every minute of planning saves ten in work.

Hopefully, now you have an idea of “cleaning house” and found a lot of areas where you are just plainly draining ad budget or under-optimizing. You may also have found opportunities in your account that were not taken advantage of before. Now you can prioritize and tackle all of the areas identified that can help improve your campaigns.

As you also know, this audit list does not include Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager best practices, which are both important for Google Ads success. We may be doing a list for them in the future.

The results of your success in Google Ads will depend on this.