How to perform a Google Ads audit: A comprehensive checklist for online advertisers and eCommerce retailers

April 17, 2024

Learn how to effectively conduct a Google Ads audit with this comprehensive checklist. From conversion tracking to ad copy optimization, this guide covers all the essential steps to ensure your campaigns are finely tuned for maximum performance, helping you save time and improve your Google Ads ROI.


Reading Time - 8 min

How to perform a Google Ads audit: A comprehensive checklist for online advertisers and eCommerce retailers

Whether you’re managing a dozen Google Ads accounts or just one, it’s hard to keep a laser focus on all the important details at the same time.

As your workload piles up, you might be forced to cut corners or overlook important information. There’s also a temptation to simply “set and forget” your accounts without continually monitoring and optimizing.

The good news is: There’s a reliable way for you to keep a clear overview of your Google Ads accounts and make sure you’re not overlooking any important details.

The answer is to regularly perform a Google Ads audit.

In this article, we’ll show you what a Google Ads audit is and why it’s important. We’ll also give you a handy checklist to make sure your audit covers all the necessary topics.

What is a Google Ads audit?

A Google Ads audit (also known as a PPC audit or SEM audit) is a structured review of your Google Ads account’s settings, configurations, key metrics and other important details. Don’t worry: We’ll cover all the details to audit in our checklist below.

The goal of a Google Ads audit is to effectively monitor your ad campaigns, so you can continually learn and improve your performance.

By setting apart time to regularly review your Google Ads account, you maintain a clear view of your online advertising activities. You can also identify what’s working and what’s not, so you can adjust and continually optimize your strategy.

How often should you perform a Google Ads audit?

How often should you perform a Google Ads audit

For most advertisers, it’s a good idea to perform a Google Ads audit once every 3 to 6 months. This ensures you’re staying on top of your accounts and enables you to take action in time, in case any corrections need to be made.

How does a Google Ads audit improve my ad campaigns?

As an eCommerce retailer or online advertiser, you already have plenty of items on your list of things to do. Should you really plan extra time to perform a Google Ads audit? Definitely!

An audit may be time-consuming depending on the complexity of your account structure. Having a checklist helps you keep the process organized and ensure you don't miss any important steps.

Once you’ve performed a regular audit a few times, it becomes part of your routine and gets easier and easier each time.

Plus, most advertisers actually find the audit process really rewarding. It’s a great moment to reflect on what’s going on in your Google Ads accounts, to evaluate how well your campaigns are performing and to decide how to fine tune your strategy.

On top of all that, you can expect to see many of these great benefits when you regularly audit your Google Ads accounts:

  • Optimized performance: A Google Ads audit empowers you to fine-tune your campaigns for maximum performance, ensuring that every advertising dollar translates into tangible results.
  • Cost-efficiency: By identifying and addressing inefficiencies in your campaigns, you minimize wasteful spending and allocate resources to where they have the most impact.
  • Better Google Ads Quality Score: Monitoring and improving the components of your Google Ads, such as keyword relevance and ad quality, elevates your Quality Score, leading to higher ad rankings and lower cost per click (CPC).
  • Competitive advantage: Regular audits give you an opportunity to ensure all your ad campaigns are fully up to date, so you are optimally catering to your target audiences’ latest interests and preferences. This makes your ads more appealing and enhances your brand’s competitiveness. Remember that nearly half (42.3%) of all Google Ads accounts don’t have any form of conversion tracking set up at all. So simply paying attention to the most important KPIs will already set you apart from many of your competitors.

How to prepare for a Google Ads audit (preparation checklist)

How to prepare for a Google Ads audit

To ensure a successful audit, take a few steps to prepare. Here’s a quick preparation checklist to help you:

  • Set a date and block off adequate time in your calendar to perform an audit. If this is your first audit, you may want to block off extra time until you get the hang of the audit process.
  • Try blocking at least 2 hours for each account you want to audit, if possible. You can adjust your future audit times, depending on how your first audit goes. The main thing is: set a date in your calendar and make it a priority, like you would any other important task.
  • Create a Google Doc, Word Doc or Excel Sheet to document your audits in a structured way. You can use our checklist as a template for documenting your audits. Keep track of any changes you make during an audit, so you can maintain a clear overview of how changes affect your performance. All changes you’ve made for the past 2 years will also appear under Change History in your Google Ads account’s Tools tab.

Your Google Ads audit checklist

Ready to audit your Google Ads account? If you’re new to auditing or just looking for a more efficient way to do it, this checklist helps you make sure you don’t leave anything out.

Conversion tracking

Campaign settings

  • Each campaign has a specific goal set.
  • To avoid wasteful spending, switch off the campaign setting “Include in Google Display network” under your campaign’s “General settings” > “Networks.” Search ads showing on the Display Network get lots of impressions, but they have very low conversion rates.
  • Each campaign is set to the target “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” instead of the default/recommended setting “People in, or show interest in, your targeted locations.” The way Google broadly defines “interest” in your targeted locations means your ads will be displayed to people who are nowhere near your actual locations if you have the default setting selected here. (Read our full article to learn more about targeting the right audience with your ads.)
  • Tracking templates are set up for each campaign under “Campaign URL options.”

Ad Group structure


Negative keywords

  • You exclude non-relevant search queries (negative keywords) for each Search campaign.
  • You exclude branded keywords from non-branded campaigns.

Ads and ad copy

Ad extensions

  • No campaigns are missing ad extensions
  • All ad extensions are approved.
  • All call extensions are scheduled during your business’s working hours.
  • “Call reporting” is enabled to track conversions from call extensions.

Quality Score

  • Check the Quality Score for each keyword.
  • Replace or optimize keywords with a low Quality Score.

Start optimizing your Google Ads performance today

Start optimizing your Google Ads performance today

As you can see, there are many topics to include in your Google Ads audit. The key is to stick to a regular audit schedule to make sure you’ve got all your accounts and campaigns fully under control. Once you’ve audited an account a few times, it becomes a routine part of your online advertising work. Even better, with regular auditing, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what’s going on with your campaigns, so you can make better decisions to optimize performance.

Want to save even more time while improving your Google Ads performance? Check out Channable's PPC Optimization tool. With this single intuitive solution, you can create hyper-relevant ads every time, automate your keyword strategy and much more.

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