AdWords and Bing are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep a pulse check on where your account stands if you’re not checking in daily or working with an agency. Maybe you haven’t had as much time to dedicate to your SEM efforts as of late, or you’re just hoping for a quick review to make sure everything’s in solid shape.

If you only have an hour and want to dive into your account to check on overall health, these are the five items we’d recommend you sweep through.

Top spend ad group check

How are your highest-spending 10 to 15 ad groups doing? Navigate to the ad group tab and adjust your time window to the last 3 to 6 months, sorted by highest cost. Do a quick sweep of the following and jot down some notes:

1) How are your highest spend ad groups performing compared to your goal? If you’re consistently seeing an ROI above 4.0, and you’re comfortable with accepting a 3.0 ROI, ask yourself – how can I scale here to get more revenue? If you’re below goal by a substantial amount, this needs to be an area of focus over the next few weeks.

2) How does your search query report look for this ad group? Are the proper search terms being filtered to this ad group? Are there any negatives or search queries that should be filtering elsewhere?

3) How many ads are you running? Is there opportunity to pause any poor performers, conclude a test, or launch some fresh copy?

4) Is there opportunity to get more granular with your ad groups? Is a modified broad match keyword cannibalizing most of the traffic and matching to a huge variety of search terms? If so, it’s time to create new ad groups and filter that traffic so that you have keywords, ad copy, and landing pages tailored to those specific searches.

5) Perhaps a new competitor came into the market that you need to create a new ad group for. For example, let’s say you’ve noticed a lot of searches for “brand + facial cleanser,” and it’s getting matched to our “+facial +cleanser” keyword. You should create a new competitor ad group and filter that traffic to your Competitor campaign, where you can further work on tailoring your ad copy and landing pages.

Device adjustments

Adjusting device modifiers is one lever you can pull that can make a significant impact. How does performance look across your desktop, mobile, and tablet devices at the campaign level? If performance differs significantly between devices, you should add bid modifiers to ensure you’re shifting spend to the better performing devices.

Set your date range to a smaller window here to analyze how each device is performing towards your goal as of late. Again, you can sort by highest cost to focus on the highest impact areas. Any devices with a position below 1.5 and an ROI above goal? Use the modifier to increase bids. Any devices with an ROI beneath goal? Consider adjusting the modifier to lower your CPCs and improve your return.

Since Google is not able to fully track every cross-device conversion that occurs, we also recommend accepting a lower ROI threshold on mobile and tablet devices. Keep this in mind as you make your adjustments, especially as mobile traffic continues to increase year over year.

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RLSA audiences & overlays

Are you utilizing remarketing audience overlays on top of your search and shopping campaigns? These can be powerful tools for driving strong performance and continuing to engage your most valuable customers.

Is there an opportunity for creating additional audiences? If you’re running Facebook or YouTube ads, you should create and layer Google Analytics audiences for site visitors from those channels. This will allow you to gather Search data on customers that have interacted with you on another channel, and you can use this to increase your exposure to this audience.

Negative keywords sweep

Checking for irrelevant search queries and adding negative keywords can be a fast and easy way to cut wasted spend and improve your return.

To check for negatives to add, extend your time window to reach the last six months and sort by cost. You can also apply a filter for those who haven’t converted to really focus on irrelevant traffic. Some of these negatives may not accumulate much spend on a weekly basis, but it’s important to look at a larger data set and negate any terms that don’t make sense for your business or have accrued a substantial amount of spend when looking at a longer time range.

Product positioning

If you have an ecommerce business, you should check in on how your best-selling products are performing. How are these top selling products being positioned? Do you have full coverage on these within search and shopping campaigns? How does your brand and price point compare to resellers or competitors? Is there opportunity to improve your title and descriptions within the product feed for more volume?

By checking in on your account and asking all of these questions, you should be able to find some direct action items that will improve the overall health of your account.

Looking for help on these optimization opportunities? Contact our team for an in-depth analysis.