Google Ads is a fantastic platform that automates a lot of tedious tasks, but they don't automate everything. Not yet. As a paid media practitioner, I can attest to the tendency to get complacent and let campaigns run too long without analyzing them. After spending 6 hours buried in code and ad interfaces, it's hard to remember to go to Google and check the end-user ad experience. This happens a lot and leads to a poor user experience and wasted ad spending. This is a great opportunity for marketing executives to gain valuable insight into their industry, customers, and competitors.
The 10-minute Google Ads Audit
Step 1: Close your eyes and empathize with your customer. Be the customer. Now, use Google the way your prospects would. Try to find your company's ads. Use the Google Ads preview tool to see results for different locations and devices.
Step 2: Look at the search results. Does your company show up? If so, is it a good ad?
Yes? Give praise for a job well done.
No? Scream at your PPC specialists until their faces melt.
Repeat that process for a few other keywords.
Let's Look At An Example
All it took was one search to find a great example. The search below is for "track loader rental near me." If I was the head of marketing for Sunbelt Rentals, I wouldn't be pleased with the ad below. The word "track loader" isn't anywhere in the ad copy. And that's a picture of an excavator, not a track loader.
You don't need a Google Ads Gold-level certification to know that a better headline for this ad would be "Track Loader for Rent in <Location>", and a picture of an actual track loader.
If you find some poor ad experiences, it's likely a problem in other parts of the account.
How Does This Happen?
If you find a few crappy ads you'll probably picture a giant pile of money on fire.
But, don't. It happens to every paid media specialist. We spend 95% of our time looking at ad interfaces and code. The Google Ads interface obfuscates the end-user ad experience and some of this is intentional. It gives Google opportunities to push more automation and drive up profits. Take a minute and breath deep before you discuss poor ad experiences with your team.
This is a great opportunity for you to see your marketing from the prospect's perspective, check out your competition, and help your team by acting as a quality check.