January Is the Time for Your Annual PPC Audit

Ian O'Rourke Posted by Ian O'Rourke

Conducting an in-depth PPC account audit is essential to any digital marketing team’s performance, and there’s no better time than the start of a new year to delve deep into your campaign data and plan your annual budget.

Many marketing departments eagerly anticipate the introduction of a new, ballooning budget at the start of the new year, while others are running on fumes and have to wait until the start of the tax year in April.

Agencies, on the other hand, look forward to dishing out a little extra on behalf of their clients and, therefore, need to find productive areas to spend on so as to maximise value for their clients.


Conceivably, some marketers that receive their annual budgets in April could be running a little low on cash by January. In order to compete with the “new money” (those companies that disburse marketing budgets in January), they’ll need to have managed their budgets well, or else they might find themselves being overpowered in search visibility.

This doesn’t only apply here, of course, but also throughout the year’s PPC seasons, including Easter, back-to-school, and Christmas. However, now is a time where it particularly pays to know your competition and their spending habits inside and out.

Data Gathering

Data gathering on all your campaigns should run constantly and enable you to look back every once in a while to see which strategies, ideas, and ads worked and which didn’t. Improve or cull the ideas that didn’t work, while expanding on those that did.

Audit Frequency

The best way to make sure you are on the right track is to conduct regular analyses. Analysing too infrequently might leave you treading the wrong path for longer than necessary. And you can almost constantly implement smaller changes, such as incorporating valuable new keywords that your competitors are already using.

Bigger changes should be made less frequently. Changing your brand’s messaging too often or simply piggybacking on a competitor will confuse your customers, but sending the wrong message is not something you want to do for any real stretch of time.

Regularly examine your competitors and see if there are any things they bid on that your company does or produces better, or if there are more effective ways to convey messages equally applicable to your business.

If you’re looking for the means of collecting this kind of data, Adthena has the competitive intelligence in SEO and SEM, as well as the most accurate competitor budget estimates, to keep your PPC campaign humming along.

Watch for New Competitors

Adthena keeps you updated in real time on any new online competition that might pop up or disappear. It’s important to note that offline competitors usually aren’t competitors for your online business, and some online competitors might not be in the offline marketplace.

Luckily, Adthena tracks any new entrants that are in competition with your business with regards to PPC advertising while monitoring a dynamic range of keywords related to your search universe. This means that you never have to worry about a hidden competitor surprising you from behind.

Audit Good Practices

WebTrends notes that it’s important that an audit is performed by someone who doesn’t work on the PPC account personally in order to ensure the completion of an entirely objective review.

It also allows the person in charge of the account to step back and see the bigger picture, identify new opportunities, set new goals, and diagnose any systematic issues with the account. This type of audit should be performed at least biannually in order to maintain a healthy, prosperous campaign.

(Main image credit: Tax Credits/flickr)

About the author

Ian O'Rourke
Ian O'Rourke
Ian is the CEO and Founder of Adthena. After 22 years being involved in technology businesses and start-ups, he has driven Adthena forward since 2012 and it is now experiencing rapid growth. Ian likes to foster a culture of common sense and self-reliance at Adthena, and ensures everyone has the tools they need to succeed, His flair for innovation and business has been recognised with the Developing Entrepreneur Award at the WCIT Enterprise Awards – commonly regarded as the Oscars for technology entrepreneurs. A graduate of the University of Queensland, Ian is also a fluent Chinese speaker having lived and studied in Taiwan. He is married with two children and is an avid rock climber in his spare time.