20.01.2022 11:30

Steps to Perform an SEM Audit

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Paid search has become more complex as the years evolve. Due to this, missing new processes and targeting potential directed to you is becoming easier than in the past. This is where an SEM (search engine management) audit comes in.

An SEM audit helps you determine the efficiency of your Paid Search drives before their onset and across their lifecycle. The findings help you formulate future strategies. Read on for steps on how to go about the SEM audit process.

Preparation for the Audit

Whether you are preparing an upgrade strategy of performing a regular audit, understanding the history of your paid search account is critical. Doing so helps you maneuver the account extensively during your audit.

To execute the process easier, you should understand what you are searching for. Setting goals, laying down criteria, and having priorities help centralize the audit process.

After handling these aspects, you want to configure a clear decision filter. This component will guide you through organizing your actions or steps with your verdict. An SEM audit evaluates various metrics which are critical in assessing the performance of your paid search account. They are; conversion, traffic, and ROI (Return on Investment).

Analyzing your campaigns with these metrics helps you identify critical areas in your general strategy that need enhancements, which creates a robust foundation to facilitate goal achievement.

ROI-Based Metrics

The concept of paid search advertising is to convert your leads into paying customers. Paid advertising can be costly, which is why you should think about the ROI. Remember, to calculate your PPC campaign value and determine how to optimize them to increase ROI; you should not limit yourself to click-through rates.

Calculate the return on investment based on per lead. You should track particular leads in your customer relationship management (CRM) to every drive to achieve that.

Further, you will want to track each sale to its source and determine calls that resulted in sales before calculating revenue per customer associated with a PPC drive. You can leverage various tools to ease the process. These include call tracking platforms, dynamic eCommerce revenue monitoring, and CRM unification to ease lead generation.

Conversion-Based Metrics

Conversions are ideal paid-per-click metrics because they allow you to determine the number of people registering for the services instead of just clicking.

Configuring tracking tools on Bing/Yahoo accounts and Google Adwords is easy. Many tracking platforms now allow you to assess specific customer activity such as purchases, sign-ups, and customer actions on your website. Monitoring your conversions allows you to determine effective drives.

Traffic-Based Metrics

There are four standard aspects of traffic-based metrics. They are:

  • Impression share
  • Device analysis
  • Search impression
  • Impression share
  • Click-through rates

Your paid search account will feature these values. For example, they are available in the Google Adwords interface. After establishing the key metrics to focus on, you can initiate the auditing process.

Performing an SEM Audit

Before starting, create a date range through which you can evaluate data. Experts recommend a minimum of three months’ data.

Ensure you are conversant with the business’s key performance indicators. This knowledge will help you determine the metrics to analyze.

Numerous KPI tracking tools are available today; for example, you can use Sendinblue to mass mailing for all your marketing needs. Now proceed to the drive settings. If you configured the account a long time back, consider reviewing the settings. Doing so ensures they (the settings) do not harm your drive.

Before launching an SEM drive, ensure that your business is fit for paid search. Besides having a sufficient budget, set objectives, stick by them, and develop a smart tracking approach. Here are some of the things you should be evaluating.

  • Display Networks and Targeting Search

You may notice that one drive alone focuses on both display traffic and search. Such could have adverse effects on your drive. Consider conducting separate drives.

  • Ad Groups and Keywords

Keywords are critical for paid search and should be handled diligently. Every ad group should target particular keyword categories. Ensure every ad class has a maximum of 20 keywords. Having a more expansive range could harm your reach. Further, creating a copy with numerous keywords is hard to achieve.

  • Geotargeting

If some geographical areas are ideal for your marketing needs, consider geotargeting your drives to those locations. Doing so helps you reach your target audience and increases the conversion rate. You can execute geotargeting using robust tools such as Google Adwords. Further, geotargeting helps you make some savings on your budget.

Review your drive structure and determine whether the drives could be named based on their target group. Determine whether the drives are classified among interests and topics or are accommodated in a single campaign. Find out what you can do to promote impact.

  • Quality Score

An excellent-quality score is crucial in paid search. It depends on the type of your keywords and how effectively you have classified them. A high-quality score improves your ranking, and you end up spending less per click.

  • Ads and Ad Extensions

Ensure all your ads are not only relevant but also display grammatically correct and authentic information. Ad extensions are inappropriate for each enterprise’s internet marketing concept. However, using it the right way can boost the click-through rate. Figure out what extra services and information your target audience could gain from Ad extensions before integrating them.


Once you complete your SEM audit, you will have some actionable insights. Prioritize what you should do and lay down a time frame within which you can complete them.

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