The Ultimate Campaign QA Checklist

By Rachael Law | @Law_Rachael | Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

Quality assurance is a large part of running PPC initiatives. When new campaigns are built for an account, it is of utmost importance to QA.

 

Campaign Settings

 

Ad Rotation

 

If you’re testing ad copy in this campaign(s), please make sure ad rotation is set to rotate indefinitely!

 

Delivery

 

By default, your campaigns will be set to standard delivery. This means that Google will try to show your ads throughout the whole day. While this may seem like the best method, you could also be missing out on impressions. If you aren’t expecting the campaign to blow the budget early in the day – I’d go ahead and set it to Accelerated delivery to maximize potential traffic.

 

Network

 

For search campaigns, check if search partners are enabled. I like to enable them to begin to get a feel for what performance will be like. However, we know that each account is different, so there may be a good reason to exclude the search partner network.

 

Budget

 

Do the set budgets make sense? Are they way too high or way too low? Make sure that there isn’t an extra 0 accidentally added on the end.

 

Structure

 

Does the structure line up with the rest of the account? If it doesn’t, is there a reason? I recommend also having a consistent naming convention across your accounts, so someone unfamiliar with the account can easily understand structure.

 

Location

 

The targeted location is extremely important, particularly for accounts that are segmented by location. What you don’t want to do is target the entire world (yes – this has happened before).

 

Keywords (Including Negatives And Other Targeting)

 

Keywords

 

Take a quick skim of the keywords in the campaign. Do they make sense and are they relevant? Also, be sure to check that any keywords that are supposed to be modified broad include the necessary “+”.

 

If the account uses embedded negatives, be sure to check that they’re implemented correctly. Keep an eye out for other campaign level negatives that will need to be added. One thing I like to do is take a peek at the other live campaigns in the account and see what kind of negatives they’re using (make sure to check shared negative lists!)

 

Display Targeting

 

A big one to check here is the “target and bid” or “bid only” targeting setting. This can lead to huge increases in cost if you’ve selected “bid only.”

 

Ads

 

One of the most common mistakes I see in ads is typos!

 

Skitch_screenshot2

 

Take a few minutes to double check that all words are spelled correctly, and keep in mind that Excel’s spell check feature might not catch all errors (for example: using “their” instead of “there”). These errors are easy to make, so make sure you check for them.

 

In addition, are you running at least two ads per ad group? Remember to always be testing!

 

URLs

 

Another really common occurrence is not actually visiting your landing page URL. In a few scenarios where we couldn’t quite figure out why conversion volume was down, we couldn’t figure out the problem until we visited the landing page and realized it was broken!

 

Tracking

 

Do your URLs have any relevant tracking codes on them? Be sure to check with the client to make sure!

 

Keep in mind that with some URLs, a “?” vs a “/” can make a difference. I’ve seen URLs where a “/” will cause the page to go to a 404 while the “?” works perfectly fine. Double check!

 

Clientsiteurl.com/?Google_PPC_Tracking –> this one works!
Clientsiteurl.com?Google_PPC_Tracking –> this one doesn’t!

 

This won’t necessarily be the case for each account, but check your URLs just in case.

 

Bids

 

Bids are another vital aspect of any campaign. What bidding methodology is being used? Do you have a significant number of keywords below the first-page bid? On the flip side of that, make sure that bids aren’t accidentally set crazy high either.