Being in the field of discussing opportunities with potential clients means that I am constantly given access to AdWords accounts to see if they are running efficiently.

In AdWords management there are a few things that I always check, and more often than not, these basic things are not done correctly. Below is a small list that you should be checking:

Campaign Settings

The first thing that I look at here is the networks tab. This gives you the option to choose if you want to appear only on Google search, their search partners and the content network.

When setting up a campaign all of these tabs are automatically selected and I come across several accounts that still appear on the content network but have no idea that they do. If this is the case I will then see the breakdown of what is being spent on Google search, their partners and the content network by using the segment function. You can see where to find this feature below.

ppc management segment by network

The next thing I look at is the Geographic targeting. I have seen several companies that only work within a small radius that have had national keywords within their campaign and targeting the whole of the UK. This would need to be restricted to the locations they wish to work in. You can view the locations you receive your clicks from using the Dimensions tab and selecting the Geographic view. Please see below:

ppc management geographic-targeting

Match Types

For me this is the most important thing to check. When setting up a campaign all of your keywords are automatically set at broad match. I have seen many accounts that only use broad match keywords and have no negative keywords in the account. If this is the case then there is a very high chance that your spending money on irrelevant search terms.

Please note that when you click on the keywords tab and look at the amount of clicks you have received next to a keywords that is in broad then this is not the amount of clicks for your keywords but the broad version of that keyword. To see the actual keywords you receive traffic for then you need to click on see search terms then all. Please see below:

ppc management check match types

Please remember that Google’s broad search can be very broad. You can spend a large amount of your budget on irrelevant keywords if you are not on top of this.


At this point I would have already seen the structure of the campaign. It is very important that if you are targeting several different products or services that your campaign reflects that. For example, if you are a mechanical garage then you may separate your campaign into several ad groups. These groups would usually follow the structure of your site. So you may have an ad group for MOT’s, car servicing, car repairs, tyres, body repairs etc. This is important for several reasons and will help improve your quality scores which should reduce your cost per click. I will also check if there is more than one advert per ad group as again this will help with both conversion and quality scores.

So there you have it, this is what I will check if I am put on the spot by a potential client and have a few minutes to look at the account. There is obviously far more that would need to be done when managing a campaign but it still surprises me how many people are not doing the basics!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my post – please leave any feedback or thoughts.