In the six months since their AdWords Performance Grader launched, Wordstream has noticed a troubling trend, said founder and CTO Larry Kim. They’re finding that search marketers optimize PPC accounts far less than self-reported, with prevalent low account activity.
When the tool launched last August, Kim had explained, “We’ve witnessed how many hands-on marketers have not yet mastered fundamental best practices of PPC ad campaigns. We built this free tool to provide advertisers with an easy to digest snapshot of how their ad campaigns are performing and to tutor them on how to make changes that will boost their performance and save money.”
Now, with more than 1,000 users and nearing half a billion in annualized PPC spend analyzed, they are able to offer more accurate peer reports. The AdWords Performance Grader automates spend analysis and offers a quick health check, comparing accounts against others in its “weight range,” based on monthly spend.
This tool is free to users and there is no limit on the number of times it can run on a single account. It evaluates data and makes recommendations based on industry best practices concerning:
- Wasted spend
- Quality score
- Impression share
- Click through rates
- Account activity
- Long tail keyword optimization
- Text ad optimization
The wasted spend feature analyzes match type usage and forecasts waste, letting marketers see how they stack up against competitors. The comparison is against other advertisers with similar spend around the globe. Wordstream is working on breaking data down further, to make more granular segmentation available in the near future.
Quality score shows average quality score and ranks the campaign against others in their weight class, while budget weighted impression share is a sign of relevancy. The CTR evaluation offers a highly visual breakdown, with CTRs plotted on a graph and a score comparing the account to other vendors. The text ad optimization report shows best and worst ads with metrics; each section offers recommendations for improvement.
Kim told us they regularly see accounts with easily identifiable areas for improvement that go unchecked, lacking weekly or even monthly account maintenance. The AdWords Performance Grader instantly offers a look into account health, largely automating the process of PPC campaign analysis. He reminds marketers that regular paid search account maintenance is critical in preserving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of PPC advertising.