Making the Case for an AdWords Audit

For many SMEs, hiring a digital marketing agency to manage their AdWords account(s) can be prohibitively expensive. As a result, many SMEs in-house their AdWords, creating a few campaigns with a fixed daily budget and more or less leaving the account to run on auto-pilot. This Hail Mary approach to AdWords (unsurprisingly) rarely delivers good results as the account invariably accumulates unnecessary costs on irrelevant search terms (amongst other inefficiencies).

While this can be mitigated with more intelligent keyword selection, it requires an understanding of, and familiarity with, AdWords that many non-professionals simply do not have. As a result you end up pausing keywords like free shipping (in broad) in a brand campaign (true story) when doing audits.


One way SMEs can address this problem is with one-off account audits. In my experience, account audits not only reveal opportunities to reduce costs, they also reveal opportunties to increase revenue/leads/sign-ups etc. Even in cases where there are only cost savings to be had, the cost of hiring an AdWords consultant can quickly be recovered by the savings themselves.

For example, lets assume Company X has a monthly AdWords spend of 30.000 DKK / month and that 10%, or 3.000 DKK, is wasted on irrelevant traffic every month (which is not at all unrealistic). Over the course of a year, Company X therefore stands to waste 36.000 DKK on AdWords. Put another way, Company X can justify spending anywhere between 34.000–35.500 DKK on an AdWords audit, depending on its cost of capital.

Why 34.000–35.500 DKK? Well, that range represents the present value of Company X’s monthly 3.000 DKK investment that is currently being wasted.

Present Value Calculation in Excel

About the author

Lars C. L. Larsen is an Online Marketing Specialist & Partner at AdNudging.com. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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