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30 AdWords Tips in 30 Days - Day #22 - QA Your AdWords Account

An article I wrote several weeks back discussed how to find your AdWords Ad and, if necessary, diagnose why it's not showing.  Today's Tip builds upon that - focusing on what you should do after you make an update/addition to your AdWords Account


Tip #22 - QA your AdWords Account


Today's Tip is simple, yet often overlooked by advertisers - anytime you launch a new Keyword, Ad, Ad Group, Campaign, etc., you should QA your latest change/addition.  QA'ing is a way to ensure that no errors and/or incorrect Settings became live when you made your AdWords update(s).  It's also a way to ensure that the updates/additions that you wanted to make, were made as you intended.


What exactly is QA?  According to Wikipedia, QA is " a way of preventing mistakes or defects..."  As it relates to AdWords, QA is a way to prevent AdWords mistakes and to ensure that all of your correct Settings are in place as you intended.  I've seen many instances where an Ad had a misspelling in it, or a Keyword was entered as the wrong Match Type, or a Campaign was targeting an incorrect geographic location, and so on.


What to QA?


Depending on what you recently updated/added to your AdWords Account, exactly what you QA will vary.


New Keyword QA -

  • Make sure correct Max CPCs are in place
  • Make sure correct Match Type is used
  • Make sure Keyword is triggering your correct Ads to display
  • Make sure Keyword is going to correct Destination URL (if using Keyword Destination URLs)
  • If using Phrase and/or Broad Match, make sure Negative Keywords are in place
  • Confirm Tracking URLs (if using Keyword Destination URLs)

New Ad QA -

  • Make sure all words in Ad Copy is spelled correctly
  • Make sure Ad Copy is grammatically correct
  • Make sure Ad Copy is driving to correct Destination URL
  • Confirm Tracking URLs

New Campaign QA -

  • Make sure Daily Budget is set correctly
  • Make sure Campaign Settings are correct
  • Make sure Negatives Keywords are in place (if using Phrase and/or Broad Match)

New Ad Group QA -

  • Make sure correct Max CPCs are in place
  • Make sure Ad Group contains at least one Ad
  • Make sure Ad Copy relates to the Keywords in the Ad Group
  • Make sure Negative Keywords are in place (or at the Campaign Level)


I usually perform a live search for my Keywords and click on one my Ads.  I do this to ensure that the Ad resolves correctly and that I don't notice any issues with the search experience.


Bonus Tip: Perform a Quarterly Audit of AdWords Settings


Every Quarter I recommend doing an Audit of your AdWords Settings and making sure that all Settings are correct.  Often times, especially when multiple advertisers have access to an AdWords Account, Settings get modified incorrectly over the course of day-to-day work.  An Audit of the Settings will ensure that your Ads are serving at the right time, to the right audience, across the right Networks, and on the correct devices.


Some of the things to check during an Audit:



  • Device Bid Adjustments - have you set device bid adjustments?  If mobile traffic is more valuable for your business, you may consider increasing your bid across mobile devices.  If your site isn't mobile optimized, you may consider using a de-multiplier of -100% to opt out of receiving traffic from mobile devices.




  • Ad Extensions - are the correct Ad Extensions applied to all Campaigns?



about Brian Valentini

Chicago-based husband and father who likes sports, traveling, and laughing. Excited about the field of Digital Marketing, especially Paid Search. Work-life = Vice President/Director of Search Marketing at DigitasLBi, a global digital marketing and technology agency.

Rakesh Kumar Top Contributor
April 2014

Excellent combination of routine check-list..Smiley Happy

Imran M
April 2014

This is really helpful...



Muhammed Yousuf
January 2015

Thanks to Mr Brian Valentini,
This article was very useful, effective and contentful. I am very pleased such kind of articles.


Thanks Senior Heart


Ashwani Kumar
July 2016
Great Article and much knowledgeable.