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A short checklist for
contextual advertising audit

A ready-made checklist for a quick audit of contextual advertising to check the ads for the most common mistakes. Leave a request to get test access to this and other checklists to track progress on SEO projects and organize work in the To Do List tool from Serpstat.

Andrei Voskoboinikov

Owner and founder of Site in TOP — an agency from
St. Petersburg, operating since 2015.
Agency specialize in SEO and contextual advertising. More than 100 completed projects and 8 thousand completed tasks.


Account level
1. Classification of campaigns by type (search, YAN\GDN, retargeting)
Different types of campaigns require specific approaches to writing ads, setting budgets and rates, as well as different analytics.
2. Availability and adequacy of limits (daily budget, weekly budget)
The average daily budget is needed to limit weekly spending (the sum of the daily budget multiplied by 7). However, on some days, spending might be less or more than the stated daily budget.
Too low limits provoke ad stoppage in the middle of the day, thereby reducing ad effectiveness.
Ad campaign level
1. Disabling displays in networks (YAN, GDN) for search, search — for networks
Each type of advertising requires a specific advertising campaign. This is because advertising in search and on networks requires a different strategy, budget, rates, creativity, and analytics.
2. Yandex.Metrica, Google.Analytics counters
The connection of Yandex.Direct with Yandex.Metrica, Google.Ads with Google.Analytics is necessary for gathering statistics and the subsequent analysis of the traffic.
3. Automatic markup of links for Y.Metrica, Google.Analytics
You need to enable link markup to connect visits in Metrica, Google.Analytics with clicks on an ad. Ad click links will contain a label with a unique click identifier.
4. Negative keywords: general, thematic, cities
Negative keywords are necessary to exclude displaying results for unwanted, off-topic keywords containing undesirable words. If the company operates in one city, searching for goods/services in other regions will bring untargeted traffic to the site.
5. Geo: virtual business card, phones and addresses extensions
Geo is a block of information about a company, which can be opened without going to the site. The availability of business card makes the ad more noticeable.
6. Disabling additional relevant phrases
Additional relevant phrases are a tool that automatically adds new keywords in addition to the list created by the advertiser. At the same time, the added phrases often do not correspond to the subject. It is better to disable this setting enabled by default.
Level of ad groups and ads
1. UTM-tags
UTM tags are parameters added to the URL of a page. They pass information about the traffic source to the analytics systems.
2. Using all kinds of extensions
Extensions allow you to visually increase the ad in a listing + direct the user to other pages on the site. Types of extensions: quick links, clarifications, a virtual business card, etc.
3. Header relevance to keyword phrases
When there is a keyword query in the ad, the user sees it highlighted in bold, which attracts more attention. Increasing the clickability of the ad is one of the factors reducing cost per click.
4. Informativeness and relevance of the ad texts
It is important to monitor the relevance of the proposals in ads (timing, prices, etc.), as well as to specify USP in the text to draw attention.
5. Presence of mistakes in texts of ads
Moderation rejects ads with grammatical errors and typos. Also, it is important to monitor for mistakes that do not violate the rules of the advertising system but make the user feel uncomfortable (for example, wrongly spelled abbreviations (NYc instead of NYC), write the whole text in lowercase letters, etc.

How to use a checklist in your project?

The PPC Audit Checklist is part of Serpstat's To Do List. Create your to-do lists or use templates from experts to track project progress. Ready to learn more about Serpstat features and get free trial access?

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