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August 23, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Conducting an Extensive YouTube Ads Audit

To stay on track with your paid media, creating periodical audits of your YouTube Ads campaigns is key. These audits can expose potential ROI improvements […]


August 23, 2023
youtube ads audit

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To stay on track with your paid media, creating periodical audits of your YouTube Ads campaigns is key. These audits can expose potential ROI improvements and give you insights into how you can make small but impactful changes to the account to keep your Ads optimized and moving in the right direction. 

Here's what you should be aware of when conducting a YouTube Ads Audit

Conducting a comprehensive YouTube Ads audit offers numerous advantages that aren’t just about the ROAS but also about making strategic decisions that help you navigate the paid media landscape effectively.

Here is a short list of benefits of conducting a thorough YouTube Ads audit:

  1. Identifying underperforming ads, placements, audiences, and keywords that don’t give you a positive ROI.
    1. These can be subject to your campaign type and bidding strategy.
    2. These placements, audiences, or keywords can be added as exclusions or even as targets.
  2. Gaining valuable insights into your audience's behavior, their interactions with your ads, landing page content, and products.
    1. Think about CTR, on-page conversion rate, and interactions. 
    2. Consider that this can help you identify and gain insights into your ideal customer profile (ICP)
  3. Utilizing audience insights to enhance other aspects of your business, such as your go-to-market strategy, product positioning, and messaging. 
  4. Building a database of optimizations that can be added to all your campaigns based on the audit findings, and more insights into how your campaigns work individually can help you make more informed decisions about all your campaigns collectively. 

How to Conduct a YouTube Ads Audit

Now, let's delve into the process of conducting a YouTube Ads audit and how to approach it effectively.

1. Commence with your overall marketing objectives 

Before embarking on the process of auditing YouTube Ads, it is paramount to revisit your paid media and marketing goals. Reassessing your business, marketing, and conversion objectives will provide clarity on what you truly aim to achieve. This will help you determine how you approach your audit. 

Additionally, reviewing your marketing goals will help determine the desired actions that should be attributed to conversions or revenue opportunities. For example, are you aiming for sign-up form submissions, direct inquiries, or product purchases on your website?

A good method is to look at your funnel as visually as possible and understand where YouTube ads have the most impact. 

It is advisable to categorize your business and marketing goals into short-term and long-term objectives. Furthermore, it's essential to anticipate any potential changes to these goals in the near future, requiring periodic reviews.

Lastly, don't overlook the significance of supplementary goals. While lead generation might not be the ultimate goal, it can serve as a stepping stone to capture, nurture, and ultimately contribute to more pipeline opportunities.

2. Evaluate the structure of your YouTube Ads account 

The structure of your YouTube Ads account is undeniably one of the most critical aspects of a successful campaign. How you organize your campaigns, ad groups, and ads can significantly impact ad performance, conversions, and cost per click (CPC).

One of the key aspects is having an Ads wiki that determines the campaign name with its respective label, the description, and the objectives. This can also be linked with Ads ID and furthermore your UTMs. 

You can label campaigns to have fast and efficient interpretation, here is an example

Campaign Targeting TypeDevice typeLocation
campaign idretargetingMobileUS
campaign nameAudienceDesktopCanada
campaign titlePlacementTV UK

Aside from the obvious impact on various key performance indicators (KPIs), a logical and well-designed campaign structure can considerably reduce the time and effort required to manage your account.

Depending on how your YouTube Ads account is currently set up within the Google Ads platform, you may need to implement changes such as moving ad groups to different campaigns, creating new campaigns or ad groups, and more.

It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to structuring a YouTube Ads account. 

A good structure can look like the following:

  • Campaign: Keep separate campaigns with different objectives, such as a lead magnet with a brand awareness campaign.
  • Ad Groups: Use ad groups to test different media types, copy, or video content
  • Ad: Each ad group can have no more than one 1 ad.

A useful tip is to examine your website's navigation and structure as it can provide insights into how your YouTube Ads campaigns and ad groups should be structured. However, remember that what works for someone else may not work for your unique circumstances.

3. Assess essential campaign settings 

Based on the data and information gathered in your Google Ads account this far, it may be necessary to make adjustments at the campaign level.

Some potential changes to consider include:

  • Geographical targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Ad delivery schedule
  • Bidding strategies
  • Audience and segmentation 

For instance, analyze your account data to identify campaigns that perform exceptionally well in specific geographical locations. Armed with this information, you can decide whether to exclude certain locations entirely or make bid adjustments using bid modifiers to exclude vs. prioritize some locations. 

4. Thoroughly examine ad groups 

Auditing ad groups can be a daunting task, particularly when multiple ad groups are running simultaneously. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

  • Thematic categorization: Ensure that ad groups are thematically structured, with each theme having a dedicated ad group. This approach optimizes performance. For instance, separate ad groups should be created for adjustable desk chairs and black office chairs since they represent distinct themes and consumer preferences.
  • Ads: Determine the appropriate quantity of Ads needed. If one ad is highly performing there is no point in adding additional creatives that will dilute the performance of the performing Ad.
  • Budget allocation: Verify that the budget is allocated appropriately among different ad groups. High-performing ad groups should receive a relatively higher budget to maximize results and minimize the cost per conversion or CPA. 

5. Keywords, Audiences, and Placements: Analysis and Optimization 

Keyword, audiences, and placements are pivotal to the success of any YouTube Ads campaign. Irrelevant search queries triggered by your keywords can negatively impact profitability, wrong audiences can create false positives in your campaigns and bad placements can drain your budget. 

Begin by evaluating three key factors for each targeting variable:

Keywords and search terms

  • Potential search volume
  • Estimated cost per click (CPC)
  • The intent of the keyword for your business or “offer’


  • Views over the past 12 months 
  • Topic and intent of the video 
  • Engagement rate 
  • Conversions per placement

Audience and custom segments 

  • Audience CTR
  • Demographic breakdown of audience
  • Conversions per audience 

Identify the best-performing targeting strategies and allocate more time and resources to them. Pay attention to audiences with high impressions and clicks but need more conversions, often the audiences or targeting strategies with the most volume have lower conversion rates. Depending on the available data, decide whether to remove these audiences or continue testing them.

Similar to ad groups, reallocate your budget strategically. It is crucial to assign a higher budget to high-performing targeting strategies compared to low-performing ones.

Monitor each ad group's average cost per click (avg. CPC) or CPM, and ensure none exceed your maximum CPC or CPM threshold for maintaining profitability.

6. Thoroughly evaluate bidding strategies 

Bidding strategies play an important role in your overall YouTube Ads performance. Understanding how bidding strategies work and correctly selecting the ones that best suit your business will help support the success of your campaigns.

When auditing your YouTube Ads bidding strategies you can evaluate your bidding strategies by looking for red flags that can hinder your campaign success:

  1. Gaps in your conversions due to lack of budget or wrong bidding 
  2. Non-sufficient conversion data on target CPA campaigns 
  3. High CPA when too much budget is allocated to a single campaign 
  4. Lower CPA when insufficient budget is allocated to a campaign 
  5. Impression threshold for campaigns with misallocation of budget 


Conducting an audit of a YouTube Ads account can be a challenging endeavor. However, with the right strategy and clear guidance, it can become more manageable and straightforward. The goal is to audit your campaigns to safely scale your paid media efforts further, with sustainable growth!

Reach out to Yugo Media and schedule a FREE audit of your campaigns.

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