LinkedIn is a relatively new ad network and is unfamiliar territory for most advertisers, even experienced veterans. So if you’re currently running ads on LinkedIn, you’ll want to review your account to make sure you’re taking full advantage of its capabilities, haven’t overlooked any important settings and aren’t letting issues stack up in your account.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive audit to help you identify unique opportunities to improve your LinkedIn Ads account.
Here are the main sections I’ll cover:
As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!
LinkedIn Account Level Audit
The following steps will help you make sure your overall LinkedIn Ads account is in good shape.
Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns? A well-structured account helps prevent problems like gaps in audience coverage and helps you spot opportunities in your campaigns. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows.
Users – Are there any legacy users on your account that should have access to the revoked? Keep your user list current and remove the permissions of former employees, agencies, interns, etc. Also make sure the right users are assigned as the Billing, Campaign and Creative Contacts.
Review your authorized users
Contact Settings – Are you set to receive all important email notifications? You’ll want to at least receive email notifications of rejected ads and campaigns ending.
Review your contact settings
Conversion Tracking – Are you tracking conversions from your campaigns? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts). LinkedIn doesn’t offer any native conversion tracking, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. To track LinkedIn Ads conversions with Google Analytics (or other web analytics platform), simply create a goal and tag your URLs with tracking parameters. You can also use the built-in conversion tracking in AdStage to track conversions across Google, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn at the same time.
Now that we’ve made sure your account level LinkedIn Ads settings are in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.
Review your budget vs. spend
Budget – Is the campaign budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Graph the amount spent to see if your campaign is ever being capped by your budget. If it is, raise your budget in order to meet your goals. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.
Ad Quantity – Does the campaign have more than one active ad? Keeping multiple ad variations in a campaign makes it easy to test them and adds variety to the ads your customers see. Create new ads frequently to keep your tests active and fresh.
Test optimized ad rotation
Ad Rotation – Is your ad rotation set to optimize click-through-rate? If not, test this setting. Instead of serving your different ads equally, LinkedIn will display your higher performing ads more often.
Schedule – Is the campaign end date correct? Not every campaign will have an end dates specified, but if it does, make sure it reflects your intention for the campaign duration.
Campaign Targeting Audit
Now let’s focus on targeting options and how you can use them to reach your perfect audience.
Targeted Audience – Are you targeting the right audience? Review your targeted audience and take look closely for any targeting settings that seem out of place. Read this post for help targeting your perfect audience on LinkedIn.
Location – Is the campaign targeting the ideal locations? Make your campaign is targeting only the places your business serves. Also consider creating campaigns that focus on your most profitable locations.
Audience Size – Is your audience size large enough to make an impact? Is it small enough to have focus? There’s no right number, but I’d recommend aiming for about 200,000 LinkedIn members for your first campaign. If you’re not getting enough impressions, relax your targeting to make the audience larger. If you’re not getting engaged clicks, try tightening your targeting to make the audience smaller and more focused.
Audience Network – Do your campaigns include the LinkedIn Audience Network? The Audience Network lets you show ads to your targeted audience outside of the LinkedIn website. This doesn’t cost anything extra and opens you up to more ad inventory. Unfortunately, you can’t see whether your existing campaigns are opted in or not, so I recommend appending “AN” to your campaign name whenever you opt-into the audience network so you can keep record for yourself.
Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.
Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad, so address any issues.
Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through. For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective Ads.
Freshness – Have new ads been added in the past month? LinkedIn seems to favor new ads, so update them frequently to keep impression volume from dropping. You can also create new campaigns to regain impression volume.
Sponsored Updates – Have you tried using sponsored updates? These native ads can have much higher engagement than standard ads and are a great way to expand the reach of your Company’s messaging. Check out this post to learn how to launch sponsored updates.
Finally, let’s review your ad destinations to make sure you’re making the most of the traffic your ads generate to your website.
Company Page Quality – Is your LinkedIn company page in need of updates? If your ads are tied to your brand’s LinkedIn page, review the page and perform regular maintenance, like updating contact info, descriptions, etc.
Make sure landing pages work
Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination of ads with broken landing pages to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.
Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website? The messaging on your landing page should match that of the ad. If your ad is advertising a specific product, don’t send customers to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can engage immediately. Review the destination of each ad to make sure the most relevant destination is being used.
Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website so ask yourself: is there anything I can do to make a greater percentage of visitors convert on my site? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc.
Sam is the Director of Online Marketing at InVision and former Director of Marketing at AdStage. Prior to AdStage, he was part of the AdWords product team at Google, serving as the in-house AdWords expert and advisor to product management, engineering, and UX. Prior to that, he personally managed and grew in-house digital marketing programs with over $300,000 in monthly ad spend.