In the world of Google Ads, there are countless optimisations you can make within your account. Sometimes it is difficult to really know where you should be looking and where to focus your attention.
As new updates and features are regularly added to Google Ads, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get a grasp on what are the key things you should be doing to maximise your ad spend.
One thing which I often get asked about is Optimisation Score. With this being one of Google’s newer features, I think there is still a little bit of a misunderstanding on exactly what it is, and how you can use it to benefit your account. So, let’s dive into it!
Google defines “Optimisation Score” as the following:
“Optimisation Score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Optimisation score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking, this sounds perfect! Google is telling you exactly what is needed for your account to perform at its maximum.
So, time to put your feet up and let Google do all the hard work for you, right?
Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s not that easy. Anyone who is familiar with Google Ads will know that Google is not that helpful and quite often their recommendations are just asking you to spend more or add things that will potentially have a negative impact on traffic quality.
I get it though, chasing a 100% Optimisation Score might seem like a good idea, but by doing so you could actually do more harm than good.
Having a 100% Optimisation Score does not guarantee you success on Google Ads, likewise, having an Optimisation Score of 50% will not mean that your Campaigns will fail.
To reiterate, do not let this arbitrary score distract you from the really important metrics you should be focusing on, such as your conversion numbers or the cost per conversion.
Now, I’m not saying you should entirely ignore your Optimisation Score. For example, let’s say your Optimisation Score is sub 30%. Chances are that something will be missing from your Campaigns, so it’s well worth reviewing them to see why your score is so low.
So, now you know what it is, you might be wondering how you can boost your Optimisation Score. This is where Google Recommendations can help.
The Google Recommendations feed into your Optimisation Score. Once you start applying these recommendations, you will notice your Optimisation Score begins to increase.
Some of these recommendations will be fantastic and will really help to ensure you have the foundations of your Campaigns in place.
Good examples of this include the addition of certain Ad Extensions that might be missing, ideas for new Keywords (make sure these are relevant before adding them) or recommendations on which poor performing Keywords should be paused/removed.
The Recommendations tab is also good for highlighting errors within your account. For example, if there are any disapproved Ads or if there are some active Ad Groups that do not contain Ads.
Having said all that, one of the biggest problems with Google’s recommendations is that they give a lot of blanket advice that isn’t very specific to your account. Each and every account will have different aims and objectives, therefore some of this very generic advice will not be of any use to you.
For example, all of your Google Ads Campaigns could be using Manual CPC as the main bidding strategy and be performing really well.
However, Google will tend to ignore this and push you into using one of their automated bidding strategies.
Even if results end up being worse as a result of using an automated bidding strategy, they will still continue to push this.
There are also lots of other so-called “Recommendations” which I would steer clear of.
Examples of this include introducing Broad Match Keywords or updating your Ad Rotation setting to “Optimise: Prefer best performing ads”.
Personally, with all of Google's recommendations, I would take them as advice as opposed to facts. It is well worth reviewing the recommendations regularly but DO NOT take them as gospel.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can dismiss recommendations if they’re not applicable to your Campaigns. This will remove the recommendation and boost your Optimisation Score without you actually having to implement any of Google’s suggestions.
What is worth noting with the Optimisation Score and Google Recommendation is that they are both relatively new features.
As time goes on, I’m sure both of these features will become much more sophisticated but for the moment just think twice before you charge into your account and make a boatload of changes based upon what Google is telling you to do.
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