What To Expect From Google Ads Recommendations

By Daniel Hales | Published 26/10/2020

If you’ve been on Google Ads over the last year or so or spoken to a Google Ads rep then you may have noticed the recommendations section. This tries to give you advice and gives you a percentage score as to how well optimised your account is according to Google.

Now with the Google Ads Partner program being updated to look at these in 2021, it’s important to understand what this may mean as Google pushes more and more agencies to use these with the risk of losing their partner status if they don’t comply.

What’s Important To You?

The first thing to ask and realise before doing any recommendations is what’s important to you as the advertiser. When looking at the suggestions always remember what your end goal is whether that’s an ROI or brand awareness. If you don’t think the recommendation will help this then do not do it.

So why are you being shown recommendations which may not be in your best interests. Many Google Ads professionals believe that this may be to do with Google’s best interest rather than the advertisers. With them pushing towards automated approaches and higher spends, which help to feed Google’s machine learning and bolster their profits.

Whether you believe the conspiracies or not, it’s important to keep your own goals in mind, whether it’s completely refusing recommendations or testing them to see if they help towards your end goal.

Common Recommendations

So what are Google asking you to do with these recommendations? Below we look at some of the most common recommendations we see as well ask the question “Why is Google Suggesting This?”

Raise Your Budgets

Raising your budgets is a fairly self explanatory recommendation. Here Google is asking you to raise your daily budget by a percentage.

Why Is Google Suggesting This?

Talking to Google Reps, they believe that the reason for this is due to missed potential and the increase is based on impressions lost due to your budget. Therefore to get the maximum out of your campaigns you need to spend a bit more.

More sceptical people may say that it’s so you’re spending more money with Google, increasing their profits.

What Do We Suggest

When planning a media budget for any digital marketing the same questions will be asked. If you’re answering yes to these questions then maybe it’s time to be upping your budgets:

  • Is the current campaign meeting KPIs?
  • Do we have the cash flow available to increase the budget?
  • Do we have the capacity to handle additional sales?

Add/Improve Responsive Search Ads

Responsive Ads can be useful for your Search campaigns. They allow you to enter multiple headlines and descriptions and Google will pick which ones it thinks are the best depending on previous performance and the search query being used.

This should mean that the most relevant ads are shown to your end users, which can also lead to higher quality scores, decreasing your cost per clicks.

Why Is Google Suggesting This?

As we’ve said above, this allows for more relevant ads to be shown to people searching on Google. One of Google’s main aims is to best serve the user and you using responsive ads can help towards this.

What Do We Suggest

There are reasons for and against using responsive ads, however we’d suggest having at least one set up in each of your ad groups. As suggested above this can help both with the quality of your ads as well as reducing the cost of getting people to your website.

The main thing against responsive ads is if you really want to double down on testing your ad copy. Using responsive ads can make it slightly harder to work out what is and isn’t working and may make it harder to look at further copy improvements.

When looking at setting up or adjusting responsive ads it’s always important to make sure that you’re happy with the copy being used. When looking at some of the suggestions recommended by Google the copy has at times been found to be below par.

Expand Your Reach With Google Search Partners

Google Search Partners are other websites which use a search feature powered by Google and can therefore show Google Ads. This can be turned on or off by the advertiser and with this recommendation Google is asking you to allow your ads to be shown on these other websites.

Why Is Google Suggesting This?

Allowing search partners means that there are more searchers in which you can potentially get in front of. Similar to the increase budget recommendation this means more potential customers, but may also mean more money for Google.

What Do We Suggest

If your campaigns are showing “limited by budget” then we’d suggest you stay clear of this recommendation. Search Partners have historically performed worse than ads shown on Google itself.

However if you have budget available it may be worth giving it a go and seeing how well it performs. If it’s not hitting targets it can always be paused again.

Create Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads require much less input compared to other ad types and will create and show ads depending on the selected landing pages.

Why Is Google Suggesting This?

This gives Google almost full control over what searches your website shows for and how it’s advertised. This should mean higher relevance in search results, but could ultimately be a way in which Google feeds data to their machine learning algorithms.

What Do We Suggest

We’re yet to see the effectiveness of Dynamic Search Ads and have seen people complain about the ads which are being shown via Dynamic Search Ads to be of poor quality from an advertisers point of view.

If you have a well structured account in which the structure doesn’t change much we’d suggest staying away from Dynamic Search Ads, allowing you to take more control over your campaigns.

However if you have a dynamic website which changes a lot it may be more suitable for you to take advantage of Dynamic Search Ads.

Bid More Efficiently With “Automated Bidding Strategy”

Automated Bidding Strategies allow Google to take control of your bids allowing you to try and hit a certain criteria such as a cost per conversion or return on ad spend. This is opposed to using manual CPC where you maintain control of bids and say how much you’re willing to spend on different keywords.

Why Is Google Suggesting This?

They are suggesting this as they believe that their automated approach will bring better returns than manual bidding. This is as they can look at each auction individually and may have further insights as to the potential quality of a click and make adjustments on those.

What Do We Suggest

We’ve found that automated bidding strategies can be a bit or a hit or miss. It’s therefore worth considering them, but we’d suggest testing on smaller parts of the account rather than just switching it on for the entire thing. This means that the overall effect will be smaller before choosing to roll it out on other areas.
You should now have a better idea of what the different recommendations are and remember, it should always be your goals you have in mind when either accepting or dismissing them. If you’re looking for someone to handle your Google Ads account or would like advice you can take a look at our Google Ads Management page and get in touch.

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