There have been a few changes going on within Google ads lately – and we think it’s important to keep on top of these and look for new opportunities to improve performance. Currently, your performance is based on your overall business growth in terms of client retention and revenue. This year, your Google Ads Optimisation score is going to become a more dominant feature within your online marketing strategies.
What has changed?
If you haven’t already heard, from June 2020, Google will be basing your Google Partner status on your optimisation score and whether or not you choose to apply Google’s recommendations. The Google Ads optimisation score is Google’s way of telling you how well your account is performing. Google will measure your performance and then they will provide you with recommendations to improve your score. Your score is available at the campaign, account and manager account levels.
The update means that if you do choose to ignore Google’s recommendations to improve your score – you could be at risk of losing your Partner status. Today, were going to look in to this a bit more. Is this score beneficial? Or is this just a new way of Google driving more digital marketing spend from advertisers?
How is your Google Ads Optimisation Score calculated?
Your score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is going to perform. Google will provide each account with a score between 0 and 100%. So, how is this calculated? Well, Google will essentially base your Optimisation Score on four main categories, each covering different areas of your account:
- Bids and Budgets
- Keywords and Targeting
- Ads and Extensions
Let’s take bid optimisation as an example. Advertisers will often raise bids to improve their rank on SERP (search engine results pages) – which will ideally increase their CTR (click-through rate) and improve conversions. On the other hand, we might have to lower a bid in attempt to reduce cost-per-conversion. Google will observe your account performance and decide whether you need to increase or decrease bids. It’s then up to you, as an advertiser, to decide whether to apply Google’s recommendation…
What are recommendations?
Google will provide you with recommendations to improve each area of your account. The idea is, applying Google’s suggestions will increase your optimisation score and your performance. Again, it’s up to you whether you implement these changes or not.
Generally, recommendations should help you to get more out of your digital marketing budget. Things like improving your bids, adding keywords and optimising your ads can improve your overall performance and give you a better return on investment (ROI).
- Adjust your bids
- Improve your keywords
- Improve ad copy
- Increase overall performance
- Have better ROI
Applying recommendations is a quick and easy process in Google Ads. Click ‘View’ on the recommendation you want to use, and then click ‘Apply’. You can also apply all recommendations in one category – we’ve outlined two examples below, repairs and bid/budget:
If you’re scoring poorly in ‘repairs’, it means there are components of your account that are broken. It can also mean you need to change something before it’s able to function correctly. An example might be an ad with an invalid destination URL or ad groups with no keywords.
These recommendations are important because they will impact the functionality of your account. We suggest checking these regularly to ensure things are running smoothly.
Bid and budget recommendations
The recommendations under ‘bids and budget’ may be less clear and are often an estimate of how to solve an issue rather than a straightforward solution. Here are a few examples:
- Use additional features
- Set audience bid adjustments
- Change your daily budget
This is an example of when this change to Google Ads becomes more complicated. While these are often useful, it can be hard to tell whether spending more money is the best option. It’s best to outweigh the pros and cons surrounding all areas of your account before rushing into increasing your budget.
Should you aim for 100%?
While aiming for 100% seems like the obvious thing to do – we suggest trying not to get too caught up on reaching 100. If you’re performing well, but your account is on, let’s say 80%, there isn’t any need to make additional changes that you’re not sure will improve your results. This could lead to spending more budget when you’re already performing well enough.
Rather than rushing into applying recommendations – you should be considering changes in terms of your own brand, your unique company goals, your target audience and your current digital marketing strategies. Trying to increase your score is essential, but each recommendation should be tested and considered based on your account. Google can certainly help you to pinpoint areas that need attention – but remember it doesn’t know your business like you do.
How will this change things?
In short, it will change things in the sense that you’ll be needing to consider this aspect of your account a lot more now. We definitely suggest reviewing your recommendations a part of your digital marketing management routine. However, it’s important not to get too hung up on reaching 100%. Google Recommendations can be very useful when it comes to spotting areas to improve – especially if you can’t work out why you’re not driving better results. It can help you identify account issues such as structure, keywords, bid strategies and more.
In conclusion, the changes Google are introducing to Partner status do not imply that you should now be managing campaigns purely through Recommendations. Keep a closer eye on your recommendations and test out any changes before applying them.
What is your score?
What’s your current optimisation score? Feel free to contact us if you’re not sure how to act on the recommendations in your account. Our London team will be happy to help you test any changes and do some investigation before applying any changes.