For those of you who do not have any idea about this let me tell you that Google Ads has its own built-in feature that provides the users with an optimization score and further recommendations on how they can improve it. We decided to test this in order to procure actual results and find out if we should all be actually aiming for a 100 or not unlike our school days when the answer was so obvious.
The optimization score, according to Google is an estimate of how well a Google Ads account can perform. The optimization scores are available at the campaign, account, and manager account levels. It is shown for all active Search, Shopping, and Display campaigns.
Since its launch, Google has continued to update this feature and has also added recommendations that will improve your score. You may also find an ‘apply’ button beside most recommendations. This helps to automatically apply the respective recommendations to your account.
We tested out the recommendation feature with dummy brands selling myriad products and services. Following are the recommendations that we got:
- Use Customer Lists: This was a great recommendation. Customer Lists can help in retargeting. It also helps in analyzing and finding out similar audiences. Then again this recommendation has limited practicality for other business types where customer lists will not add any value overall.
- Add Price Extensions: This was an interesting suggestion. Price extensions are generally used by retail stores. Thus it is again subject to the nature of the business. Also revealing the price of a product or service is not a welcome sight for many businesses ina highly competitive landscape. You can always add prices and test if its working towards qualifying your traffic in a better way or not.
- Apply automated bidding: This was a real downer. We have a very bitter experience to say the least with this feature. Once we decided to turn on automated bidding for 5 out of 60 campaigns for a particular client of ours. Guess what? Within a week we could see a rise in spending of approximately 57%!! We decided to immediately shut it down. Automated bidding has always been a feature that has disrupted our client’s budget. The cost of scoring 100% is too much in this case.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room now. Should you be aiming for a 100%optimization score in Google Ads?
The answer is a definite, NO.
I would rather say that this score is not an important goal. Most of our clients’ accounts have an average score of 85%, which has always been a sweet spot in our case. Pushing higher is not really a problem but we do not want to blow a hole in the advertising budget. There’s an optimum point for everything and it’s safe to say that you should test and arrive at your own point. We are not saying that Google’s optimization score is entirely rubbish. Before trusting it entirely you should test it for yourself.
Google’s AI might be smart but it can not decipher your business goals and decisions for you. Thus it is safe to conclude that the human factor is still relevant in the year 2020.