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How to review and apply Google Ads account recommendations

Reviewing and optimizing your Google Ads account on a regular basis is an important part of any marketing strategy. Find out how to review and apply Google Ads account recommendations.

Why is it important:

Reviewing and optimizing your Google Ads account on a regular basis is an important part of any marketing strategy. It can help you ensure that you are reaching the right people with the right message while also ensuring you are getting the most out of your budget. By regularly assessing and adjusting your account, you can ensure your campaigns are running as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Google’s built-in feature that analyses your ad account performance and provides recommendations can help you maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your digital advertising campaigns. Especially if you are new to Google ads, then this feature can definitely help you explore new areas of improvement. But you need to be careful while implementing the recommendations, as you don’t want to make changes that might affect your budget and give unsatisfactory results in the long run.

Things required before you start:

  • You should have an existing personal Google account with the necessary login information (email address, password).
  • You need to have an already set Google Ads account, and if you haven’t done it yet, then follow our guide to do so.
  • You should have set up conversion tracking for your Google ads account, and if you haven’t yet, then follow our guide to do so.

Steps to review and apply Google Ads account recommendations:

 

Step 1: Go to the Google Ads website.

And click on the Sign In button at the top right corner of the screen.

You need to be logged in to your Google account associated with the ads account you are trying to access to be able to successfully log in in the next step.

Accessing the google ads website for the account recommendations

Note: If you have multiple Google ads accounts already set on your Google account, then you will see the following screen after you click on “Sign In”, and click on the Google ads account that you want to log into.

Selecting the google ads account

If you have only one Google ads account associated with your Google profile, you will be automatically logged into the account after you click on “Sign In” in Step -1.

Step 2: Once you are on the initial dashboard, you will find the optimization score of your ads as a whole on the left side of your dashboard.

The account and campaign recommendations

Step 3: To apply necessary recommendations, it’s always better to look into the recommendations from a campaign-to-campaign perspective and not from the whole account at once, as you might end up applying recommendations to certain campaigns where it will increase the spending while reducing the output.

So, to apply on a campaign basis, click on the Campaigns option in the left navigation panel of the account.

Find campaign specific recommendations

You will be able to now view all the campaigns “running” or “paused”, with all the details like the Campaign name, budget, Optimization Score, Clicks, etc.

Selecting the campaigns

Step 4: To view a specific campaign, please click on the Campaign Name, and you can access the campaign-specific details.

Once you are on the Campaign-specific details, click on Recommendations in the left navigation panel.

campaign specific recommendations

Step 5: In the recommendations segment, you can see the current optimization score for that campaign (1) and the list of recommendations, and how much it can impact the score (2).

Optimization score for the Google ad campaign

Among the recommendations, there are various types, but the most common ones seen are as follows and how you should tackle them:

  1. Adding new keywords: It is a good practice to never blindly apply this recommendation to your campaign, as it might cost you more. Google’s machine learning process suggests keywords based on the type of searches done, but most of the time, at least 60% of the keywords or more are not directly related to the ads or product and the target audience you have in mind. So, the best practice is to click on the “View Recommendation” and then verify each keyword before applying them.
  2. Bid more efficiently – Changing keywords to broad match: To give you a brief background on this, whenever keywords are set for search ads, there are 3 types of matches that are also set with it:

Broad Match: Broad match is the most general of the keyword match types and allows your ad to show when users search for any words related to your targeted keywords. For example, if you choose “shoes” as a broad match keyword, your ad may appear when someone searches for “shoe store near me” or “red sneakers”.

Phrase Match: Phrase match offers more control than broad match, as ads will only be shown when someone searches with a query containing the same words in the same order as the targeted phrase. For example, if you select “running shoes” as a phrase match keyword, it will trigger your ad to be displayed when someone searches for “black running shoes” but not when they search for “shoes for running”.

Exact Match: Exact match provides advertisers with the most precise control over who their ads show to and when. Ads with an exact match keyword will only be displayed when people search using an identical term or close variations of it. For example, if you select “mens running shoes” as an exact match keyword, your ad may appear when someone searches for “men’s running shoe store” but not for any other terms that deviate from this specific query, such as “women’s running shoe”.

So, Google sometimes suggests changing the keyword type to broad match to reach an additional audience, which is a call that needs to be taken based on the campaign, keywords, etc, and relevance. Sometimes, broad match keywords condition show your ads to irrelevant audiences where conversion chances are less, while in some cases, to increase awareness, broad match can help reach more people.

If such a recommendation is shown, please click “View Recommendation”, check the campaign keywords, and type to take the final call on this.

If you are in the initial phases of the ad launch when you are unsure about the exact keywords that your user uses in their search terms, then it is okay to go for “broach match” keywords as based on the initial run data then you can filter down the keywords that you want to target and the keywords you want to avoid.

  1. Adding new ad extensions: Sometimes, Google recommends adding new extensions to your existing ad campaigns. Google provides useful extensions to help you increase your search ad visibility. These extensions, such as sitelinks and callouts, may not always be relevant to your ad, but you need to take a call based on your business needs and campaign objective. For instance, a B2B product-based company may prefer to send people through a signup process on a landing page instead of through a click-to-call extension-based ad. Creativity is key for thinking of ways to incorporate a certain ad extension.
  2. Budget recommendations: At while managing budget-limited campaigns, Google often suggests increasing the daily budget cap to broaden the reach of ads. However, this can result in a significant jump in spending, that too in a single click: for example, taking a €75/day campaign up to a €690/day budget (which would be an increase from €2,250 monthly spend to a €20,700 monthly spend). While it could make sense to add incremental budget increases when performance is good, drastic boosts should only be done with caution and approval from your client or team in case you are handling it from someone else.
  3. Conflicting negative keywords: This recommendation can save you time and trouble when it comes to keeping track of negative keywords. If you mistakenly add a negative keyword that prevents current keywords from appearing, Google will alert you and allow you to remove any conflicting negatives with a single click. Furthermore, this feature is beneficial in spotting keywords that weren’t intended to be active but were not marked as inactive. However, it’s important to double-check the list of conflicts before auto-applying anything in order to avoid mistakes.
  4. Improve responsive search ads: This recommendation is sometimes shown to Google ads account users to help them navigate to the ads where the ad copies have not been performing well and need some updates. This might be a relevant recommendation as it also avoids ad saturation for your viewers when your ad copy has not been changed for a long time. Google also suggests some ad copy examples to replace, like headline or description samples, but 80% of the time they are generated from your website content and are not that great or complete. So, it’s better to take a call at them and if possible, change the copy yourself.
  5. Add audience segments: This is a recommendation that needs to be looked into quite seriously. Google, at times, suggests certain audience segments to add to your campaigns. These data are drawn from the actual results of the ad performance and, hence, are quite accurate. But adding an audience segment is still your call. As though the audience segments might be a common trait for your converting audience it might be a different segment totally. So, check if the audience segment makes sense to your business and campaign type and then decide on it.
  6. Including display network: Google always tends to show this recommendation to you to push you towards their display network for even search ads. But as mentioned earlier, display networks tend to have an audience who might not be relevant to your campaign, and thus, adding that will lead to an increase in budget spend on irrelevant results.

Step 6: Once the recommendations are applied, keep a close watch on the campaigns for the next few days and see if there is any spike in unnecessary budget spend or not.

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