Watch The Video
Transcript – Google Ads Optimization Score – Does it Even Matter?
What is your Google Ad optimization score? Is it 100%? Is it 50%? Is it a lowly 10%? More importantly, does your optimization score even matter? In Google’s eyes, it does matter. They’re putting a lot of emphasis on to this score that you can get for your campaigns. In fact, I get calls and emails about campaigns I’m running about the optimization score from representatives from Google, so they’re really trying to push people towards that 100%. 100 out of 100 optimization score, but does it matter? Is it worth it? Should you be trying to get the maximum optimization score for your campaigns? Well, it depends and you’re going to find out after this.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here, and my job is to make you a better marketer. If you’re new to the channel, I’m Darren Taylor, a digital marketing trainer and consultant, and I specialize in PPC and SEO. So if that sounds up your street, you should consider subscribing to the channel. In this video, we are looking at the Google Ads optimization score and understanding what the score is, why it matters to Google, and whether or not it should matter to us as advertisers. Before we continue the video, first of all optimization score as Google describes it is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Optimization score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential.
That sounds like it’s a good thing because of course everybody wants their account to perform at full potential, but what does that actually mean? Well, when you go into your campaigns, you will see the optimization score right at the top of the screen, and if you click into this score, it will show you exactly how you can go about improving your optimization score. It will give you tips and things you can do within a couple of clicks to improve your optimization score. This can be things from adding keywords, changing your bidding strategy, changing your targeting. There are a number of things Google can suggest in this area, and some of them will be good, others of them will be bad and negative for your campaign.
Let’s break down some of the suggestions Google makes for the optimization score, and really start to understand whether or not you should be doing these things. Let’s start off with looking at some of the good things Google suggests for the optimization score. If you’re doing things like adding ad extensions to your campaigns, which is something that they can suggest, that’s a very good thing. You should be using all available and relevant ad extensions for your campaigns. If you’re not, go ahead, and definitely do that, because that’s going to not just help your optimization score, it’s also going to help your campaign performance as well, so it’s really, really important.
Another thing that’s potentially positive that Google suggests is the use of responsive search ads. If you’ve been on this channel before, you know I’ve covered this in a previous video, I’ve linked it down in the description below, but really and truly from the experiments I’ve run on responsive search ads, they typically perform worse than the original text ads. Personally, I think the reason for this is because with a traditional text ad, you structure the ad in a specific way to sell your services with a consistent message. With responsive search ads, Google is adding, cutting and pasting in different types of headlines based on your suggestions. Of course, that might not always make sense to the person searching, even if algorithmically, Google thinks it could. It just doesn’t work well for me. Maybe it works well for you. If it works well for you, let me know in the comments below, and if you’re liking what you’re hearing so far, please hit the “Like” button as well.
What about the things that Google suggests that could make a huge difference, but you might not want to do? For example, using a smart bidding strategy. Again, it’s something I’ve covered here on the channel. I’ve linked up all my smart bidding videos down below in the comments and description, so please find them there, but ultimately, a smart bidding strategy doesn’t always work for everybody. If you’re running a campaign on manual CPC, where you’re manually changing the bids based on different conditions and keywords, then you might be getting great results for your campaign, but you think you might want to test smart bidding.
If Google is suggesting this to improve your optimization score, the chances are, you might want to test this, so you can test running a smart bidding strategy, which is right for your business. Again, down below, you’ll find the video link for smart bidding strategies and how to select the one you need, but ultimately, you should be thinking of your results. Just because the optimization score is at maybe 50%, and Google is suggesting you run a smart bidding strategy, it doesn’t mean you should because you can.
Another thing Google often suggests as well in terms of that optimization score is that you opt in to the partner network, and if you don’t know what the partner network is, Google have a number of other search engines and websites that your ads are liable to show on which are part of the Google network. By default, you can opt in to this network to get additional clicks, but from experience, the quality of traffic from the Google Search Network compared to this showing, actually on Google search results page is different. The Search Network typically has a lower conversion rate than the main Google website, and it’s just the quality of traffic you’re getting. Google gets good quality traffic as a mainstream search engine. The types of users that use Google are going to be looking for something specific. There’s a lot of niche other areas and search engines Google can leverage, but the quality of traffic just isn’t that good.
Google suggests that you should do this to improve your optimization score is a problem in my eyes. In fact, there’s even worse problems than that, which I’ll go on to. I think one of the worst things Google suggests in terms of optimization score is your keyword suggestions. It suggests a number of keywords you can add to your campaign. I think most of these keywords suck. Yes, you’ll find some in there that are relevant to your business, and they’re potentially new keywords you can add to your campaign, but what I often find is that the suggestions are outside of the remit of what you’re targeting. The context of the keywords doesn’t make any sense, and quite often what you’ll find is that those keywords Google is asking you to add, won’t add value to your campaigns. By all means, please take a look at this tab and make sure you can see the key words Google are suggesting, but generally speaking, what you will find is many of them aren’t relevant. Don’t do the thing, where you can click and add all of those keywords into your campaign within a couple of clicks. Look through them, if you like some of them, add those. If you don’t like others, make sure you filter those out as well, because you don’t want to ruin your traffic just because Google say you need a 100% score.
If you think your campaigns working really well your, and optimization score is, say, at around 60%, then you don’t really need to do anything with the optimization score. It can give you some good suggestions, but generally speaking, you need to focus on the performance of your campaign before anything else. The score is completely secondary, and in fact, ignore the score, focus on your campaign performance and suggestions Google are making, by all means test them, but don’t think you have to do them or are obliged to do them.
More importantly, if a Google representative phones you up and tells you to do them, don’t just do all of the changes, because what you’ll find is, generally speaking, your cost per conversion is going to increase.
It’s really important to note here that Google are putting a lot of stock into this score because they have the age-old problem of trying to get new advertisers onto the platform when it’s actually a really complex piece of kit and something that’s difficult for new advertisers to use. It’s very difficult to get into Google ads in general, which is why I created this channel. However, when you think of how Google has to do this, they need to use some kind of marker or benchmark, or ways to migrate people into improving their campaigns.
I don’t think optimization score is the right thing, but Google definitely do. In fact, if you are a PPC agency who wants to become an official Google partner, Google require that all of the campaigns that you manage have an optimization score of at least 70% before they grant you partner status, as of June 2020.
Google are putting a lot of stock into this school. In fact, you can’t even partner with them, unless the scores of your campaigns are above 70%, so that’s really, really important. Personally speaking, I know a number of agency owners who are running really successful, great Google campaigns, getting results for their clients, and the last thing they want to do is trying to push towards an arbitrary score of over 70% just because Google says so. Because it could be to the detriment of their clients, so it’s really a strange move Google are making.
The main thing you should take away from this video is that optimization score is secondary, your campaign results are the primary focus. Don’t be coerced into thinking you need to get 100% score. There are going to be some obvious things you can change in your campaigns that Google is suggesting, definitely go ahead and do those if they’re going to work for you. Generally speaking, if you’re dubious or not quite sure, or you need to think of what Google are suggesting as to whether it will help your campaigns, then do your research, watch my videos, check other commentary from other people on the subject, because ultimately, it’s really important that you focus on your campaigns first.
Thank you guys so much for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been working towards 100% optimization score, and more importantly, whether or not you regret doing that. More important than that, check out the other content across my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you guys on my next video.