First of all, what is Optimization Score ?
In the words of Google “Optimization score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. You can easily tap into your Google Ads account’s maximum potential by checking the optimization score and following the listed recommendations that meet your business goals. “
In a nutshell, all ads used in Google Ads whether it is for SEA,Gmail or Google Display Network receive a score. This score is based on a series of variables from Google.
Therefore Google gives you advice on how to enhance your score.
But is it worth it ? Where can you find Google recommendations ? Should I aim for a 100% Quality Score ? What should i focus on to improve my OptiScore ?
What is the difference between the optimization score and the quality score?
It is important to know that the Optimization Score will not have any impact on the Quality Score. The quality score is a diagnostic tool designed to give you an idea of the quality of your ad compared to other advertisers. While the Optimization score gives an overall view of the health of the account and campaigns.
Both scores will help you improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and goals.
Where to find my Optimization Score ?
To access your Optimization score and get recommendations, nothing complicated just select the “Recommendations” in your Ads Manager
The impact of the recommendations is shown in a percentage , contributing to the optimization score, adding up to 100%.
Should you aim for a 100% Quality Score?
What does the word optimization stand for? You can optimize your bidding strategy, you can optimize your Impression Share, you can optimize your Ad copy, you can optimize your keywords, your landing page, and so on…
Here Google proposes a single view to measure your account optimization, is it a good idea when we’ve seen above, there are so many touchpoints and such a variety of objectives?
A good reminder to this is to remember that in pay-per-click there is pay and that Google benefits from a lot of those recommendations.
But a good landing page can help you reduce bounce rates and conversion rates without needing to raise your Google Ads budget.
So a recommendation can have a different meaning for all of us, here you need good common sense and see if Google’s recommendations make sense for your campaign or your business.
For example, one of the recommendations of Google will be to raise your budget, but when working for clients, the budget is often fixed, so it is not always an option.
Another recommendation from Google will be to add “XYZ” as a keyword, but that keyword might not be relevant to your campaign, it might be too general for the niche you are trying to reach.
So no, we would not recommend aiming at a 100% of Optimization Score, but it can be more than profitable to tend to an above-average quality score.
How to improve my Optimization Score?
First and most important:
If a proposed optimization is not relevant: dismiss it
Dismissing recommendations can positively influence your Optiscore.
Before you start
Recommendations are personalized to your account’s needs. So you may not receive certain types of referrals, or sometimes you may not receive any at all.
Analyze the recommendations according to your priorities, i.e. what will have the greatest impact on your main objective.
Here are the main focus point of the Optimization Score :
Is your account set up correctly?
Google’s recommendations help you fix problems with your account and improve its overall condition and performance.
Bidding & Budget
Bidding and budgeting recommendations help you identify the best bidding strategy to achieve your business goals and prevent your campaigns from being limited by their budget. If Google suggests you reduce your bids or budgets, you should do so.
Google strongly encourages smart bidding to help you increase conversions or reduce costs. It is also possible to do both at the same time. You can use smart bidding to maximize the conversion rates of your existing campaigns and still get a good return on investment.
Example: Get more conversions by adjusting your budgets.
Keywords & Targeting
Keyword or targeting recommendations help to reach more users interested in what you offer.
- Remove conflicting negative keywords: People don’t see your ads because of conflicting negative keywords. Remove them so your ads can show.
- Import customer lists: Access remarketing features and increase your ROI by serving more personalised and impactful ads.
Examples of recommendation not to be followed:
- Upgrade your existing keywords to broad match: We do not recommend following this recommendation blindly, because when you launch your campaign with Broad keywords, you have no control. The search will be too large, you will be shown everywhere and spend the budget on non-performing keywords. We recommend launching first your campaigns with Phrase and Exact keywords. You will limit the volume, but you will have the upper hand. Once your Smart bidding is performing well, you can put some keywords in broad to analyze what they provide and how they perform.
- Expand your reach with Google search partners: We don’t recommend this action, because you don’t know what you are going to be broadcast on, you have no control and your performance will be poor.
For more information on the subject, I recommend this article on the hidden world of Google’s search partners’ network.
Ads & Extensions
Ad recommendations and extensions help you refine your ads, create new ones, show the best ones more often, and better organize them into ad groups. These recommendations help to maximize performance and improve the CTR of your ads.
- Add dynamic image extensions: Enhance your text ads with your landing page images using dynamic image extensions, which can improve your CTR
- Improve your responsive search ads: Get more clicks on your responsive search ads by improving your headlines and descriptions
Automated campaign recommendations simplify campaign management. In addition, they maximise performance through automated bidding, targeting, and ad creation.
- Create a Performance Max campaign: Maximize performance across all Google channels with a single campaign.
For more information on the subject, I recommend our article on Performance Max campaigns.
Overall, we recommend that you start by optimizing your bidding strategies or budgets according to your objective.
Next, optimize your keywords or your audience based on the type of your campaign.
Finally, visuals and extensions should be optimized to generate better performance.
What’s new in 2022?
It is now possible to get recommendations from Google for your smart bidding strategies of target ROAS and target impression rate. These recommendations will allow you to reach your goals more efficiently and optimize your budget accordingly.
Google’s new recommendations will allow you to adjust your bids for affinity audiences, demographic categories, and in-market audiences. This was not possible before.
Finally, you now have the ability to have recommendations for optimizing your seasonal budgets, which allows you to increase your budget without missing out on potential customers when an increase in traffic is expected. This means that you can be more efficient and achieve your main objective without missing out on potential customers.
All recommendations are not equal. As we mentioned before you should aim your focus on the recommendations which will positively impact your business, not Google.
A lot of those recommendations are ‘free’ and will not impact your budget but can impact your campaigns.
You can use the recommendations, as a ‘safety tool’, to check if your campaign is OK and if you did not forget something or made a mistake.
We would recommend to test & learn, at Clicktrust we check Optimization Score of our campaigns on a weekly basis and we aim at a minimum Optimization Score of 70%. Anything below that would mean that most likely, something is wrong with the campaign setup, while recommendations above the 70% are often situational and to be applied only if they make sense.
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