Google Ads' "Recommendations" feature provides advertisers with suggestions to optimise campaigns. Located within the platform, these recommendations aim to improve account performance.
However, while based on Google's algorithms, it's crucial for advertisers to critically evaluate each suggestion for alignment with their marketing goals.
In this post, I will take you through the common Google Ads recommendation types with the aim to help understand which are right or wrong for your campaign.
Let’s kick off looking at the recommendation categories:
These are when something in your account needs repairing. For example, when writing this, Google requests that advertisers complete a verification process. If you have been ignoring the emails, then a recommendation to complete this will feature in this section.
Other items, like conflicting negative keywords and broken site links, will also be listed here.
Fixing these are important and will undoubtedly help your ad campaign's overall health.
The "Bidding & Budgets" section within the Google Ads Recommendations tab specifically addresses suggestions related to how you allocate your budget and how you're bidding in your campaigns. Google's algorithms analyse your account's performance, settings, trends, and other factors to provide tailored advice in these areas.
Here are some things you might find within the "Bidding & Budgets" section:
Budget Adjustments: Google might suggest increasing or decreasing your daily budget for specific campaigns based on recent performance. For instance, if a campaign consistently exhausts its daily budget and performs well, Google might suggest increasing the budget to capture more potential conversions.
Bid Strategy Changes: Google might recommend switching between manual and automated bidding strategies based on your campaign objectives. For instance, if your primary goal is to generate website traffic, Google may suggest using the 'Maximise Clicks' automated bidding strategy.
Budget Depletion: If a campaign is consistently running out of budget mid-day, leading to missed opportunities, Google might flag this and suggest a budget increase.
The "Keywords & Targeting" section within the Google Ads Recommendations tab focuses on improving how you target your audience, both in terms of the keywords you're bidding on and other targeting criteria.
By analysing your account's performance and identifying potential opportunities, this section provides insights to help you reach the right audience more effectively.
Here are some of the typical recommendations you might encounter in the "Keywords & Targeting" category:
Keyword Additions: Google might suggest new keywords for you to add based on search terms that have triggered your ads or based on common searches in your niche that you might not be targeting yet.
Keyword Removal: If specific keywords are no longer serving or you have many similar keywords, Google might suggest removing or pausing them.
The "Ads & Extensions" section (sometimes referred to as "Ads & Assets" in some contexts) in the Google Ads Recommendations tab provides suggestions specifically related to your ad creatives, ad formats, and extensions.
These recommendations aim to improve ad performance by enhancing visibility, relevance, and user engagement.
Here's a breakdown of what you might find in this section:
Responsive Search Ads: If you still need to start using them, Google might recommend using Responsive Search Ads (RSAs). RSAs allow you to enter multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google's algorithms then mix and match these to display the most effective combinations.
Ad Extensions: Recommendations can include adding or optimising ad extensions. This can involve using site link extensions, callout extensions, structured snippet extensions, and more.
These extensions provide additional information and can make your ads more engaging and clickable.
Improve Ad Assets: If you're running display, Performance Max Campaigns, Google might provide feedback on the assets you're using, such as images or logos. They might suggest changes to improve performance or visibility.
The "Measurement" section in the Google Ads Recommendations tab offers insights and suggestions related to tracking and understanding the performance of your ads.
Proper measurement ensures that you have accurate data on how users interact with your ads and what actions they take afterwards.
Here's a rundown of what you might find under the Measurement section:
Conversion Tracking: If you still need to set up conversion tracking, or if there are issues with your current setup, Google will likely highlight this. Conversion tracking is vital for understanding the ROI of your ads and optimising for performance.
Google Analytics Linking: You'll likely get a recommendation if you still need to link your Google Ads account with Google Analytics. This link provides more in-depth insights into user behaviour post-click.
Tagging Issues: Google might identify problems with your tracking tags. This could be due to tags needing to be set up correctly, tags missing on certain pages, or no longer functional tags.
Once logged in, navigate to the left-hand menu, and look for the "Recommendations" tab.
Clicking on this will give you a list of personalised campaign suggestions.
These might range from bid adjustments to keyword additions, ad extension suggestions, and more.
If you don't want to apply a particular recommendation from Google Ads, you can dismiss it. Here's what you can do:
Go to the Recommendations page: Once logged into your Google Ads account, navigate to the Recommendations tab, as mentioned before.
See my blog “To Auto-apply or Not to Auto-apply Google Ads Recommendations?” for more information on auto-applying recommendations.
It's important to remember that while Google Ads Recommendations are based on data and algorithms designed to optimise performance, the final decision rests with the advertiser.
You know your business best, so always prioritise your knowledge and strategy when considering Google's suggestions.