Google Ads Recommendations

Jul 12, 2023

If you've been running Google Ads for some time, you're likely familiar with the recommendations provided by Google Ads regarding changes or additions to your account. These recommendations can be found as notifications within the Google Ads dashboard or communicated through phone calls or emails from Google support.

Additionally, Google Ads offers automatically applied recommendations that you have the option to enable. While these auto applied recommendations aren't necessarily detrimental, it's crucial to remember that by activating them, you are granting Google the authority to make automatic modifications to your Google Ads campaigns.

TLDR: I use the following recommendations in Google Ads campaigns:

Use optimized ad rotation

Remove redundant keywords

Remove non-serving keywords

Upgrade your conversion tracking

For physical locations: Add store visits as an account default goal

To view a screenshare of my complete auto apply recommendations and to hear my detailed explanations on why I use these specific ones but not the others, please click on the YouTube video link below.

If you are not familiar with Google Ads Recommendations, here is a beginners guide on them:

What Are Google Ads Recommendations

As a specialized section in your Google Ads account, Recommendations is designed with the primary purpose of assisting you in enhancing the performance of your campaigns. Through intelligent, data-driven suggestions, it provides you with insights to not only refine your current campaigns but also to explore new, relevant features within the Google Ads ecosystem. 

These recommendations strive to optimize various aspects of your advertising strategy, from improving your bidding and keyword selection to enhancing the efficiency of your ads.

The key lies in understanding and effectively leveraging these recommendations. They are designed to help you optimize elements of your advertising strategy, but chances are that not all of them will align with all your business goals at all times.

How Recommendations Work

To provide you with the most accurate and relevant suggestions, Google Ads Recommendations harnesses the power of data analysis and machine learning. It scrutinizes your account's performance history, your campaign settings, and broader trends across Google. Based on these assessments, the system automatically generates recommendations designed to boost your campaign performance.

Keep in mind that the Recommendations page is not an instant solution. If your ads have only recently started running, you might not see any recommendations initially. However, it's essential to regularly check back, as Google Ads is persistently analyzing your campaigns and discovering new ways to optimize them. Furthermore, Google Ads also continually launches new types of recommendations, ensuring that you're always up to date with the most effective strategies.

The underlying objective of the Recommendations system is to provide insights that align with your specific needs and circumstances. Consequently, the nature and volume of recommendations you receive will depend on various factors, including the age and history of your campaigns, your target audience, the overall market dynamics, and your campaign settings.

As you continue to use Google Ads and refine your campaigns, the system learns more about your preferences and goals, and the recommendations become increasingly personalized and effective. Therefore, the more you engage with Recommendations, the more you stand to benefit. In the next sections, we'll explore what the Recommendations page can help you do and how you can leverage it for maximum benefit.

The Potential Benefits of Using Recommendations 

When a specific recommendation by Google does align with your business goals, here is why they can be beneficial:

See Performance Estimates Based on Historical Data

The Recommendations page doesn't predict the future performance of your ads. However, it does leverage a wealth of historical data, such as your past campaign performance and popular search trends on Google. This allows it to provide you with an informed perspective on how each recommendation might enhance your campaign's performance. By tapping into this data, you can make more calculated decisions about your advertising strategy.

Make Improvements Without Spending a Lot of Time 

As digital advertisers, we know that time is a precious commodity. The Recommendations page is designed to save you time by automatically scanning your account and generating suggestions for you. This means that instead of dedicating hours to research and analysis, you can focus your efforts on making strategic decisions and implementing the recommendations that best align with your goals.

Keep Your Campaigns Fresh

Digital advertising is a dynamic field, with trends and best practices constantly evolving. If you've been using the same keywords for a while, or if it's been some time since you last adjusted your bidding strategy, the Recommendations page is here to help. It continually identifies areas of your campaigns that could benefit from a refresh, providing you with timely suggestions to keep your campaigns current and effective.

Starting with Recommendations

The recommendations you receive are customized to be both relevant and useful to your specific situation. This means that not every account will receive every type of recommendation. In some cases, you might not receive any recommendations at all initially. But don't worry! The absence of recommendations doesn't necessarily mean that there's something wrong with your account.

If you don't initially see recommendations for your account, it's a good idea to check back regularly. Google Ads is continually analyzing your account performance and identifying potential areas for improvement. As more data is collected, you're likely to start seeing more personalized and precise recommendations. 

To start using recommendations, simply navigate to the Recommendations section in your Google Ads account. To get there, you need to choose all your campaigns, and within the Recommendations menu, you will find the Auto apply button in the top right corner.

Here, you'll find a list of personalized suggestions designed to improve the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. Each recommendation comes with a brief explanation, helping you understand why it has been suggested and how it can contribute to your campaign's success.

Additionally, recommendations are not static; they evolve over time as Google Ads learns more about your account and adjusts to your campaign settings and goals. So, ensure to frequently review and apply these recommendations to optimize your account continually.

Types of Recommendations

Google Ads Recommendations come in various types, each aiming to optimize a different aspect of your advertising campaigns. The system classifies its recommendations into several categories:

  1. Ads and Assets: These recommendations help you refine existing ads, create new ads, show your best ads most often, and organize your ads into more effective ad groups. In particular, asset recommendations help maximize the performance of your ads and potentially improve your ads’ clickthrough rates (CTR).
  2. Automated Campaigns: These recommendations aim to simplify campaign management and enhance performance through automated bidding, targeting, and ad creation.
  3. Bidding and Budgets: These recommendations can guide you in finding the right bid strategy to meet your business goals and ensure your campaigns aren’t limited by budget constraints.
  4. Keywords and Targeting: These recommendations can help you reach more people who are interested in what you offer, potentially improving your campaign's reach and engagement.
  5. Repairs: These recommendations are designed to help you fix issues with your account and improve its overall health and performance.
  6. Measurement: Recommendations in this category are aimed at improving the ways you measure and track your campaign performance, ensuring you have accurate and useful data to base your decisions on.
  7. Others: There can be a variety of other recommendations, which may not fit neatly into the categories mentioned above but are nonetheless aimed at improving your campaign performance.
  8. Proposed Changes: These are optimizations recommended by your Google Ads account representative. If you agree with these optimizations, you can apply them directly to your account.

The types of recommendations you receive will be highly dependent on your specific circumstances, including the type of your business, the objectives of your campaigns, and the overall account history. As such, you need to thoroughly review each recommendation, understanding its context and potential impact on your campaigns before deciding whether or not to implement it.

Scoring Paused Campaigns

When it comes to paused campaigns, Google Ads does not simply disregard them from analysis. Instead, it continues to score them based on the performance data generated before the pause. Understanding how this works will help you appreciate the comprehensive and consistent nature of Google Ads Recommendations.

At the account or MCC level: For the first seven days after a campaign is paused, Google Ads continues to score it. During this period, the system aggregates scores based on the data from the last seven days. If the campaign remains paused after these seven days, it will no longer be scored as the statistics will be reset to zero.

At the campaign level: Google Ads continues to score a paused campaign for a range of seven to ninety days. This range represents the data window on which the recommendations are trained. The majority of these recommendations are trained on a 28-day window. If the campaign remains paused after the data has stopped generating, the recommendation will no longer surface or be scored.