Get the best out of automation in Google Ads

Author Sarah Hailwood 4 min read time

Google is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to data. So much so that they have essentially monopolised the paid search space (sorry Bing). But with the abundance of data Google has, surely the machine learning should be near perfect? The answer is yes and no. My fellow PPC peers will be very used to how automated bidding is now king in the vast majority of Google Ads accounts. However, it is imperative that automation is managed in a methodical and innovative manner. 

With new campaign types such as Performance Max and Demand Gen coming into play in recent times, the pessimists amongst the PPC community will argue that Google is taking away our control. This is hard to disagree with, especially when every single Google rep under the sun advises you to increase spend; regardless of the advertisers business goals and objectives. 

But how can businesses ensure that they’re getting the best out of the tools Google Ads provides? Here are 4 simple things you can do that will drastically help performance in your account: 

Tracking set up

This first point should almost go without saying, but it’s surprising how many advertisers have the tracking set up incorrectly. In order for automated bidding to work, it is vital that conversion tracking is set up properly. Without this step, Googles’ machine learning has nothing to optimise towards and you’ll be blindly bidding in the auction for traffic that may not be of high quality. 

Use offline conversion imports (lead generation only)

You’re a lead-gen business who has a mature, well-run Google Ads account and is getting a good amount of leads at a reasonable CPA. Congrats! But what is the lead quality like? Perhaps one in ten leads actually go on to buy the good/service you’re offering. Whilst this may be profitable, how can you take this to the next level? 

Using an offline conversion import will help Googles’ machine learning to bid towards lead quality, rather than quantity. There’s a Google guide on how to do it here. Without delving into too much technical jargon, you essentially feed the quality leads that have converted back into the account. The result is a more refined and efficient campaign that bids towards those prospects more likely to convert into satisfied customers.

Make sure your product feed is optimised for Google Shopping (ecommerce only) 

Unlike search ads, Google Shopping ads don’t rely on keywords to determine whether the ad is served. Instead, Google crawls the product feed data to serve the ad based on the relevance of the product information. 

This underscores the importance of optimising your product feed to ensure your shopping ads  appear in relevant search results. Google scrutinises various attributes in your product feed, including product titles, descriptions, images, and prices, to align user queries with the most relevant products.

Therefore, it’s crucial to structure and optimise these elements in your product feed to boost visibility and attract potential customers. Focus on crafting keyword-rich and compelling product titles, providing detailed and accurate product descriptions and using high-quality images.

Optimising these aspects in your product feed increases both product visibility and the likelihood of attracting clicks from users ready to convert.

Hire an agency that cares

With so much automation, agencies have a tendency to “set and forget” a PPC campaign or claim that the account “runs itself”. No no no. Automation does free up time, but this should be used to further improve PPC performance. Agencies should be proactive in split testing new ideas, conducting competitor research, reviewing post-click activity (CRO) and actively suggesting these ideas to the clients.

Google Ads automation is like having a Lamborghini with no steering wheel. Extremely powerful and impressive, but it will eventually veer off-road. A human sitting in the driver’s seat with a steering wheel helps the machine learning (and therefore, advertiser) keep on track. Proactive human input is still absolutely necessary and will be for the foreseeable.

To find out how we can help you stay on track, contact us today!