Should You Listen to Google’s Advice About Google Ads?
If you are running Google Ads for your Montessori school, you have most likely encountered Google's "recommendation" notifications about your Google Ads. It's hard to ignore the emails from Google Ads representatives offering several suggestions for your campaigns. It can be tempting to just move forward and accept their recommendations... after all, if they are recommending it, surely it must be the right choice, right?
Well... not necessarily. Let's break down the types of recommendations that Google Ads offers, and the pros and cons to accepting recommendations on your account.
When a campaign is limited by budget, Google Ads might suggest that you should increase your daily budget cap to ensure that your ads are showing throughout the day. It might be tempting to simply go in and accept the budget recommendations, but drastic budget increases are not always the best move for Google Ads. We believe it's better to remain realistic and increase the budget slowly over time if necessary.
You want to make sure you're getting a good ROI. Instead of focusing on increasing your budget, work on increasing the quality of your campaigns and being consistent with Google Ads.
2. Conflicting Negative Keywords
Usually, when Google Ads offers advice based on conflicting negative keywords, it's good to take a look. You may have accidentally added a negative keyword that could be preventing keywords from showing up properly on search results. Google will send a warning to your account and allow you to remove the conflicting words by prompting you to simply click.
You should still always take the time to double check these suggestion before clicking the "OKAY"!
3. New Keywords
Every now and then, Google will send you some new ideas for keywords that you can add to your campaign. Sometimes they are good suggestions that will fit in with your campaigns and could help your overall performance.
Other times, the new keyword recommendations might not be relevant to your objectives. It's important to always review these suggestions before agreeing to them.
4. Adding Extensions
Google will frequently suggest adding extensions that are not in place for an account.
Extensions are extra information about your business that you can tack onto your ad, including your address, phone number, direct page links, or coupons. Extensions show up below your primary ad copy. It's a good move to accept these recommendations and add all the relevant information about your school so that families can reach you and learn more about you.
5. Add Audience Segments
These recommendations are another area that can be useful at times, as the data tends to be based on visitors who are actually engaging with your website and ads. Segments allow Google Ads to dig a bit deeper into their performance metrics. You can select which type of criteria you are looking for from website and ad visitors and Google will provide deeper segmentation and insights. These sorts of suggestions can offer interesting insights, but it's always important to review before moving forward.
Positives of Google Ads Recommendations
1. Some recommendations are clearly good options
There are occasions where Google Ads offers recommendations that are no brainers. Some suggestions on keywords and bidding can be helpful to lower costs and make the most out of your budget.
2. Suggestions can help with a hands-off approach
As a Montessori school leader, Google Ads may not be your top priority. If you are looking for a more hands-off approach, some suggestions could be helpful. These suggestions could help with things like keywords, negative keywords, or recommendations to help keep your campaigns fresh. With that said, we don't recommend a hands-off approach to running Google Ads. We always recommend monitoring your campaigns.
3. Some suggestions may improve your account Optimization Score
Your optimization score is calculated in real-time, based on the settings, statistics, and the status of your account and the campaigns you are running. It is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Applying or dismissing recommendations as outlined above may change the overall optimization score of your account.
4. Some suggestions may improve your Quality Score
The quality score is the quality of your ad, according to its relevance (including the relevance of the site it links to), measured on a scale from 1-10.
This score is determined by:
- Expected click-through rate (CTR) – prediction of how often your ad will be clicked, based on data gathered by Google from every search query
- Ad relevance – whether the language of your ad matches the keyword
- Landing page – the page your ad takes the user to should not only match the search query, it should be easy to navigate, have original content, help the user find what they’re looking for, and fulfill what the ad claims to offer
This score is based on data from exact searches for your keyword. Quality score can be monitored in your account under “Keywords.” Quality score, while useful, is not necessarily indicative of your ad rank—just your ad quality compared to other advertisers.
The Downsides of Google Ads Recommendations
1. Google’s best practices may not always be aligned to your end goal
The recommendations that Google Ads offer are tied to their beliefs of best practices. These goals and practices may not be aligned with what your Montessori school is trying to accomplish by running ads (reaching more prospective families and growing your enrollment). Oftentimes, the ultimate goal for Google Ads is to deliver a higher volume of leads, not necessarily the best quality leads.
Google Ads works with many different business models, but Montessori is unique, and your school is an individual case within the Montessori space. You are looking for a very specific target and it is important to be purposeful with your campaigns.
2. You still have to monitor the recommendations
Without monitoring, once you've made the recommended recommended changes, you could be losing money on things that aren’t working for you. By opting into these suggested changes, you're giving Google the OK and consenting to the impact it could have on your campaigns. This could create more work for you in the long run.
3. They are not a good fit for sophisticated accounts
The reality is, Google Ads recommendations are not always made with an in depth understanding of your unique business. If you are running well thought out campaigns with a specific purpose in mind, accepting every Google Ads recommendation could end up costing you in the end.
Ultimately The Choice Is Yours
We always encourage you to review and monitor your account and determine what is right for you. However, if you have experts (like us!) managing your ads on your behalf, you should allow the experts to drive the process. No automations are perfect, and all campaigns will take time and go through a trial and error process.
If you need help with Google Ads, you should consider our Google Ads Management. Nido Marketing partners exclusively with Montessori schools to run campaigns that help grow enrollment. Our ad managers are experts in the space and understand the unique features that set Montessori schools apart from other businesses.