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Google OptiScore – is 100% always the best?3 min read

3 min read

2018 was undoubtedly the year of automation for PPC, with an increased focus on automated optimisation across all aspects of campaign management (from the plethora of new automated bidding strategies, to Responsive Search Ads and Smart Shopping). The next in the list of releases from Google is OptiScore, which combines an optimisation score with actionable insights in a dedicated tab in the Google Ads interface.  

Overview

A recent update to the Google Ads interface is the introduction of an optimisation score for all accounts, giving each one a percentage score based on your current account set-up. It not only shows you changes you can make to improve the health of your account, but also the rationale behind why you should do it.

You can look at your optimisation score at several different levels – My Client Centre (MCC) (as long as you have fewer than 10 accounts per MCC), Account, or Campaign view. Each recommendation also shows how much your optimisation score will increase by when you apply that recommendation, and you can choose to either apply the recommendation straight away, or dismiss it if you don’t feel that it is relevant at the moment.

Within your score, the improvements are broken down into the following sections:

Ads & Extensions

  • Refine your current ads and extensions for the best performance
  • Example recommendations:
    • Launch Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)
    • Tailor ad copy to top search terms

Ad Suggestions

  • Suggested automated variations of your current ad copy

Bids & Budgets

  • Reach more people who are interested in what you offer, with new keywords and audience sources
  • Example recommendations:
    • Maximise Conversions strategy
    • Target cost per acquisition (CPA) (the system will also recommend a target)

Keywords & Targeting

  • Find the right bid strategy to meet your marketing goal
  • Example recommendation:
    • Increase visibility by raising your bids to be on the first page of the search engine results page
    • Raise keyword bids to outrank specific competitors

Repairs

  • Fix issues within your account, such as tracking, certifications or missing ads & keywords
  • Example recommendations:
    • Conversion tag not recording conversions – review & fix

In Practice

In order to test the theory that actioning these improvements will lead to an increase in performance, we decided to see what would happen if we applied all relevant changes from the Recommendations tab to an account. After a month, we saw the following uplifts:

  • 15% increase in cost per click
  • 10% less traffic to the site
  • 63% increase in conversion rate

As expected, the change that led to the largest increase in performance was applying automated bidding strategies (in this example, a combination of Target CPA and maximised conversions).

On the whole, the new OptiScore feature offers relevant recommendations for the accounts, with the bidding strategies being the standout feature (as it recommends tailored bidding strategies based on the performance at an individual campaign level, taking into account historic conversion volumes and budgets). However, it is worth making sure that you thoroughly check each recommendation before applying it, especially within multilingual accounts, as the OptiScore also recommended adding English keywords into non-English campaigns.

There also needs to be consideration that some of the recommendations do not take into account the context of performance when it comes to conversion-based metrics such as ROAS or CPA. For example, pushing a keyword to the top of page bid or adding in a new broad match keyword may help improve your Optiscore, but it could also negatively impact your CPA.

To find out more about how we can work with you to improve your accounts, please contact us today.