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Google Expands “Optimization Score” For Display Campaigns

Google Demystifying Ads With AI 

To say that marketers find Google a confusing channel to operate within would not be an understatement.

For the majority of marketers, Google’s overly complicated processes, clunky marketing user interfaces and unintuitive systems are incredibly off-putting.

Resultantly, Google activity is often outsourced to supposed “specialists” and budgets sometimes get funnelled towards more user-friendly, yet inferior digital channels.

However, over the past three years, starting with the redesign of AdWords from 2016 (now Google Ads), Google has been working to address all of the above.

Some of those implementation improvements have been aided by design changes and UX updates, but a growing portion comes down to Google’s leveraging of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

A point in case, Google’s latest announcement expanding “Optimization Score”, which launched in 2018, to now incorporate Display campaigns.

Optimization Score Explained & Expanded

For the uninitiated, optimization score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform, with scores running from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential. According to Google.

When calculating your score, Google considers your campaign’s:

  • Bids & Budgets
  • Ads & Extensions
  • Keywords & Targeting
  • Repairs

It also factors in variables such as:

  • Statistics, settings, and the status of your account and campaigns
  • Relevant impact of available recommendations
  • Recent recommendations history
  • Trends in the ads ecosystem

Launched in 2018 for Search campaigns initially, in August, Google expanded the score to help marketers prioritise recommendations for Shopping campaigns.

As of this week, optimization score will now include Display campaigns as well, meaning that you can see and act on optimization score for Search, Shopping, and Display. 

You’ll see separate scores for Search, Shopping, and Display at the campaign level, and one combined score at the account level.

Optimising Google Campaigns With Optimization Score

Optimization scores come with recommendations on how to improve the performance of your campaigns.

These recommendations are based on performance history, campaign settings, and Google search volume and trends.

Each recommendation comes with a score uplift, which is a value from <0.1% to 100%.

Score uplift reflects the estimated impact of the recommendation on overall campaign metrics, when possible.

It may be possible that the total score, if all individual recommendation scores were summed up, could add to more than 100. This is because when you apply some recommendations, they’ll invalidate a few other recommendations.

Google claims that advertisers who increase their account-level optimization scores by 10 points see a 10% increase in conversions, on average.

As per the latest update, Google has added unique recommendations just for Display, like creating Smart Display campaigns, using targeting expansion, and adding responsive display ads. 

As such, keeping a watchful eye on Google Ad optimization scores and recommendations is an easy way to stay on top of Google’s ever-expanding set of new features and enhancements. Since they will often make their way into campaign recommendation eventually.

Accompanying recommendations are helpful but don’t accept the recommendations blindly. Carefully consider them and whether they are right for your campaign.

Likewise, even if you have a 100% score doesn’t mean you cannot improve.

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