[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Google’s New Best Practice Guide For Ad Optimisation

Optimise Your Google Ad Optimization Score To Win Big

Google has released a set of best practices to help Google Ads users improve their optimization* score.

The feature was introduced back in August 2018 as part of Google’s major revamp, simplification and relaunch of AdWords (now rebranded as Google Ads).

Despite being the world’s dominant ad company, Google advertising has suffered from being unintuitive and too complex for many marketers.

I say *suffer*, however, it still managed to turn over roughly $33bn in it’s 2018 third quarter. This despite perhaps less than 1% of marketers really getting the platform.

Ad optimization scores range from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account is set up to perform at its full potential.

Your optimization score is found in the ‘Recommendations’ section in Google Ads. It looks like the screenshot above if you are unfamiliar.

What Goes Into Your Optimization Score?

Google’s optimization support page notes that the score is calculated in real-time and is based on a number of different factors.

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

Google looks at each category and then weighs recommendations believed to improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.

How to Improve Your Google Ads Optimization Score

Google offers the following three best practices for maximizing your optimization score.

Efficient account management

Users can manage their Google Ads account more efficiently by prioritising which actions have the highest potential improve optimization score.

Google Ads makes this easy by recommending the most impactful optimizations for an account.

Optimization score uses historical performance, auction simulations, and machine learning to make recommendations.

Apply recommendations that support business goals

Google recommends checking recommendations regularly. Google Ads frequently provides new recommendations based on real-time data.

Stay on top of the latest recommendations by checking at least once a week.

Each recommendation displays additional details, such as changing bidding strategies, implementing specific ad units, using extensions, etc.

Google also displays the estimated impact of each recommendation if implemented, in addition to the reasoning behind the suggestion.

Therefore, focus on recommendations based on score uplift and dismiss recommendations not aligned with your goals.

Analyse recommendations on your terms

Google points out that users can filter recommendations by these four sections:

  • Ads & extensions
  • Bids & budgets
  • Keywords & targeting
  • Repairs

Not applying recommendations doesn’t result in any Google ad penalties, rather serving more as food for thought. Recommendations are powered by machine learning which, alas, means it can be buggy from time to time. So if sometimes recommendations seem a bit odd, fret not. It may not be you, but them!

Believe it or not, even artificial intelligence can be wrong sometimes

Also, Google is rolling out new ad features monthly, which most marketers miss. Keeping a watchful eye on recommendations can be an easy way of staying on top of new features, as they go live.

Optimization score currently evaluates how well Search campaigns are set up. However, soon it will also include display, video, shopping, and app campaigns.


*I know optimisation isn’t spelt with a Z, but it’s a US tool, and this is how they spell it.

Plus, it makes it easier for my Microsoft spell-checker, which even after 17 years still reverts to US English, whenever it feels like it.



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