Anyone who runs an agency or a small business and has just started advertising on Google Ads will be familiar with the barrage of emails and phone calls from Google reps telling you that they need to share insights and meet goals more effectively.
Here’s an example:
Let’s get something straight here, Google reps are not Ads support staff, they are sales reps, which you can see in the email above are “supporting Google” and “Third Party Partners”.
These reps, are classified as “Google Customer Solutions” which is a scaled part of the Google Ads sales team. Within the GCS are dozens of different teams, levels and programs.
As a Google Ads Partner, we have had very good account managers based in Sydney, but these reps are for clients who are spending over five figures on ad spend per month.
Google Ads Reps Calling – Should You Listen to Their Advice?
Clients who fall under the five-figure monthly ad spend are typically assigned a Google Ads rep who is working for a third-party partner based in a low-cost country. These Google reps have quickly developed a poor reputation in the industry to the point where Google Ad agencies consider them to be a joke and are now ignoring their calls and warning others.
Google has a monopoly on the paid search market as they control 84% of the search market as of Jan 2023. As businesses, we need, no HAVE to include Google Ads in our marketing mix if want to scale and grow our business.
What we don’t need is the advice of a Google rep whose only objective is to get us to move to auto-apply recommendations and to get us to increase our spend. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these salespeople, I’m almost one myself, but what really ticked me off was after the constant hounding for a phone call, it typically started with “set auto-apply recommendations to yes” and ended with “let’s increase the daily budget”. Their KPI is simply to get you to spend more regardless of your performance.
Signing A New Google Ads Account
In September of 2022, we signed a new Google Ads Account for a local business in the health and wellness space. We have good experience in this field and were confident that we would be able to drive consistent results. The pressure was on as this was a new business and the Google Ads campaign was due to start from opening day 1.
Starting September 1, we launched the campaign and over the next 74 days, we were able to deliver 38 leads at a cost per lead of $89. While this was slightly below target, the client was happy as the CPL of $89 was still returning a healthy ROI.
As an independent agency that manages 30+ Google accounts, we field about 3 – 4 phone calls per day from a Google Ads representative. After about a month, we started getting phone calls from the Google Rep for our new client. I took the first call and we spoke about conversion rates, keywords, and campaigns, then before the end of the call, I was asked to increase the budget to which I explained that it was a new account and the client didn’t have the capacity to increase their ad spend.
So what happened next, the Google Rep called the client, I’m not sure what the topic of conversation was but before our 3-month campaign trial had ended, I was informed by the client that they would bring the Google Ads management in-house and manage it themselves with the help of the Google Rep.
This Is Why You Don’t Listen To Your Google Rep
Over the next 5 days the client approved the auto-apply recommendations which then made the following changes:
- Added Google Search Partners as a channel – is typically a bad idea for low budgets as the GSP converts much lower than a standard keyword campaign.
- Added 43 Broad Match Keywords. This was actually a change where 43 phrase match keywords were switched to Broad match. Broad match keywords cast a much wider “search term net” which includes irrelevant keywords. The risk here is that a small click budget will be used on terms that simply won’t convert. If you’re going with a broad match strategy then you need to actively manage your negative keywords too.
- Removed conflicting negative keywords (including best and cost) – we tried to steer away from “objective” keywords that tend to have a lower conversion rate.
The impact of these changes was immediate, as the total number of leads dropped 58% while the CPC increased 15% and the cost per conversion increased 30%.
With fewer leads, the client had to pull the budget out of the Google Ads campaign and try to put it into other activities that would drive more leads.
Can’t You Just Follow the Recommended Settings?
Well no. Blindly following the recommendations or turning on the auto-apply recommendations is almost the same as following the advice of the Google Ads reps.
The first step here is to not pay attention to your optimisation score, this will increase regardless of whether you say yes or no to apply each recommendation. i.e.
That said, if you’re managing your account yourself then there might be some settings that you want to automate. Firstly, click on Recommendations in the left nav:
Then click on Auto-Apply in the top right:
From the next screen you have two settings, Maintain Your Ads and Grow Your Business. If you’re not proactively monitoring your account on a daily basis (like we would do for you) then the safest automations would be:
Maintain Your Ads
Grow Your Business
Pretty much nothing here as this will impact your budgets or bidding strategy which could have detrimental effects to your campaign performance.
Our lawyers would like to go on record as saying that this does not constitute professional advice and that each campaign should be proactively managed before and after any auto-apply recommendations are added to an account.
For some piece of mind, please ask us for a free Google Ads management quote and find out more about Eurisko’s flat fee Google Ads structure that will improve the ROI your current campaign performance.