Google Ad Suggestions: Should You Listen?

Google Ads can be really helpful for small businesses looking to expand their digital footprint and can open lots of new doors for them, but this only happens when the ads are written properly and are used strategically to reap maximum benefits.

The process of writing ads is challenging and complex, which is why every marketer takes immense pride in every ad they write (I know I do!). Once written these ads can take months of testing and refinement. This turns into a long, repetitive cycle, demanding a lot from the marketer in terms of resources and energy. If you’re the business owner wearing this hat, it can quickly become too much to handle. Trust me… I know.

I KNOW.

With the Ad Suggestions feature, Google is looking to help you out by taking this work off of your plate. These Ad Suggestions are variations of your initial text ads aimed at boosting the performance of your campaigns and optimizing the ad copies for free.

Let’s discuss this new Google Ad Suggestions feature to see if it’s really worth using or not. You know I’ve got thoughts.

How do Google Ad Suggestions Work?

Google uses various Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques combined with human supervision to create these suggestions. The AI reads existing data from the user account to discern patterns, and then proposes a sample ad ready to be reviewed and edited.

The data it reads may include previous ad headlines, descriptions, extensions, landing page content, etc. Various other parameters such as the target audiences, ad delivery settings, and relevant keywords are also kept under consideration while proposing these suggestions.

Companies who already have their ads running get these suggestions in the “Recommendations” tab. Once you accept a suggested ad future suggestions are automatically applied after 14 days of suggestion, unless you proactively edit or dismiss the suggestion. Note that you can change or disable this feature at any time. Once applied automatically, the suggestions appear on the “Ads & Extensions” page under the “Auto-applied ad suggestion” tag.

The Bright Side

Google launched the suggestions feature to help advertisers and copywriters save a lot of time and make creating ad variations automated. This “hands-off” approach provided by Google might not be trusted fully right out of the gate, but it has a lot of advantages:

  • Easily Create Multiple Ads

Designing and testing multiple ads at a time is always better than using the same ad over and over again. Testing multiple ads not only results in a greater audience reach but also a higher CTR and a better chance of finding that one “unicorn ad”’ that provides the best results. Writing endless ads can be a time sink for copywriters and can distract them from more profitable tasks. Google Ad suggestions could save advertisers dozens of hours of having to create and test multiple ads. Neat!

  • Optimized Ad Rotations

The Ad Suggestions feature automates the ad rotations optimization to match the searched keyword according to the demographics, device, time of day, and previous search pattern of the user. This feature comes in handy when the ads to be rotated are numerous (which happens FAST in a lot of campaigns) and require a lot of time to optimize manually. The automatic optimization feature purports to helps boost ad performance and drive better results.

  • Higher CTR

The use of AI and machine learning in Ad Suggestions is intended to boost the performance of ads and increase the overall CTR. Google has access to more paid search advertising data than anyone. This data is used in optimization (as I said earlier) and the strategies developed after crunching data sets this huge are (allegedly) unmatchable. Ad Suggestions promises a higher CTR than manual ad variation creation strategies by using the big Google brain to work for you.

The Dark Side

As good as the automated suggestions feature may sound, Google Ad Suggestions still have their cons and you need to be aware of them before deciding if this feature is useful to you.

  • Automatic Application

The suggestions google proposes are automatically applied in 14 days if you don’t interact with them proactively. This essentially means that Google is not going to wait for your slack ass to log into your account and review the suggestion for long. If you’re away from your AdWords account for long, you lose tight control over your ad variations and Google’s suggestions take over. You can always stop this, but the variation machine runs like clockwork until you do.

  • Heavy on Budgets

An increased CTR might seem to be a good thing but a higher click-through rate does not essentially mean a higher conversion rate too. The suggestions Google makes are aimed at getting more clicks regardless of whether those clicks land you customers or not. Although these more-clicked ads won’t push you over your budget, they could run your monthly budget out faster. Google can’t exceed your monthly budget, yet it can still go 200% over your daily budget.  So if the suggestions proposed by Google increase your CTR there is a good chance that you could consume your ad budget faster than you do now.

  • Legal Problems

Some industries such as pharma, finance, or rehab are legally required to get their ads approved by specific departments before setting them off.  Getting this approval normally takes more than 14 days and if the suggestions get applied automatically without approval it could land you in deep shit legal trouble.

So… what do I think?

Google Ad suggestions could be a really helpful feature for copywriters and advertisers new to the game, but for experienced ad account managers there’s no one answer to whether they are good or bad. If you have a dedicated Google AdWords management team who control these suggestions carefully then this feature is a must-have to save time (and by extension, money) on creating endless ad variations, but for relatively inactive advertisers it could create more problems than solutions.

As we test these features out I’ll let the data tell the story, but for now it’s an exciting new frontier in PPC!

What do you think about this new feature? Let me know in the comments whether you’re going to let Google take the wheel in your campaigns.

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