Hidden deep within the Google Ads interface is a screen which at first sight, strikes fear into the heart of any PPC specialist – Google’s Auto-Apply Recommendations screen.
You know the recommendations on how to improve the performance of your campaigns that Google constantly show you? Well, now Google is asking to implement these recommendations automatically, and unless you disable this functionality within the Google Ads interface, that’s exactly what will happen.
Go to All Campaigns > Recommendations > Auto Apply, and you’ll see what I mean. The first box on the screen (shown below) relates to Bidding & Budgets, and allows Google to change our bidding strategy or to change our target metrics (CPA or ROAS). Take my advice – untick them all. It’s important to understand which bidding strategy is the best one to use for your business – in fact this is really key to Google Ads success in 2022 – but don’t let Google decide for you. Read our guide on bidding strategies here and set the appropriate strategy for your business – you won’t regret it!
The next section (shown below) relates to Keywords & Targeting. Some of these are OK – ‘Add audience segments for reporting’, for example, isn’t going to negatively impact your campaign performance. ‘Remove redundant keywords’ and ‘Remove non-serving keywords’ are also OK, but they’re not really going to move the needle. On the other hand, however, ‘Add new keywords’, ‘Create Dynamic Search Ads’ are definitely not OK, so make sure these are switched off.
The final section here relates to Ads & Extensions (although we note that there is nothing in here about Extensions yet – does that mean this is still to come?). There are just two options here, one is to ‘Use Optimised Ad Rotation’, which we generally tend to do anyway, so there’s no real harm in that being ticked (unless you are running ad copy tests, in which case you want to keep ad rotation on ‘Rotate Indefinitely’). The other option , is ‘Add Responsive Search Ads’ which I certainly wouldn’t recommend – so make sure that is unticked as well.
So there you have it – really there are only 2 or 3 of Google’s AAR options which we think may be worth having switched on, but even then, they’re not really going to improve the performance of your campaigns. And if in doubt, switch it off!