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Is there a danger of your Google Ads account becoming too automated?


Is there a danger of your Google Ads account becoming too automated?

Google Ads, also known as Google AdWords or Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a powerful advertising platform that allows businesses of all sizes to reach target audiences through various online channels. The platform is highly automated through Google artificial intelligence (AI), which makes it easier for your businesses to create and manage campaigns; however it is always advocated to have a ‘PPC expert’ managing the Google Ads account, whether this be someone in-house, a PPC specialist digital agency or freelancer with this proficiency. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon, based on the following.

As with any technology, there are potential dangers associated with relying too heavily on automation. There has been a noticeable increase in ‘recommendations’ appearing through the Google AdWords platform for various client accounts; which at times have been suspect – to say the least!

One of the main dangers of Google Ads being too automated is the lack of human oversight, or consideration given to applying recommendations before thinking. Automated systems are only as good as the data they are fed and the algorithms they use. If the data is inaccurate or the algorithms are flawed, the ads may not reach the intended audience, or may be placed in inappropriate locations. This can result in wasted ad spend and a poor return on investment (ROI) for the business.

Another danger is that automated systems may not be able to fully understand the nuances of a business’s target audience, and one of the key reasons for this is that a robot can form a meaningful relationships in the same way that humans can with each other. “Empathy and the four C’s – empathy, creative thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration- are crucial soft skills that cannot be replicated by robots,” explains Guy Kirkwood of UiPath. An example could be a business selling luxury watches, that may want to target a specific demographic, such as high net worth individuals. An automated system may not be able to accurately identify and target this demographic, resulting in ads that do not convert as well as they could.

Additionally, if the business is not aware of the various targeting options available, they may miss out on potential customers. Google AdWords offers several targeting options such as location, age, gender, interests, and behaviors. A human marketer can use this data to give insights and make better decisions, while an automated system could miss out on these opportunities.

Another danger is that Google Ads may become too automated, it can give rise to a lack of creativity and personalisation in an ads campaign. A human marketer can craft ads that are tailored to specific audiences and are more likely to resonate with them, while an automated system may not be able to create such ads, or strike a chord in terms of addressing the appropriate ‘tone of voice’ required to resonate with target demographics. What is also missing from robots is quite often, a sense of humour or a lighter touch. If your business relies on quirky messaging, quips or relaying some general humour to your customer base through marketing activities, don’t expect a robot to deliver on this.

In conclusion, Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that can help businesses reach target audiences and drive conversions. However, businesses should be aware of the potential dangers of relying too heavily on automation, and the automated recommendations provided by Google, particularly when it comes to the following:

  • Switching from phrase match to broad match targeted keywords within your campaigns – Google has released updates informing us that the AI modelling around this has become more sophisticated – however I am yet to see the proof. Having trialled this at small scale on my own PPC account, I’ve noticed (even with an expansive negative keyword list) the ads occasionally being discovered for searches, not quite on the mark.
  • Raising budgets based off Google AI’s forecasting model – please don’t just click to ‘apply’ as this will result in a hefty invoice to your business, and overspend. Also ensure auto-updates are switched off on recommendations, particularly where budgets/spend is concerned. Google’s smart modelling doesn’t understand your business’s specific KPIs/goals, ideal ROI or media/marketing spend. As the marketer or PPC expert running your Google Ads account, you should be fully aware of this. If you are going to increase budgets, use the modelling forecast provided by Google as a guide, but please, PLEASE work your own calculations if using bidding strategies such as Target cost per acquisition (CPA) or Target return on ad spend (ROAS) where percentages need to be inputted for Google to distribute your daily budget accordingly.
  • Beware of Google reps, particularly those subcontracted by Google I really enjoy having Google PPC calls with Google strategists based at Google’s offices in Dublin. They really are a professional bunch, and have the courtesy to schedule kick-off calls and follow-ups. The recommendations they make are second to none, they provide access to BETA features and insights directly from Google, otherwise unavailable in the public domain. I also enjoy conversing with Google reps in Hyderabad India around everyday PPC issues; however I do not advocate using Google Adwords chat support to make strategic or decisive decisions around campaign strategy/direction or for drastic changes to the makeup of a Google Ads account. I also frequently receive and turn-away calls from organisations such as Regalix (subcontracted by Google) to act as Google reps. As the marketer running the PPC account, you or your agency/freelancer are the designated expert. In over 15 years working with PPC accounts, I can confirm that the Google Ads chat support reps in India or elsewhere (Regalix or other firms) try to sell-in recommendations, and will make rash recommendations based upon no chat history with your business, knowledge of your KPIs/goals and their recommendations can subsequently risk doing more harm than good. I do advocate speaking to them to resolve account configuration issues such as billing issues, or ads policy warning/error messages however.

By keeping a balance between automation and human oversight, your businesses can ensure that  your ads are reaching the right audience and achieving your desired results.

If you are looking for a PPC expert to assess your current performance, or if you are looking to get off the ground with launching PPC ads, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

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