Ep 37: Google’s Auto-Apply Recommendations Beta

Nov 02, 2021

Today on Marketing In 10, I’m going to cover a recent Google Ads beta feature that’s been rolled out pretty widely so far and very quietly that can negatively impact your campaigns.

Hey everybody. This is Jim. Welcome to Marketing In 10. This week I want to spend a few minutes talking about Google’s auto apply recommendations feature, which has so far been listed as a beta feature. If you haven’t seen this in your account, then you’re definitely not alone. It’s something that is active for many accounts, but it’s kind of hidden, even though that it’s there and you might not know that you need to take a look at it. So this feature, and if you could see me right now, you’d know that I’m using air quotes around feature is something that evolved from the Google recommendations tab. And I’ve talked about the Google recommendations tab back in episode 32. So you might want to go back and give that a listen when you’re done here. So Google’s algorithms make all of the recommendations that show up in the recommendations tab inside Google ads.

Now the next logical step for Google is to start automatically applying some of those recommendations for you if you don’t do it yourself. And that’s what we’re talking about here with this new feature. Okay, so here’s a step by step guide to finding this feature so you can take a look at what we’re talking about. In Google ads, if you click on the all campaigns on the left side of the screen, and then click on recommendations, you’ll see a small button on the top right of the screen that says auto apply. So click that and you’ll see a list of all the settings that Google can automatically apply for you. I have recorded a short YouTube video showing you exactly how to find these settings, and I’ll include a link to that in the show notes as well. So there are a lot of things here that you don’t necessarily want Google setting for you.

You don’t want Google adding keywords to your account, especially broad match keywords for example. But the settings that really scare me though are the ones that allow Google to adjust your row as targets or your CPA targets. Google doesn’t know what these need to be, so there’s no way that I’d give them control over those options. And here’s a good example from one of the accounts that I manage. So this particular account sells event tickets and the average transaction for the business across all the different marketing channels was $75. We initially set a target CPA of $50 to make sure that we would see a profit on any sales coming through Google ads. At least that was the plan. One week we noticed the average CPA nearly doubled. And after looking through the account, I was able to find where the auto apply recommendations feature had changed the CPA from $50 to $85, which is almost always going to be losing money for the client, so that’s a great example of why you have to be really careful here and not let Google automatically change those things.

Personally, I recommend turning off all of these settings, but if you feel like there’s a couple of those that aren’t quite as harmful and you want to leave those active, that’s fine with me. Just be careful.

And I’ll have a show notes and a transcript available for this at jimlastinger.com/37. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’ll be glad to help. As a thank you for being a listener,

I’ve created a free guide that shows you exactly how to effectively manage your Google ads in just 30 minutes a week. So this is the process I teach all of my coaching clients. It’s very detailed and gives you exactly what you need to know to be able to run profitable ad accounts with the least amount of management time possible. So you can download it for free at jimlastinger.com/guide. That’s jimlastinger.com/guide. And I’ll drop a link to this in the show notes at jimlastinger.com/37.

And that’s it for this week’s episode, I’ll be back next week with another episode of Marketing In 10. Until then, take care. Have a great day.

Take control of your Google Ads account. Learn my process for managing your Google Ads account in just 30 minutes a week!

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