Tip 1: Avoiding Bad Decisions As A Google Ads Manager
The performance of any Google Ads account that you manage is dependent on your ability to make good decisions. And your ability to avoid bad decisions.
If you make a lot of poor decisions, the performance of your account will decline. Even one poor decision can lead to a serious decline in performance.
But making a series of good decisions will result in improved performance.
As a Google Ads account manager, it’s important to understand factors that could cause you to make a poor decision. If you understand these factors, you will avoid making poor decisions.
What can lead to poor decision making in Google Ads?
Not having enough information to make an informed decision.
Google Ads managers will make poor decisions if they base their decisions on an incomplete set of information.
For example, you might decide to pause a campaign because your click to lead conversion rate on that campaign has been low in the past 30 days.
This decision may seem like a good one based on the limited information you have. But consider what information could help you make a more informed decision. Maybe…
- More historical data from a longer time frame
- Cost per lead
- Seasonality trends
- Lead to sale conversion rate
By reviewing this extra information, you may realise that the decision to pause the campaign would actually be a poor decision.
Failing To Consider Second & Third Order Consequences
Second and third order consequences help us to consider the ripple effects beyond the more immediate outcomes of our decisions.
If you only look at the immediate impact of your decisions as a Google ads manager, you may miss unintended consequences that arise from your decisions.
Whenever making an important change in your ad account, try to get in the habit of asking questions like, “what could go wrong if I make this change,” or “what else could this change affect?”
These questions will help you to identify second and third order consequences in advance.
For example, you might make the decision to lower your Target CPA on a campaign so you can reduce your cost per lead.
The immediate, first order consequence of this decision might be a lower cost per lead.
However, a second order consequence could be lower lead quality.
The lower Target CPA, might mean that Google has to lower its bids in order to meet your CPA goal. But with lower bids, it means you may no longer be eligible to compete in some auctions that were previously generating high quality leads for you.
A third order consequence might be that your account gathers less data because you’re not competing in as many auctions. With less data, Google’s automated bidding may not be able to optimise your bidding as well as when it had more data to inform its bidding decisions.
Lack Of Understanding About How Google Ads Work
If you don’t have a thorough understanding of how Google Ads actually works, you won’t be able to foresee the second and third order consequences of your decisions.
For example, if you don’t understand the mechanics behind Google’s automated bidding strategies, you wouldn’t be able to predict all of the possible negative consequences of reducing your Target CPA.
You also won’t know what data to look at when evaluating a possible change to make in your account.
Failing To Recognise Cognitive Biases That Influence Your Decision Making
All humans are susceptible to cognitive biases that influence our decision making.
As a Google Ads manager, there is a very high chance that you will make poor decisions as a result of these cognitive biases. But if you understand these biases, you can recognise when they might be driving your decision making.
A few major cognitive biases to be aware of when managing Google Ads are confirmation bias and hindsight bias.
Confirmation bias can lead you to interpret your campaign data in a way that confirms your preconceived notions and beliefs.
For example, you might believe that broad match keywords are inferior to exact match. In that case, you will be inclined to find data that supports this idea and ignore other data that might suggest that broad match performs better.
Hindsight bias might lead you to over-attribute the recent success of your ad account to changes you made and not properly considering the role of luck or external factors.
Accepting Poor Advice
Many Google Ads managers will make poor decisions based on the advice of a content creator or maybe a colleague.
You can avoid many of these bad decisions by being very selective in who you take advice from and also thinking critically about any advice you do receive.
Perhaps you hear advice from an online blogger that you should pause all Expanded Text Ads in your account and only run Responsive Search Ads (RSA’s).
Before going and pausing every ETA ad in your account, carefully evaluate and question the advice before you accept it.
Tip 2: Don’t Believe Everything You Hear About Google Ads
Anyone can publish their ideas about Google Ads or marketing online in the modern age. There is no barrier to entry. You’ll find an abundance of information about Google Ads on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and other sources.
This means that it’s more important than ever to think critically about the ideas that are presented to you about Google Ads management (and most other subject matters).
Blindly accepting some of the ideas and advice from content creators online will lead to poor outcomes.
Content creators are just like everyone else, subject to cognitive biases and logical fallacies. These biases will lead them to draw incorrect conclusions and then they will present these conclusions as truth to their audience online.
The requirement for constant content production in order to grow an audience online – will drive people to publish ideas online without giving them careful consideration first.
These ideas are then re-circulated by other content creators, leading to an abundance of poor ideas that haven’t been thought through clearly, yet they are adopted by their followers as truth.
To avoid adopting poor ideas on Google Ads management, you need to think critically about any ideas and beliefs that are presented to you.
Question the source of information. How experienced is the person presenting the information?
Question the information itself. Does it align with your existing knowledge of Google Ads?
And be aware of your own cognitive biases, like confirmation bias. People tend to be more inclined to accept information that supports their existing beliefs and dismiss ideas that don’t.
Tip 3: Unique Ways For Google Ads Managers To Use ChatGPT
Validate ideas from influencers
In tip #2, I discussed the danger in blindly accepting ideas presented to you by online content creators.
You need to be able to critically analyse the information presented to you. But sometimes this is difficult. Especially if it’s a subject you’re not terribly familiar with.
But sometimes it can be difficult to know who to trust. Some ideas should be treated with more suspicion than others.
But you can get ChatGPT to do a lot of this for you. Here is how…
- Take any YouTube video, blog post or LinkedIn post, where the creator expresses an opinion or offers advice.
- Give it to ChatGPT ask ask it to summarise.
- Ask ChatGPT questions like “are there any relevant factors that the author has failed to consider in their argument?” “Are there any flaws in the logic that the speaker used to reach this conclusion?”
- ChatGPT will do the critical thinking for you and expose any major flaws in the information presented.
Charlie Munger, the business partner of Warren Buffet advocates for multidisciplinary thinking.
This approach involves drawing ideas from other fields. For example, you take concepts from economics and apply them to marketing.
Doing so can lead to fresh insight and perspectives. But researching a seemingly unrelated field can be time consuming.
Fortunately, ChatGPT can speed up the process or at least guide you. For example, I asked ChatGPT about concepts and principles from professional sports that could be applied to Google Ads:
Get feedback on your thought process
Bad decisions can often be avoided if you have someone to question your thought process.
But many Google Ads managers won’t have this luxury. They might work alone as a freelancer or in a small company as the only digital marketing specialist.
Now you can use ChatGPT to review your thought process before making decisions.
Before making a change in your account, explain the change that you intend to make to ChatGPT. Make sure you also explain your reasoning behind this change.
Then ask questions like “does this change make sense to you?” “Can you foresee anything that might go wrong with this change?” “Is there anything important that I have failed to consider?”
Summarise blog posts, podcasts and YouTube videos about Google Ads
ChatGPT can take an hour-long podcast or YouTube video and summarise the key points for you in less than 30 seconds. Once you’ve got the summary, continue to probe it with more questions about the parts that are most relevant to you.
Tip 4: Read This Document From Google Ads
In 2022, Google released this 29 page PDF document titled “Unlocking The Power Of Search.”
Out of any documentation released by the Google Ads team, I’ve found this one to be more helpful than anything.
It is a must-read for any Google Ads manager.
The document will give you a clearer understanding of the mechanics behind the AI systems that power modern Google Ads.
Some of the key points covered in the document include:
- What keywords in your account will be eligible for a given search and why.
- How Google’s smart bidding systems calculate bids for you
- How Google Ads matches keywords
- Signals used by Google Ads AI
- How Google constructs an ad from a Responsive Search Ad