Destroy Your Ad Budget With AI

Many small businesses depend on Google Ads, but Google Ads automated recommendations are currently burning up small business budgets faster than this year's wildfires.

Anita T is an award-winning marketing consultant with 15+ years of experience.

Should you apply Google Ad automatic recommendations? Well, Google Ad recommendations are currently a pitfall for smaller businesses and offer potential advantage for large. While automated campaign suggestions are promising a 'higher score' on the platform, small business owners that accidentally apply them to their campaigns are finding ROI is veering from a path of triumph to tribulation.


Google has shareholders, and the current word between experts is that automation is suspected to serve them first. That's business.

Top tip: Google's Premier Ad Partners aren't necessarily better than a smaller PPC service provider at helping a small business navigate platform changes, because Premier Partners tend to be doing what Google wants.

Amid the allure of automation and instinctive urge to trust Google, lies components like budget recommendations, optimised ad rotation and 'broad-match keywords'. A common recommendation is to 'apply broad-match keywords' to your Google Ads account resulting in a barrage of irrelevant traffic, increased Cost Per Click, and an extended period of AI 'learning' to optimise your ad delivery for an increased number of terms.

In theory automation will improve for small business as the brains behind AI 'learn'.

In theory, over time, automation will improve for small business as the brains behind AI are 'fed' enough data to 'learn'. But right now, in August 2023, automatic application of Google's recommendations can be a disaster for a small business budget.

Let Google's algorithms learn on big business budgets, not yours.

Shortcuts To Disaster

The AI recommendations that seem like a convenient shortcut can drive up your cost per lead or sale. If you like tossing money into the fire, fan those flames while you can - your budget is probably burning up like kerosene.

Big businesses tend to have the budgets AI needs, but a small business, just doesn't.

Navigate AI changes with a PPC expert

A business needs enough resource to be able to navigate algorithm's 'learning phase' and monitor campaigns day-to-day. Missing one negative keyword can move your campaign scores from 'high quality' to 'low', provoking a higher cost to display your ads - as relevance is a component to cost.

AI can be a free-fall on your budget

The key to navigating digital marketing platforms is metrics. On Google Ads, success is not based simply on your industry, competition or campaign set-up - a trio of bounce rate, click-through-rate and landing page relevance determine your campaign's fate.

  • Automated recommendations may drive more people to site, but if your visitors bounce off your campaign landing page quickly, you'll find your ads end up with a lower quality score, which, in turn, leads to a higher Cost-Per-Click. If that's not managed, it'll embarrass your end-of-year reports.
  • Your ad might be seen more with 'broad-match' keywords, but if it's less relevant the individual viewing your ad, you'll end up with a lower 'Click-Through-Rate' resulting in a lower ad quality score, and, you guessed it, a higher Cost-Per-Click. Ugh.
  • Google's algorithm reviews the connection between your ad and its corresponding landing page. If your landing page content echoes the ad's message and fulfils the user's intent, your campaign's relevance soars. Conversely, misleading ad-to-landing page transitions can wreak havoc on your scores, leading to inflated costs and frustrated potential customers.

In the world of Google Ads, metrics can't be neglected; your numbers are signposts guiding towards not only improved Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), but improved user experience (UX). The nexus between your ad, landing page, and audience's intent can mean the difference between a cost-effective campaign and a financial sinkhole.

Avoid blindly following the suggestions of automation

While Google Ad's recommendations promise ease and convenience, it's crucial to approach each with discernment. Metrics shape your campaign's destiny and managing each underscores the need for a strategic, human touch.

Need help navigating Google Ads? Work with a local PPC expert to manage yours.

You may also be interested in: Are Google Ads Worth It For Small Business?


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