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July 24, 2020

Beware of The Phone Call From Google

Beware of The Phone Call From Google
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If you are advertising using Google, you will likely at some point receive a call from a Google representative.

In this episode, Andy discusses the true motivation of calls behind those friendly Google Account Strategist and guess what? It is not purely about helping just you with your advertising.

Find out what it is like only Andy can explain you by listening to this episode.


Andy Splichal, who was recently named to the Best of Los Angeles Awards’ Fascinating 100 List, is the founder and managing partner of True Online Presence, author of the Make Each Click Count book series and Founder of Make Each Click Count University found at

He is a certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience and counting helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal visit, read the full story on his blog at or shop his books on Amazon or at

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Podcast and on Make Each Click Count at


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:00  

Hello there, this is your host, Andy Splichal. And today we are going to discuss something that if you have been advertising for any length of time using Google Shopping you have probably experienced, it is the phone call from Google with some helpful tips on how to improve your advertising. You'll see one way that Google continues to grow is by assigning representatives to advertising accounts and the role of an account strategist. Now depending on how much money you spend each month, it's going to determine how often a Google account strategist contacts you. Well, regarding strategizing your account. Now before I go into a tirade of how Google uses live representatives to convince their current advertisers to increase their spending, I want to talk about the positive side first of advertising on Google. I believe that Google is perhaps the greatest advertising channel ever invented. Now that might seem over the top, but I really do believe it. Where else in the history of mankind can you reach so many potential customers where they have an interest to purchase? Regardless, if you're a company, offering roofing repair, or a company who sells T shirts, the ability to reach potential customers is unparallel. And addition Google advertising platform, it continues to evolve. Google Offers advertisers the ability to select where within their network to advertise using different keywords in different format types, all while being able to manually or automatically control the bids. It is no wonder that with all the many ways to optimize a Google Ads account, many advertisers do not take advantage of everything that we've identified their account. Now quick analogy. And then we'll talk a little bit more about the Google account strategist. Have you ever gone to an all you can eat buffet? At a good All you can eat buffet, there are typically going to be many more choices than you can possibly eat. Some of these options like the Artichoke Salad with fresh sardine will, you know, it might not look right for you. Maybe for some people it is, but for most probably when not. Now, what if there, bear with me here for a second? What if there was buffet strategist from the restaurant that came to your table? And while you were eating, he asked if you had time to discuss the buffet? Well, you probably would listen to what they had to say. Right? But after discussing how to go about the main dishes of the buffet, like the roast beef carving station or the different pasta, the buffet strategist might ask you if you tried their new Artichoke Salad with sardine oil? Well, after you tell them no, they're gonna go on and tell you about how the Artichoke Salad how it was made and how good it is for you how many other buffet goers haven't enjoyed it over time? And you might decide to try it. However, before you do. Would you want to know that that buffet strategy is gets paid more? Depending on how many people eat the sardine salad? Would it change your level of trust knowing that is why he wants more people to try it? Well, I'm not sure if you've followed my buffet story. However, let me plainly explain the point I'm trying to make. So Google typically changes the reps every quarter to manage different accounts. And the goal of the Google account strategist is to increase spending in the quarter for their assigned accounts. So by having their assigned advertisers, they want them to either do number one, increase spending on current types of advertising, says eat more of the roast beef, or to convince advertisers to expand advertising across networks, not currently in use. So that's try the artichoke and sardine salad. Now, as an official partner agency Google rewards points based on how much money my private clients spend, and more points based on how well an account is optimized compared to Google's automated metrics, and addition and agency like mine will receive additional points for having their clients spend more money on a Toria Slee poor, performing at least profitability wise channels such as Google display. Now these rewards have never meant anything to myself, although I did re redeem a few months ago for a shiny new Google bike. But that's a different story. However, my agency first and foremost works for our private clients. They are our number one goal and their profitability is our number one goal. Now, how do you think these rewards motivate the Google account strategist that calls you on the phone? Well, you and I will never know for sure. But it is something that you should keep in mind. So the first goal of the account rep is to increased account spinning on current types of advertising. This is where Google and the goals of its advertisers are joined. So if an advertiser is generating a healthy profit using Google ads, and they can fulfill all their orders, then an advertiser should increase their spending to garner more cells, don't you think? Now, if an advertiser, they're spending more money, that means more money for Google, which means happy Google shareholders. And with so many different ways to tweak a campaign, this is where your friendly Google specialist may come in useful. And that's why even I take their calls, they may have an insights of an expert looking at an account and an overview that you might have missed working on an account on a daily basis. Sometimes you get too close to stuff and it's great to have a bird's eye view from another expert. When you say, however, do you make it a habit to look at the Google's automated recommendations within your account? If not, you should. So the recommendations link is located in the left menu just below the overview link. And these recommendations are automated. They're just like the Google account strategist. They're going to of course help you his spend some more money, but they also give advertisers ensure there's nothing negatively affecting their account. Some examples of common suggestions a warning could include warning regarding overlapping negative keywords, suggestions for new keywords to add to a campaign, suggestions on adding different types of ad types, suggestions to add common add extension suggestions on adding new bidding strategies, there's a lot of them, they could be in there. So about a year ago, Google introduced a zero to 100% rating on how optimized each campaign is. And although I find this rating a bit arbitrary and meaningless overall, the percentage of increase percentage procedure that you will increase with each recommendation is going to tell you how important Google feels each change will be to your account. So that is really where I start with them their recommendations. However, when reviewing you must realize that these suggestions, so there are automated, automated being the keyword never blindly accept recommendations. In order to generate maximum results, you must know how these suggestions will affect your advertising. In addition, many of these suggestions Google automatically emails, if you have it enabled to receive customized home performance suggestions. Note you can manage those email settings within your preference notifications if you wish to receive or to stop receiving those recommendations. And just like within the account recommendations, Google will commonly are going to send out ways to increase your ad spend a favorite way that they do this is suggesting you add different keywords to your account. So if you receive these suggestions, you need to be very careful, because they are based on keywords, your competitors are also advertising and may not be relevant to your account. Come to think about it. You know, it's very smart for Google to let you know what keywords your competitors use, as it's going to inspire more competition and increase the price of the bid on popular keywords. So another favorite of both the Google account strategist and the automated, Google suggestions is suggesting that you fully or at least partially automate your campaigns. Now through Google Shopping, this means using Google smart campaigns, and Google search, it means using automated bidding strategies. Now I've written about both smart campaigns and automated bidding strategies, and the drawbacks for using them quite a lot in my blog, blog dot draw online If you're looking for detailed information on the pitfalls, and exactly why I recommend you not using, however, in a nutshell, what the biggest drawback of using these automated strategies is that it takes control from the advertisers on how and where to spend their money. Instead advertisers blindly in the case of smart campaigns and semi blindly in the case of automated bidding strategies trust Google to make the best decisions with their advertising dollar. Especially with smart shopping campaigns where advertisers cannot see their bids. What keywords are ads appear for or even what networks are ads appear in? This is going to take a lot of trust. And trusting Google is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the hen house when you say, of course, Google wants us advertisers to be successful. If not, they're not going to advertise anymore with Google. But there are different levels of success when it comes to advertising with Google, by reducing profitability just a bit, while substantially increasing advertiser spending, and testing different lesser used advertising methods inside Google ads. It might make perfect sense if you are Google. But does that make sense for you? So if the smart campaigns and automated campaigns perform better, I would have no problem implementing them across all my clients accounts. In fact, it would make my life much easier, and would allow my team more time to work on things to help increase the client's conversions. However, I've tested the automated campaigns extensively, and only once has an automated campaign outperform one of our manually optimized campaigns. Now, granted, we are doing more than most advertisers optimizing accounts, particularly using Google Shopping as I detail in my new book make each click count using Google Shopping. However, my warning is this when you are talking to a Google account strategist, they are getting incentivized to increase your spin and incentivize to have you switch to use automated bidding strategies, which end up is also going to increase your spend. Now this fact you need to keep in the forefront of your mind. Now the second goal of a Google rep is expanding advertising to networks not currently being used. So this goal goes hand in hand with the first as it will help you spend more money with your advertising, but it's a bit different and how it goes. So Google offers five main network search display, shopping, video and discover networks. Almost all advertisers use the Search Network. So these are the traditional text ads that appear on or their partner sites when you search search ads. They're the original text Google ad types. In addition, the majority of Ecommerce advertisers use the shopping network shopping ads are the ads that appear with your products picture item name price, either on the main Google tab or within Google Shopping. However, when it comes to display, video, in discover networks, those are used very little in comparison. Display ads are the ads that appear within the Google's network. Commonly used display ads include retargeting ads, which I use. However, advertisers can also just serve their ads within the Display Network to users who have never visited their website. These type of ads are much cheaper to use, but they also have much lower conversion rates. Video Ads are just what they say. They are video ads that are served on YouTube and across the web. Finally, their discovery ads, Discovery ads, or non video ads that run on YouTube, Gmail and Google discover. After your Google account strategist discusses why your account should transition to automation, the next topic will inevitably be expanding advertising to any of the networks that are you are not currently using. This is where it is important to know your goals in advertising using Google is your goal and advertising doing it for a profit or for brand awareness. I love the term brand awareness. Brand Awareness means advertising, knowing you are not going to get many if any sales. Instead, your goal with brand awareness is letting people know who you are. And especially for those of you out there that are small to midsize ecommerce company. Well, who the heck cares if they see your name and know who you are, if they have no intention of buying? So my final word is that the more money you spend using Google ads, the more often you can expect to receive a call from a helpful Google representative. And I'm not suggesting you don't pick up the phone and don't take their calls. In fact, I always take their calls. However, what I am suggesting is that you know, their motivation is to increase your account spending and getting your account to advertise across different networks. I'm also suggesting, never, never never never change how you're advertising a successful campaign without first testing. With search campaigns, you can test by running experiments and a Google account can actually change variables within a search campaign such as a bidding strategy, and actually test for a set time period and see what performs better. Now testing with smart campaigns for short bean is a bit more difficult, but you can and should attempt different methods of testing whether it's a side by side test or different time periods. Just make sure you don't make a substantial change like switching from manual to smart bidding without first testing. Now by testing you may indeed find that automated campaigns perform better however, especially for those using Google's Google Shopping and follow the best practices as I detail in my new book, Make Each Click Count Using Google Shopping, you will most likely find that a well optimized manual campaign outperforms Google smart shopping campaigns every every single time. So that's it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave a five star review. And if you're looking for better results from your online marketing requests, consider this your personal invitation to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing. I'll talk to you in the next episode.