Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that helps businesses reach their target audience and drive conversions. It is a great tool to increase your visibility and brand awareness online, and as such, it’s usually featured in the digital advertising strategies we recommend to clients.

Manage your Google Ads effectively: it’s not a tap

There are numerous cases where advertisers make the mistake of treating Google Ads like a kitchen tap: turning them on when you need enquiries, and turning them off when you:

  • Are going away for a week or two
  • Booked out for the next two to three weeks
  • Didn’t receive as many enquiries as last month

And we get it, the logic is there. However, what goes on behind the scenes within the Google ads platform means that this approach can be detrimental for one key reason:

Google re-enters its learning phase.

Turning ads off prevents Google from gaining valuable insights into important market trends and demographics.

What happens when you turn Google Ads on and off?

Turning Google Ads on and off is detrimental to account performance due to the learning phase that occurs every time large account modifications are made, or long pauses of activity occur. When you make changes to your account, Google needs time to adjust to and learn from those changes. This includes adjusting bids, bidding strategies, targeting settings, and creative.

If you constantly turn your ads on and off, you’re resetting Google’s learning process every time. This means that your account is never given the opportunity to fully optimise and perform at its best based on the behaviour of your target audience. It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back.

Ads use algorithms and historical data

Google’s machine learning algorithms rely heavily on historical data to make informed decisions about your account. When you turn your ads off, you’re cutting off the flow of data, making it difficult to predict and optimise (the actions required to serve your ads to the right people at the right time).

This historical data includes: 

  • Monthly keyword search volume
  • Ad impressions
  • User search queries 
  • Gender, age and location demographics 
  • User conversion data

The impact of Google Ads on search engine marketing

Another important factor to consider is the impact turning your ads off can have on your ad rank and quality score. When your ads are turned off, your competitors have the opportunity to outbid you and take top ad positions. This leads to decreased ad visibility and ultimately a decline in conversions and overall traffic when you do turn your ads back on.

Tailoring Google Ads for you

Remember, Google Ads isn’t a tap to turn on and off before giving the platform time to learn and adjust. At Threesides, after we’ve developed your strategy and implemented tactics, we leave ads to run for at least four weeks before making any large digital structural changes. The initial data that is gathered can tell us what’s working and what’s not, but we need this time to see trends in the data first.

When clients approach us to turn their ads off, our first instinct is to understand how you came to this decision. If you’re away, booked out, or if enquiries have slowed, it makes sense that you want to turn off your ads.

In cases like these, we can recommend making smaller changes that won’t necessarily impact overall ad performance. These recommendations may include:

  • Making a small or incremental reduction in your budget so as to not trigger a learning phase
  • Funnelling the budget to alternate ad types. For example, if you’re booked out we might focus the budget on display advertising for awareness, instead of “book now” conversion ads

It takes time for Google to re-learn your target audience’s behaviour, so if you’re receiving fewer enquiries now, you’ll receive even less when your ads are turned back on. The next time you’re having thoughts about changing your Google Ads strategy, chat with our digital advertising team first.