Google Optimization Score – What is it and why is it important to dealers

By Renold Liu

If it’s one thing that auto dealership marketing knows, is that we need to constantly optimize our campaigns for optimal performance. Less optimization results in less clicks, leads, sales and wasted spend. 

While there are many ways to determine how well your SEM campaigns are optimized, the easiest way is to simply view your Google Adwords Optimization score. 

According to Google, the “Optimization score is an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Optimization score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential.”

Why does this matter?

To make an automotive comparison, Google’s Optimization score is how well-tuned your car is. The better tuned your car, the more performance you can squeeze out of it – or said in another way, more Horse Power per $ spent.

Similarly, the higher your optimization score, the more fuel that Google’s AI advertising machine can have to drive high intent shoppers to your website thereby squeezing more performance out of every dollar – or more results per $ spent.

Conversely, the less optimized your campaigns are, the more money you’re spending for the same result.

How can I increase optimization scores?

Just like a dealership has a list of things to do to tune-up a vehicle’s engine, Google has a list of recommendations that can be done to better optimize its AI advertising engine. 

This can include things like, adding additional keywords, adding additional phrases to your dynamic ads or increasing the number of extensions on your campaigns. Some items are pretty straightforward – like adding a call extension – however, some others are a bit more onerous – like adding 5 more descriptions to all your ads. 

The good thing is that these recommendations come with the expected numerical increase in optimization each one would give should you put in the work.

What does this mean to the dealer?

Google’s AI machine is, frankly, pretty amazing at finding high intent people who are looking at the vehicles on your lot. However, even the smartest AI machines need to have the data inputs filled incorrectly to work at it’s best.

Boiling it down, the “Optimization score” in some ways can translate directly to how well the campaign is configured and how well everything is filled in. 

Simply put If your campaigns do not have a high optimization score, Google doesn’t likely have all the information it needs to find the people shopping for your vehicles. Using this as a baseline, always look to increase your optimization score or look for an agency that regularly runs campaigns with a high optimization score.

Doing so will squeeze out the best performance from your engine … errr advertising campaigns.