Here’s Why Google is Calling About Your Google Ads Account
If you manage a Google Ads account, you have probably noticed an increasing number of unsolicited calls and emails appearing to come from Google over the past year.
The individuals behind these communications identify themselves as a “Google Account Strategist”, and they desperately want to give you advice that they say will improve the performance of your Google Ads campaign. They are highly persistent, and will continue contacting you (and/or your clients) until someone engages with them.
If this sounds familiar, you may find yourself understandably confused or concerned about theses solicitations. Here is an overview to help you stay informed.
Who Is Calling Me?
First, it’s important to distinguish between authorized Google account strategists vs. unaffiliated account managers from rogue agencies looking to poach business (or worse). Unaffiliated account managers will oftentimes contact businesses whose ads they see pop up via Google searches and attempt to convince the business to move over to their ad management services, often by using scare tactics (e.g. “you’re losing money”).
In this case, we are talking about the former – Google account strategists. A legitimate Google account strategist will typically send advance emails from a Google.com email address that includes the Customer ID associated with the Google Ads in question.
In some cases, the Google account strategist may cold call you, and will ask you to provide your email address and your account number before proceeding – this can be a bit off-putting, particularly if you are not expecting the call. They usually begin the discussion with some urgency and alarm – telling you there are issues with your account that are preventing you from reaching potential clients. The strategists can oftentimes be relentless; you may get five or six phone calls in a row until you pick up, and they will want to speak immediately.
Be warned - if you take a call from an account strategist, you can expect to spend a fair amount of time reviewing the account with them, and always bear in mind that a valid Google account strategist will never ask for your password or login details (see more security notes from Google).
Why Are They Calling, and What Can I expect?
If you proceed with the call, the rep is most likely going to walk you through changes they would like to make to your account. Oftentimes, these changes may be innocuous enough: adding any missing extensions, an extra line of ad text, enabling a feature, etc. Their aim seems to be to get you to apply all the tools Google makes available via the Ads platform.
Eventually, you can expect the conversation to move towards budget. They are going to want you to use an automated bidding strategy, most likely Enhanced CPC. If you are running out your daily budget, they are also going to tell you that you need to increase your daily spend in order to stop missing out on potential clicks and clients.
Ultimately, the goal of the account strategist is to help your campaign succeed; after all, if you don't get results you may stop advertising, and that's not good for business. Conversely, if your campaign is successful you may spend even more.
Why Should I Be Skeptical?
While the intentions of the account strategists are aimed toward helping you improve Google Ads campaign performance, they are ultimately working on behalf of Google, and not you. They know the Google platform reasonably well, but they do not know your business well. This is significant, because the Google Ads platform has a multitude of powerful tools, and not all of them are appropriate for every client or every industry.
For example, auto-generated ad text may be a good fit for a hotel chain, but could get a law firm into hot water. A “maximize conversions” bid strategy may generate lots of calls for one business, but cripple another business whose main goal is to appear in one of the top-positioned spots (better achieved with a manual CPC strategy).
While the advice these account reps offer may fall under best practices in many scenarios, they often lack the context or insight for a particular campaign that would be necessary to provide informed recommendations. After all, it's hard to apply a cookie-cutter approach that will meet everyone's needs, and it's important to understand the specific demographics of the target audience and the nature of the services being promoted to build an effective strategy.
For this reason, it's helpful to make sure that you have an informed account manager (whether in-house staff, a consultant, or an agency) who understands your business vet the Google account strategist recommendations before you implement them.
Can I Opt Out?
Account preference settings seem to have no impact on whether or not you will receive contacts of this nature from Google, and our subsequent discussions with Google account strategists confirm that there is no formal procedure to proactively opt-out, other than to request they cease communications after you've been contacted. It seems that if you have a Google Ads account, you're fair game for unsolicited outreach.
How Should I Proceed?
First, if you have any doubt as to the authenticity of the person contacting you about your Google Ads account, the first thing you should do is let them know that you will not speak to them until they verify themselves by sending you an email from their google.com address that includes your customer ID. They should be able to provide this for you; do not offer it to them if you are not confident they are actually from Google.
Once you are confident that you are speaking with a legitimate Google representative you can start a session with them on the spot if you want to hear their suggestions and you have the time; otherwise, you can schedule a follow-up appointment. If you are working with an agency or your own Ads management specialist, it’s a good idea to let them know that you have been contacted and include them in any follow-up planning, or suggest that they follow-up with the Google strategist directly on your behalf.
Alternatively, if you do not want the contacts from Google to continue you can let them know that you decline the offer and ask to be removed from their contact list. They should honor this request, although you will need to be firm and they may protest a bit.
Ultimately, an Ads professional who understands your account and the nature of your business is in the best position to make campaign decisions that will provide meaningful results – direct the Google reps their way. Is it possible these unknown account strategists might have something helpful to contribute? Sure, but take it in context, and with a grain of salt.
If you have questions or concerns about how to get the most out of your Google Ads account, feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help.
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