Review: Google’s New Account Health Score for Search (Beta)

Earlier this month, Google did a very limited beta release of a new feature in the AdWords Opportunities tab called the “Account Health Score for Search.”  I must admit that this tool made me a little nervous; at first glance, it was eerily similar to WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader, as a few people pointed out.

Our team was dying to do a deep dive of the beta feature, but it was tough to find an account with access to it. After poring through hundreds of accounts, we finally found one with a health score.

Here’s my two-cents on the new tool and how it stacks up to our AdWords Performance Grader:

What is Google’s Account Health Score?

account health score for search dashboard 

Upon initial analysis of the beta, it appears to be a fairly basic best practice check. It assesses each of your campaigns and then provides an overarching grade for your account, which is likely an average of all of your individual campaign scores. However, only scores for campaigns that have room for improvement are revealed.

Unlike the Grader, it bases your account’s “healthiness” on how much you are leveraging platform features, rather than how your account is actually performing. Each campaign is graded on a 15-point scale that checks to see whether you’re leveraging platform features, such as ad extensions, conversion tracking, the Search Partners Network, and adhering to standard best practices, such as using a recommended daily budget and running tightly-themed ad groups.

campaign level grade 

The campaign-level reports highlight 3-4 sections that you’re struggling with, along with the number of points that will be added to your score upon fixing them—giving you a clear path to reach 100%. For each segment the call-to-action is to “get started” and clicking on it redirects you to that section of the AdWords interface. However, assistance peters off when you actually get there. Google highlights the problem, but doesn’t provide any tangible instructions to help you actually fix it.

Should I use it?

Absolutely—if Google has already rolled it out to your account, that is. When it comes to paid search, I’m an advocate for trying any and all tools out there, especially when they’re free. Embrace this new report, for what it is—a glorified best practices check. It’s an easy way to determine whether you’re taking advantage of the many features that Google has to offer you.

That said, unless many changes are made prior to the mass rollout of this tool, it should not be used to gauge your overall paid search performance. The only tool that truly grades your account based on how you’re performing, rather than what you’re doing, is WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader.

adwords grader 

Our Grader provides a more comprehensive, in-depth analysis of your account. We show an account-level score, which is broken down into various categories (wasted spend, Quality Score distribution and impression share optimization, to name a few) to show you key areas of opportunity for your account.

Even better, we’ll show you exactly how you stack up to competitors (from a size, spend and industry perspective) who have also run the Grader report. Since the Grader’s inception 5 years ago, we’ve analyzed over over $60 billion in AdWords spend, so we’ve got plenty of competitive intel in store for users. This is an incredibly powerful way to assess whether your account manager is nailing it or whether he/she could use a helping hand!

Is the Health Score a rip-off of our AdWords Grader?

Ah, the burning question! I certainly can’t speak to the Google Product Team’s strategy, but I’d be curious to see how they’d answer that question! From my review, it’s clear that the only similarity between these tools is the scoring component. However, these scores are based on vastly different criteria; Google is grading product adoption, while WordStream’s Grader is gauging your performance in comparison to businesses in your industry that are spending a similar amount each month.

But why listen to me—see it for yourself! Get your free Grader report here to see just how much more intel you’ll get! 

About the Author

Erin Sagin is a PPC Evangelist at WordStream. She was named the 4th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016 by PPC Hero. When she’s able to take a break from paid search, you’ll find her practicing her hula-hooping skills or planning her next trip to Latin America. You can follow Erin on Twitter and Google+.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: