You’ve selected a list of relevant keywords and grouped them based on your audience’s search intent. You’ve worked hard to create compelling ad copy and optimized it to perfection.
Everything is in order, and you are now eager to launch your Google AdWords account.
You hit the activate button, and then you wait, and you wait, and then you wait some more. In spite of your best efforts, you see no clicks, no impressions, and no action.
Are your ads not showing on Google? Is something wrong with your account? Did you make a mistake during the setup process?
Let’s find out the answer!
First Thing First: What Not to Do
If you suspect something is wrong with your AdWords campaign, the first thing you may want to do is to search for your keywords, trying to find your ads in Google search results. That can be a recipe for disaster. This action can wreak havoc your entire campaign, give you unqualified impressions and false data that could hinder the analysis of your strategy’s effectiveness.
If you suspect your ads may not show up in search results, the best thing you can do is to log into your AdWords account and select the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool button. This option is going to open a fake browser where you can search for your keywords and view your ads without altering your data.
Another thing you could do is to locate the ad you think is problematic and check if it’s collecting any data. If it does, then you can stop worrying – there’s probably nothing wrong with your campaign. The reason you can’t see it in your Ad Preview tool may have something to do with your target location. For example, if your campaigns targeted location or ad scheduling is different than yours, then the chances are that you’re not going to see the ad, but people who are searching for your keywords will encounter no problem in seeing it.
Reasons Your Ads Aren’t Showing on Google
Let’s imagine that after you’ve run a diagnosis, you can say with confidence that your ads aren’t showing in Google’s search results. So, why is this happening and what can you do to fix the problem?
Here are some possible answers.
Your Campaign or Ad Group Has Been Paused
It may sound silly. After all, you should be well aware of your campaign’s duration, right? Well, the truth is that slip-ups can happen. Especially if you are doing everything by yourself and you have a million different tasks on your table every single day, you may have forgotten that the campaign ended or that you’ve paused a certain ad group because of bad performance.
Check your campaigns and ensure that all relevant ones are active. Click on the Show All button to unhide any paused campaign.
You Have a Limited Daily Budget
Being in control of how much you spend on your Google AdWords efforts is an excellent idea, but you must be aware of the consequences. A limited daily budget, for instance, might mean that AdWords will try to spread your budget across the day to make the most of it. As a result, your ads may not show up every time someone searches for your keywords.
If possible, increase the daily budget available. Another great solution would be to determine when your target audience is more active and schedule your ads for certain hours of the day.
You Have Disapproved Ads or Keywords
Google will disapprove your ads if the text copy doesn’t adhere to its advertising policies. For example, if you’re trying to push certain products like alcohol or prescription drugs in areas where advertising these items are strictly prohibited, then Google is not going to approve your ads.
The same stands true for keywords. Google forbids advertising for keywords related to drugs, cigarettes, fireworks, firearms, pornography, and other harmful objects. Go to your AdWords account and click on the keywords tab to check the status column of your ad. There you can see if your ads are running or if Google has disapproved them. You can learn more about it by checking the AdWords Keyword Guide.
Negative Keyword Conflicts
Negative keywords can prevent you from wasting precious ad dollars on unqualified click. But, if you’ve added one by accident, that could wreak havoc your entire campaign.
Here’s an example: let’s imagine that you are a retailer that sells high-end birding binoculars. You want your ads to be seen by professional bird watchers who are ready to invest heavily into cutting-edge equipment. So, you include phrases such as “cheap birding binoculars” or “affordable birding binoculars” as negative keywords. But, without realizing, you also included “best binoculars for bird watching” as a negative keyword.
One of the simplest ways to fix this conflict is to use the Keywords Diagnosis Tool and get extensive information about any problems you may be having with your keywords. That way you can see if a negative keyword is preventing your ads from showing.
Sometimes You Just Need to Be Patient
In this fast-paced world we live in, we have become accustomed to receiving instant gratification. We expect to see the fruits of our labor as soon as possible. However, that’s not how digital marketing works. It can take up to five days for Google Adwords to approve your ads and keywords. Even after that, clicks and impressions aren’t going to pour overnight. You need to be patient, monitor your strategy and tweak it accordingly.
If you’ve checked everything on this list and still can’t see your ads in search engine results, feel free to contact us. There may be a bigger issue with your account than budget limitations and keyword approvals.