Why I Can’t See My AdWords Ad And What Can I Do About It?

January 25, 2024

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

What’s wrong? 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!

Why can’t you see your Google ads?

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 on your entire campaign, and 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 Google Ads 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 campaign 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.

Find more about Ad preview and diagnosis tool here.

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 labour as soon as possible. However, that’s not how digital marketing works.

How long for Google ads to appear?

It can take up to five days for Google Ads to approve your ads and keywords.

Even after that, clicks and impressions aren’t going to pour in 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.

Need help with your Google Ads campaign? We are here to help! Simply give us a call to get started.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session
Google Reviews Icon