We run a lot of Google Adwords campaigns for our clients, and one of the most common questions they ask us after a campaign goes live is: “why can’t I see my ads in the search results?”
Understandably, they may think something’s wrong. However, don’t panic if this is the case for you. Not seeing the ad live from your personal AdWords account doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t working.
Below, we’ll talk about some reasons why your ads may not be showing from your own account, even if they are working perfectly fine. But because we know sometimes mistakes can happen, we’ll also include some reasons for why your ads might not be performing as you’d like.
Why You Can’t See Your Own Ads
The first thing you can do to see the status of your ads is to log into your AdWords account and select “today” from the date menu. If your impressions number (meaning the number of times the ad was displayed) is anywhere above 0, then the ad is running normally.
If it is, and you still can’t see the ads, then it might be something about your account. Specifically, you’re not in the target audience
You’ve most likely selected a target audience to whom you want your ads to, and it’s possible you are not in that target. So no matter how much you search your brand expecting to see the ads in Google search, the system doesn’t consider you as part of the target audience.
You can check if:
- You are in the area targeted;
- You are searching from a targeted device – if you’re only targeting mobile phone, but search from a desktop, then the ad won’t be visible to you;
- You are looking for the campaign at a time when it is active. With ad scheduling, for example, your campaign will only appear during specific times of day, so you need to check it during those time frames.
Moreover, if you are using the company device or connection to look for the ads, it’s possible your advertiser had your internal IP blocked, which won’t allow you to see any ads run by your business while at work. We also do it to have a better view of ad performance. You may be excited to view the ads live, or check on them multiple times, which are essentially extra impressions. But those impressions aren’t genuine so they might lead to wrong conclusions on ad performance.
These are some possible explanations for why you can’t see the ads from your account. However, if low impression numbers or click through rate indicate that something might be wrong with your Google ad, then we will look at the following factors to determine the culprit:
Why Nobody Can See Your Ads
- No money
If you’ve had issues with your billing, or the campaign budget runs out, all the ads are automatically stopped. Google Ads will notify you through an email if your billing details have expired or have other issues, but in case you missed it you can also check this out in your Google Ads account.
Make sure to also check the campaign budget. Google won’t go over the sum you told them you’re willing to spend, so if your budget was spent entirely, the ads are no longer active. You can fix that by simply adding more money to the budget.
- Your Schedule Is the Issue
You can add a start and end date for all your campaigns, and the ads will only run during those specific dates. But mistakes can easily happen, and you could have mix-up months or days and cutting the campaign shorter than you wanted.
The campaign will go live once you change these dates. Or, if you want them to run indefinitely, you can also skip setting an end date.
- Keyword Issues
The problem here could also be a negative keywords conflict or a target keyword disapproval.
A negative keyword conflict means you’ve added a negative keyword (terms to avoid) that even partially matches the targeted keywords. That happens especially with broad match keywords. This match type creates a bit of confusion, and the system doesn’t activate the ad.
Target keyword disapproval means the keyword you’ve chosen as the target goes against Google Ads policies. You can use the AdWords Keyword diagnostics tool to see if there is an issue with your targeted keyword and edit the campaigns to remove them. Check the search volume of your key phrases in Google Analytics as well and adjust the keyword bids accordingly.
- Other Policy Issues
Essentially, if your ad does not respect Google’s advertising policy, that could be the reason why your ads are not running.
Issues can be anything from inappropriate ad copy to using the wrong network for the type of ads you want to run. If there is any issue of this kind, Google will generally notify you via email what the problem with your ad is so you can fix it as soon as possible.
The good news is that Google won’t run (and charge you for) ads that are not optimized or have mistakes. You should check out Google’s advertising policy to see exactly what rules they have.
- It Hasn’t Been Approved yet
Believe it or not, but we do get questions about why ads aren’t visible just a few hours after the campaign was set up.
Typically, the ads should be up and running within a day, but since it’s an automatic system, glitches can happen, and it may take longer for your ads to get approved. Thankfully, you can check on your ad status in the status column and if approval is still pending, then you’ll just have to wait. A longer time for approval doesn’t necessarily mean something’s wrong, either.
Back to You
If you don’t see your Google Ads right away, it might mean something is wrong, but before you go into a panic attack, see if it’s not an issue with your personal Google account or the network you use.
But if they are fine, then it’s worth logging into your AdWords account to see if there is anything in you ad construction that could prevent them from appearing in the Search of Display Network. Most of these issues, you’ll be happy to discover, are pretty easy to fix, and the ads will be up and running in no time. See if your Quality Score is too low or if there are bid adjustments problems. But, generally the ad preview tool should give you a good idea of how your ads will perform.
Do you want to grow your business with Google Ads? Then you might need a versed digital marketer on your team. Contact Australian Internet Advertising today and our dedicated team of AdWords experts will help you with everything.