When you are new to paid search advertising there is pretty much one peeve that supersedes all others, not being able to see the ads you’re paying for!
Whether you’ve put the ads live yourself or want to double check the ad copy an agency has placed live for you it’s perfectly normal to want to see your ads appearing on the search results.
Now I wouldn’t recommend searching for your ads too many times or that often as you will simply drive yourself mad trying to find them, but if it helps you sleep at night go ahead.
It’s worth bearing in mind though there can be a whole variety of reasons why they don’t appear. First thing to do is check your campaign, ad group or keywords aren’t on pause. Sounds silly but you’d be surprised how many times this can catch you out.
If you’ve checked this and the ads are live it can be for numerous reasons.
Therefore, please find below our list of the top 10 reasons why you can’t find your PPC ads when you search:
- Limited by Budget. Not having a large enough daily budget will effect how often your ads are served by Google, it even tells you in your account when this is the case. For example if you have a daily budget of £10 a day but want to appear for a keyword that has a large search volume its simply not possible to appear for every search. With a smaller budget your ads will only show for a percentage of searches in order to ensure an even distribution of your ads across the day.
- Budget has run out. Once you’re daily budget is exhausted your ads stop showing. This ensures your monthly budget isn’t exceeded but is a pain if you have a very strong click through rate one morning meaning your budget has gone by midday.
- Day Part Splitting. It’s possible to set your ads in Adwords to only appear on certain days and at certain times. So for example if you’re a florist offering next day delivery you may only run your ads until 2pm to ensure you get orders you can easily honor. Therefore if you search at 2.15pm for your ads you won’t find them. Its worth checking day part settings in your account if you can’t find your ads as this is another common reason.
- Ads Disapproved. Ads can get disapproved by Adwords all the time for a variety of reasons. Adwords does send you an email telling you ads have been disapproved but if you miss this or the email is sent to another email address you’d never know but your ads will stop showing all the same.
- Low Search Volume. Some keywords appear as ‘low search volume’ when you select them. What this basically means is Google won’t show ads on these searches every time as the amount of searches this keyword receives is very low. Therefore if you search for your ads on one of these terms its 50/50 any ad will show never mind your advert.
- Quality Score. The quality score and your bid affect where your ads appear on the search results. Different elements including CTR, ad relevance and quality of your landing page all affect the quality score assigned to each keyword in your account. If the quality score in your account is very low you can either up your bid [sometimes to a unmanageable level] to get your ads show or they very rarely will.
- You’ve searched too often. This one sounds like a lie but it’s the truth I tell you! Basically, the way Google chooses to serve its ads is it’s looking to show the most relevant ads to users. Google also tracks whom its serves ads too and once it identifies a user has seen a certain ad a specific amount of times it can stop showing the ad. This is because Google determines the ads as irrelevant to you if you haven’t clicked on it, which you would never do if that were your ad. Google as a system wants to show relevant ads that get clicked on as this makes them their money. So if you have been searching for you ads on several occasions and found them and then all of a sudden it stops showing it’s likely it’s still showing, just not for you!
- Ads going through approval process. When you submit new text and image ads, they all go through an approval process to check them against Google’s advertising policies. Image ads are typically approved or disapproved within 24 hours but image ads can take a few working days. So the time between uploading your ads and being approved you won’t find your ads displaying.
- Issues with Billing. If Google is ever unable to take payment from your bank or card your ads will be suspended until you have paid the outstanding debt on the account. Google does send out emails warning you when your ads have being paused for this reason but if you miss this email you won’t be able to find your ads when you search.
- Geo-targeting too specific. The geo-targeting options in Adwords are generally very good but when you are looking to target a very specific area it can cause a few problems. We’ve had clients in the past who have wanted to target very specific areas and when done so the ads have barely shown. Ok, this is also probably down to the area also having a very small search volume but when the client is in this area searching and the ads don’t show it’s a hard point to explain to the client. Best thing to do here is expand your geo-targeted area slightly and then exclude the areas you don’t want, the ads seem to work fine then.
There are multiple other reasons your ads may not be showing but above are the main reasons. However, if you have been through the above and still can’t work out why your ads aren’t showing perhaps you need help. Creare are happy to help with your PPC marketing, call today for assistance or to learn more about our managed PPC packages.