We hear this all of the time from our clients, "Why don't my Google ads show up when I search for them?" The simple answer is that your ad won't appear every time you search (or anyone else searches) for it. Whether your paid search ads appear in any given search depends on a number of factors, including your paid budget, your previous search history and other advertisers' ads competing to appear for the same search phrases.
The best way to confirm that your Google ad is showing for customers (even if you can't see it every time) is to look at your ad statistics or to use the ad preview function. If you find that your ad isn’t receiving any clicks or impressions, then it's time to look for the reason. A non-existent or low click-through rate could be due to any number of factors. We'll explain the most common ones below.
You're Searching From Another Location
Some of the most effective ads appear to customers based on their geographic location. After all, if you own a catering business in Kansas City, you don't want to pay for New York City or Boston residents to see your ad. For that reason, you're unlikely to see your ad if you are checking your ad from outside of your specified geographic location. Instead, use Google's Ad Preview tool to do searches within the geographic location you’ve targeted and previewed your ad from any location.
Your Ad Has Been Paused or Deactivated
Double-check to see that your ad is active (and not deactivated) so it can run. You or one of your team members may have paused your ad for some reason, such as a change in menu or to work on a new landing page, and forgotten to reactive it.
You’ve Performed Too Many Searches Without Clicking
If you repeatedly search for your own business on Google but don't click on your ad, you may stop seeing the ad after a while. That's because Google's system recognizes your computer and stops showing you ads that it thinks don't interest you. Again, the Ad Preview tool can help you view your ads as they appear into customers in Google search results.
You Have Billing Errors That May Have Caused Your Ads to Stop Running
If your account with Google is past due, they will suspend your Google ads. This is often because they are unable to charge your stored form of payment, as can happen with an expired credit card or a card on file that you no longer use. Your ads will be suspended also if you’ve used all of the funds from your last payment. One of the first things you should do if you're not seeing your ad is to check your account status.
You've Depleted Your Daily or Monthly Ad Budget
With Google Ads, you set an average daily budget for your ad when you structure your ad campaign. We then multiply that figure by the number of days in the month to come up with your maximum monthly budget. Your actual spend may vary from day to day. There may even be days when we'll allocate less of your budget. If the budget for your ad has already been met for either the day or the entire month, your ad won't run.
Your Ad is Under Review or Has Been Disapproved
Disapproved ads also won’t run. This includes ads that sell a disallowed product or that have a questionable word or phrase in them. There may be an easy explanation for this. Check your email for disapproval messages from Google. These generally have information about how to resolve issues with your ad. If you don’t see an email, make sure to check your spam folder.
The Search Volume for Your Keyword is Too Low
If you're targeted a keyword that just isn't getting any traffic, Google will temporarily suspend your ads pending an uptick in traffic. Unless you have reason to believe that your keyword is going to experience a sudden surge in traffic, as can happen with a seasonal event, you'll want to consider replacing the keyword with a better-performing one.
Your Ad Copy Isn't Optimized
It's not enough to choose good, targeted keywords. You need to make sure that your ad copy is attractive both to potential customers and to search engines, particularly Google. This means including your target keyword in the title of the and also in the body of your ad.
Your Landing Page Isn't Relevant
Google doesn't just look at your ad copy. It also looks at the page that your ad directs your customers to. If your landing page doesn't include copy that's relevant to your target keyword, Google won't prioritize your ad and you and your potential customers will be less likely to see it.
There is a myriad of reasons why your Google ads don't appear when you search for one of your keywords. At Marcel Digital, we can help you get the most from your paid search ad dollars and help your ads appear to target customers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. To learn more, give us a shout - we've been helping companies like yours excel in digital marketing for more than a decade.
About the author
Morgan is the Paid Media Director at Marcel Digital, specializing in creative ways to provide solutions in paid advertising platforms for all types of goals.