Public Interest

Google Ads Not Showing: Here’s Why

by | May 19, 2020 | Digital Marketing

Are your Google Ads not showing? Don’t be alarmed just yet. Google considers several factors as to where they will show your ads and when. We’re covering the simple, hidden and human factors that cause your ads to disappear.

If you want to see your ads in action, use the Ad Preview tool. It’s a free tool in your account that shows how your ads look on Google search results page for a specific term. This helps you identify which ads and extensions are appearing for your keyword.

But what if your ads are also not showing on the Ad Preview tool? Then, that’s a problem. There are quite a few reasons as to why ads don’t show up on Google search. 


Campaign Setting Issues

When an issue is non-performance related, you don’t need to worry about your ad quality or landing pages. If you believe you’ve adhered to Google’s best ad practices, look into other areas like payment methods, bids, and keywords.

Payment not going through is the most common reason why ads are paused. Most advertisers choose automatic payments where advertisers are charged when either they’ve reached their pre-set payment threshold or they’ve reached the end of the current billing cycle. For these transactions to go smoothly, you need to keep your payment information updated.

The way you’re bidding can also affect your ad’s performance. Your bid may be too high or too low. If your maximum cost per click (CPC) bid exceeds the daily campaign budget set, your ads will not show for queries that match that keyword. 

It also goes the same way if your bids are too low. Your ad rank depends on your quality score for a keyword you’re bidding on and the bid itself. You may use Google’s bid simulator to check the impact of increasing your bids.

Having large negative bid adjustments may also affect your ad’s performance. Negative bid adjustments allow advertisers to automatically decrease bids within a campaign under specific parameters like device type, location, time, etc. If the negative bid adjustments made are too extreme, you are knocking yourself out of the competition.

Another factor that can affect your ads’ performance is keyword search volume. If a keyword you’re targeting drives little to no search traffic, ads tied to those keywords may be ineligible to show. It is best to find other keywords with substantial volume to replace those low-searched terms.

Your choice of negative keywords may also cause an issue. Negative keywords are set at the group level and campaign level to prevent your ads from matching to irrelevant queries. See if your chosen negative keywords are cancelling out active keywords. If you’re not sure which keywords to look into, best to consult an ad agency.

Targeting settings are also a common cause.  Are you targeting your area?  If you’re not, check the preview tool and set the location you are targeting there to see the ad in that area.  Your IP address may also be blocked from seeing these ads.  Check your ad settings in your browser and if you excluded your IP in Google Ads.  What time is it?  It may seem too simple, but oftentimes we forget we only want our ads to show during business hours.  So if you’re checking outside those hours, your ad will not show.

Don’t forget. If you tend to search for your ad outside of the preview tool and you never click on it (because you don’t want to pay for it), Google will determine that your ad is not relevant to you and will show you your ad less.


Performance-Related Issues

If your ads are not optimized or do not follow Google’s best practices, it’s very likely that it wouldn’t show up on search.  

Your performance in the auction depends on how relevant your ads are to a user’s query. The more relevant your ad is, the higher you’ll rank in paid search. If you want to ensure that your ad is relevant to search queries, you need to build an ad group with closely related keywords. 

Ad copies that are not optimized can also spell problems for the advertiser. Make sure you’ve incorporated target keywords into your copy. This helps signal Google that your ad is relevant to the user’s search query. If your copy isn’t keyword-focused enough, then your ads might not show.

A well-written ad copy also impacts your click-through rate. Click-through rates is the metric used to check the frequency of your ads turning impressions into clicks). Google rewards ads that resonate with users. If you are experiencing low click through rates, it is likely to perform poorly in the auction. Make sure to write a copy that grabs attention and compels users to click.

Irrelevant landing pages are another problematic area to consider. Google does not only look into ad copies. It also looks into your landing pages and its relevance to search queries. If your landing page fails to meet user requirements, you’ll do poorly in the auction. 

Talk to your advertising agency and plan a well-designed landing page, which is not only optimized for Google but also provides relevance to your target audience. Understand their problems, identify what they expect to get from you, and provide them with fitting solutions. 


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