Why don’t I see my Google Pay-Per-Click Ads?

Pay-Per-Click Client Concerns


When we start a new client's first Google PPC campaign, the client is very excited to see his ads on the top of Google, and he loves it when his phone begins to ring more. But sooner or later, we get a call or email that says something like, "I don't think my ads are working properly, I just searched for 'My Keyword 1,' and our ad showed up, but when I searched for 'My Keyword 2,' it did not show. Then I started searching for all my important keywords. Sometimes my ads would show, but 80% of the time, I did not see my Google ad. What’s wrong?”


Big Pay-Per-Click Mistakes


The above complaint maps out one of the most common Pay-Per-Click mistakes, so the first part of our response always begins with, "Don't do this." Not only is the method not a valid way to test your AdWords ads, but it's actually hurting your PPC campaigns and your PPC performance. Anytime you want to check your ads, you must use the Google Ad Preview Tool.


Why should I use the Ad Preview Tool?


First, it's good to understand why using your phone to search for your ads does not work. Let's say your business is a freestanding emergency room and you want to see your ads, so you type in "emergency room" and your ad pops up. So, you type in "emergency care," but your ad does not show up. Then, you type in "emergency room near me" and once again, your ad does not show up. Why not?


First, Google wants clicks, so when Google shows you a set of ads, and you don't click on these ads, then the algorithm assumes you should see a different set of ads. Therefore, if you are searching for your business' keywords many times but are not clicking on your ads, Google will stop showing your ads altogether because you're not clicking on them.


Second, Google has a metric called Click-Thru-Rate, or CTR, that calculates the number of times that your ad is clicked on when it appears in a Google search. For example, if your ads are shown 100 times, and they get clicked on twice, that's a 2% CTR.  You want your ads to have the highest CTR possible because Google gets paid for clicks, and when an ad has a high CTR, they know that it is a good ad that is working for Google users everywhere. The higher your CTR, the more often your ads are shown. In fact, if you have a high CTR, Google may show your ads above your competitors, even if they are paying more than you.


Ad Preview Tool to the Rescue


When you use the Ad Preview Tool, it does not count against your CTR. You can do 20 searches for your ads in a row, and it won't impact your CTR at all. Additionally, the Ad Preview Tool will let you know if your ads are showing, what position they are showing in, and why your ads may not be showing. This is a terrific free tool available to all AdWords advertisers, and it gives you valuable information while you are testing and looking for your own ads.


The Ad Preview Tool also allows its user to preview ads as if the viewer is in a different zip code, and as if the viewer is using a tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer. The zip code feature can help you gauge what people in different areas of a city or region are seeing or not seeing when they search for your business' keywords. The device feature allows you to see what various devices are showing or not showing in Google searches.


The Bottom Line


Google has a pretty good explanation of why you may not see your ads in this helpful article. The bottom line is to know that if you want to see your ads like a prospect, you have to use the Ad Preview Tool. Google tracks IP addresses of every search, and if you search for the same thing all the time, Google will stop showing your ads altogether. So don't panic if you don't see your ad. AdWords has excellent reporting metrics and will show you every click, every search impression, and every dollar you spend on Google advertising. Call Niche and let us show you how your ads are performing. We'll gladly share some great techniques to help you get the most out of AdWords.