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I Can’t See My Ads: Why Aren’t My Adwords Ads Showing?

missing ads

“I can’t see my ads – why aren’t my damn Adwords ads showing?”

I’ve responded to this question from confused, occasionally angry customers more than a handful of times.

Here’s the scenario…..


You (the customer) goes to Google and you type in a search term being targeted by your agency in your campaign…you check position 1,2, 3…4, 5 all the way to the bottom of the search results page and your ad is nowhere to be seen. First you get confused, then you get angry, you turn to blame and jump to the conclusion that your agency is at fault. They are responsible for managing your ads after all so who or what else is to blame.

We let’s see (or not) shall we, because all is not always as it seems!

There are many reasons why your ads might not be showing, here are just a few.

1. You are not seeing what most users see.

Having checked your Adwords campaign you know that your ad is accruing clicks and impressions. But when you search for it, you can’t find it!

Google has a dynamic ad serving system meaning what you see may, sometimes be different and not representative of what most other users see. To get a truer picture try searching for your ad using the Adwords ad preview page. This page will show your ads the way most users see them, without accruing any additional impressions for your ads and thus altering your click-through-rate.


Google Adwords Ad Preview Page

2. Your bid is set below the first page bid.

On your Keyword Analysis page, you will see a metric labeled ‘Estimated bid to show on the first page’ or displayed in the ‘status’ column of your keyword table. This metric, also referred to as the ‘first page bid estimate,’ approximates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid required for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results page when a search query exactly matches your keyword.

However, meeting the first page bid estimate is not a guarantee of your ad getting placed on the first page. Ad placement will still depend on Quality Score, your cost-per-click (CPC) bid, your budget and account settings, and user and advertiser behaviour. Also it may be that your agency has intentionally set your bid lower than the estimated page one bid, knowing that the keyword is not profitable above a certain cost-per-click. It is not always better to have an ad appearing higher if the cost to acquire the click becomes too high.

3. Your Ads show rarely due to a low Quality Score.

Adwords Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Having a high Quality Score means that Google’s ad server think your ad, keyword, and landing page are all relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad. Having a low quality score on the other hand may mean your keyword is rarely triggering ads because Google do not see it as relevant. Your Google Adwords Management Agency should work with you to increase your quality score by creating targeted ads and landing pages that closely match the search terms being used by searchers

4. You’re AdWords account is new and under review.

If your ads have been reviewed and approved to run, it’s probable that your Adwords account is going through a periodic review. Google conduct account reviews to maintain the quality of AdWords.

5. Your budget has run out for the day.

If your daily budget nears its daily limit then your Ads will stop showing for some searches and stop entirely once your daily budget is exhausted.  You can see if your ads are missing impressions and clicks due to budgetary constraints by viewing the status column next to each campaign in the campaigns view.

If “limited by budget” is present consider increasing your budget or consult your agency to implement day parting where by your budget is spread ‘unevenly’ throughout the day to maximise the most profitable periods.

Still wondering where your ads have vanished to?

Try the Ads Diagnostic Tool which can identify why a particular ad or group of ads may not be showing or contact us here at Click Jam for a free analysis of your Adwords campaign.


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