Why can I not see my google ads when I do a search using a keyword I am supposed to be showing for?
This is a question that is often asked, and can be quite confusing when you have just set up a new adwords campaign but your ads aren’t showing when you do the search.
Here are some reasons why this happens, and hopefully clears some concerns you may have.
Budget & Delivery Method
You have a set amount that you want to spend on clicks every month, this is your budget. It is important that you have your budget set in terms of how much you are willing to pay per day on ad clicks. (If you have a monthly budget in mind, the best way to figure out what that is per day is to divide by 30.4. This will then account for the days in the month that have 30,31 and sometimes 29.)
As long as you have your budget set, then Google will not go over that budget. If you don’t set your budget, then it is a free for all and you could get a huge price shock when Google goes and spends thousands on clicks. So it is really important that you do this.
There are two options in the way that your budget gets spent during the day. It can be evenly spread over the day, so you get a consistent number of visitors to your site, or it can be accelerated where your budget gets used up as early as possible in the day, and once it is used up you will receive no more traffic to your website for the rest of that day.
If you have your budget use settings (called delivery method) as standard, and your budget is smaller than the amount of searches that are made every month, then your ads are not always going to show when your keywords are used for searches. This is because if you were to show your ad every single time a search was made, then your number of clicks on your ad would rise and your budget would not last for the month. So the only way to even it out is to show your ads a certain number of times so you get to the end of the month with your budget.
If you are using the accelerated delivery method, this setting means you are wanting to get as many visitors as possible as early as possible in the month, so later in the day your ads are not going to show because you have no budget left.
Location & Location Intent
These settings determine if your ads are going to show to a particular searcher. If you want your ads to only show in a particular location, say a neighbouring city to where you are, then if you search for a keyword from a different city, you may not see the ads. Only if you have the intent of searching in that neighbouring city might you see those ads.
Here is an example:
I have a signwriting business and have targeted my ads to a neighbouring city called Hamilton where I have just expanded my business. A keyword I am bidding on is “signwriting companies”.
If I search for “signwriting companies” from my current location, Tauranga, then I will not see my ad show because I am not searching from Hamilton location.
The only way I would possibly see my ad is if I had a search intent of looking in Hamilton, by using the search term “signwriting companies in Hamilton” or something similar.
Personal preferences & demographics
Believe it or not, but Google knows a fair bit about you. Your search history and your demographic details can play a part in the ads that you see. Demographics in display advertising helps advertisers to show more relevant ads to target audiences.
If you have your ads set to show only to females between the ages of 20 and 40, then obviously if you are a male then you will not see the ads when searching, even if you are using the keywords that are being bidded on in your account.
This demographic targeting is currently only available in display advertising, but will be available at some stage in search advertising.
Another reason why you may not be seeing your ads is if the account has only just gone live. It takes time for the system to kick in and start showing your ads for your search terms, so you need to wait one or two days before seeing if your ads will show.
Those are the main reasons why you may not be seeing your ads when you search for the same keywords that you are bidding on.
My last recommendation is to not search for your keywords and look at your ads too often, because this will have an effect on your click through rate. This is because every time your ad shows for a search term it is called an impression. How many times your ad gets clicked on versus getting shown is the click through rate as a percentage.
We want the percentage to be as high as possible because this has an effect on determining how much you pay per click. The higher your click through rate %, the less you are going to pay per click to a degree. So just bear this in mind that if you are constantly searching with your keywords and making your ads appear, this is lowering your click through rate percentage.
The best way to know your ads are showing is seeing the data that your adwords account manager will show you every month. If at any stage you want to see your current data outside of the monthly report, then you can contact us any time and we will happily provide it.