Why Are My PPC Ads Not Showing in Google?


Have you set up your PPC account and loaded it with fully optimised campaigns but getting nothing but tumbleweeds back? Don’t panic – there is likely one issue behind the scenes causing your ads to not show in Google, here are 10 that may be the culprit!

Your Campaign/Ad Groups/Ads Are Paused

Perhaps the most simple answer as to why your ads aren’t showing in Google but still a necessary step to check in your campaign, have they actually been set live? Check at campaign, ad group and ad level to ensure that everything you want to show is enabled and anything you don’t is paused.

Your Ads Are Disapproved

If your ads do not follow Google’s text ad guidelines then your ads will be disapproved and not show until you amend them to follow Google’s rules. This is to stop malicious, inappropriate or illegal ads showing in the search results. The most common disapproval reasons however are inappropriate use of symbols, capitalisation or punctuation as well as using trademarks in your ad copy. To see if any of your ads are disapproved, go to the Ads tab in Google AdWords and look in the Status column for any ads that are marked Disapproved or Approved (limited) and make changes to these.

Your Keywords Are Disapproved

Similarly to your ads, Google reviews the keywords you are trying to target and will disapprove any ads they deem inappropriate. You will violate Google guidelines if you try to advertise illegal activity such as drugs, firearms, adult material and more. You can easily identify if any of your keywords have been disapproved by going to the Keywords tab in AdWords and checking the status column.

Negative Keywords

Adding negative keywords to your campaigns is essential for preventing unwanted traffic and stopping your ads appearing for irrelevant search queries however this must be done with caution, especially if using broad match. Review your negative keyword list and ensure no keywords you are targeting are in there or even worse, if you are selling game consoles ensure that ‘game consoles’ or something of the like is not added as a negative!

Lack of Search Volume

If you are in a niche industry you may come across low search volumes on a percentage of your keywords and this will explain why your ads aren’t getting impressions or clicks. If a lot of your keywords in the status column say ‘Low search volume’ you should consider changing the keyword match type to something broader or alternatively doing further keyword research to target relevant keywords with a higher search volume.

Keyword Bid vs Daily Budget

The more competitive the keyword, it is likely that you will have to bid highly to get your ad on the first page. Make sure that none of your keyword bids exceed your daily budget as Google will not show your ads if your keyword bid is £15 but your daily budget is only £12. Depending on the importance of that keyword on your campaign you have three options: pause the keyword, lower the keyword bid or increase your daily budget.

Incorrect Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling is a great way to ensure that your ads only show when you want them to and do not show on days or times that you are not available for business. If your ads aren’t showing in Google you need to ensure that you have not set up ad scheduling incorrectly. To see your ad schedule go to the Settings tab at campaign level for each campaign and go to Ad Schedule.

Billing Issues

If your card has expired or you have entered your billing information incorrectly then Google won’t serve your ads until the issues have been resolved.

You should review your AdWords account frequently to ensure that you are not wasting budget and more importantly, that your ads are actually running! If you don’t have the time to manage your PPC campaigns and would rather reap the benefits whilst someone else manages it for you, enquire about our monthly PPC management services.

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