Why Can’t I See My Google Ad When I Search For It?

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Understandably, as a business owner you want to be sure your Google ad is showing when you search for your chosen keywords. 

But what happens when it doesn’t? 

It happens more often than you might think. After you’ve poured all of your knowledge, time and money into setting up the perfect marketing strategy through Google, suddenly your paid search ad isn’t coming up. It’s important to note that the keywords you use aren’t the only factor that determines whether or not your ad will be shown. Today, Google is far more sophisticated than that. Here are a few of the most common reasons why you ad isn’t coming up in Google when you search for it: 

Google Doesn’t Serve Your Ad Every Time There’s a Search 

If Google were to show your ad every time there was a search using your keywords, the cost would be outrageous. Instead, it makes far more sense to show your ad at the right time to the right person who’s in the right stage of the customer journey.  Even if your campaign were to do everything right, you still wouldn’t see a 100% impression share. Doing that would require you to bid much more than what you’re bidding currently, and then that in turn has a ripple-effect on every click you get. 

You’ve Spent All Your Budget

This is a common but often overlooked reason why your Google Ad isn’t showing; you’ve already exhausted your budget before you conducted your search. In this case, it’s a good idea to work with a trusted marketing agency specialising in Google Ads to determine if spending more would allow you to improve the quality and quantity of the leads you get. 

You’re Not Spending Enough

On the other side of the spectrum is the problem that you may not be spending enough in comparison with your competition. It’s entirely possible that you’re not bidding enough to compete for a placement on the first page, but that your ads are showing on subsequent pages. 

You’re Searching Too Much

When you keep searching for your chosen keyword or phrase and Google shows your ad, but you (naturally) don’t click on it (to avoid charging yourself for your click), Google believes you’re not interested and stops showing that ad. As smart as Google is, it cannot tell the difference between its own advertisers checking to see if their ads are appearing, or an ordinary browser who just isn’t interested at that moment. 

As a result, Google will also lower your quality score and show your ads less frequently. Not just to you, but also to everyone else who is searching with those keywords or phrases. You can use Google’s built-in bid simulator to estimate how much more you’d pay for a ranking at or near the top. If you increase your bid to that amount, you can then check and see if your impressions increase as a result. 

Your Landing Page is Not Relevant to the Search Query

Google isn’t just analysing the content of your ads and your bid amounts, it also looks at what happens after the click. If you drive traffic to a landing page that fails to answer the user’s inquiry in a way that’s satisfactory or helpful to them, Google will lower your quality score and thus, your ad ranking. Make sure that you have a solid flow from your ad to your landing page and that what the user expects to see as a result of clicking is what they actually get! 

You’re Bidding on Negative Keywords

Sometimes, you don’t want users coming to your pages as a result of searching related keywords. This is where negative keywords come into play. For example, let’s say you offer a SaaS (Software as a Service) that helps people gain control of their budgets. You might want to rank for the keyphrase “budgeting software free trial” but not “budgeting software free”, so you’d understandably set the latter as a negative keyphrase. Unfortunately, the negative keywords or phrases override the phrase you want people to find you with, and it cancels out your efforts. 

Instead of broad match negative keywords, you’d need to specify exact match so that people looking for free trials for your budgeting software would find you, but those looking for free budgeting software would not. 

Technical Issues

In some rare cases, there may actually be technical issues behind your ad not appearing. Make sure that your payment method, such as a credit card, is valid and that your ads haven’t been disapproved for any reason. If you’re worried about your Google Ads not showing when you search for them, make sure you’ve covered all of the common technical issues that could prevent them from showing before diving down into the more specific issues shared here. 

How Can I Make Sure My Google Ads Are Working Correctly? 

Obviously, you don’t want to click on your own ad. At the same time, you don’t want to search so much that your ad doesn’t get shown. So how can you see how your ad appears to searchers? Just use Google’s Ad Preview Tool instead. This allows you to see how your ad looks alongside Google’s Ad dashboard where you can get relevant information such as the number of conversions, clicks and impressions to see how your ads are performing. 

Although there are several reasons why your Google Ads might not be showing, you don’t have to delve into troubleshooting them alone. A knowledgeable marketing agency specialising in Google Ads management can help you not only craft a high-converting campaign, but can also help you get the most out of your  bids while helping you to reach more targeted searchers who are more likely to act. Contact us today to learn more about our dedicated Google Ad management and marketing services and let’s work together to help your ads get seen, get clicked on, and get you more customers! 

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