When your company launches a new search ad, it’s only natural to be excited.
This is especially true if it’s your first campaign with a new agency. You’ll want to make sure everything is running smoothly, right?
So, you type in search terms that you know are related to your business. Maybe it’s simply your car dealership’s name.
Suddenly, the ad that you swear you’ve seen before is no longer in the results. You know it’s on the budget, so what gives? Did your ad agency forget to turn on the paid search campaign?
More often than not, the answer is no.
Here’s why you can’t Google yourself and see your ad, how it hurts your campaign, and what you can do instead.
It can be troubling if you used to see your pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and they’ve suddenly vanished.
If this has happened, it’s actually a feature of Google Ads that means your campaign is running as it should be.
Allow us to explain.
When you search a particular term, let’s say “Birmingham Toyota dealer” in this example, you will be served ads that are bidding on those keywords. But when you repeatedly search those terms and don’t click on the ad, Google believes that you aren’t interested in the ad.
So, to keep from serving ads to people who won’t convert, Google stops showing it to you. Your IP address is then listed in the no-show category for those search terms.
Another reason you might not see your ad is because Google paid search ads run on an auction system. The system bids in real-time for ad placement based on factors like search terms, device type, and location. This means that the PPC results you see at 10 a.m. could be completely different from those that show at noon.
While bidding fluctuations can play a role, the more likely explanation is that Google has simply stopped serving you your own ad because you have repeatedly searched it.
Searching your own ads can do more than put you on the no-show list. It can hurt the performance of your PPC campaign overall.
While one person won’t make a huge difference, if your entire team is searching for your ads and not clicking, you can lower the click-through-rate (CTR) of the ad.
When CTR goes down, the quality score of the ad can decrease, too. This means that your ad will be shown lower in the search results.
If your quality score gets low enough, your ads can stop being served altogether.
It usually doesn’t get this far, but be aware that searching yourself can impact your ability to reach customers online.
One thing you definitely shouldn’t do is click your own ad. After all, this type of advertising is called pay-per-click. Every click costs you, so make sure they count.
You want to see your ad, but you don’t want to hurt its performance. What are you to do?
Luckily, Google has created a tool just for business owners in this situation.
The Google Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool gives you a real-time view of PPC ads filtered by location, language, and device type.
This lets you see your ad, plus any competitors’ ads, without affecting CTR or quality score.
Let’s say you’ve used the Google Ad Preview Tool, checked at different times of the day, and tested different terms.
Still, your ad isn’t showing.
In this case, there may be a genuine problem with your paid search ad’s delivery. It’s time to contact your ad agency.
Your agency will be able to dive into the back-end to check budgets and targeting. The good part about Google Ads is that they are dynamic, meaning search professionals can update parameters in real-time. In just a few clicks, your campaign can be tuned back to peak performance.
In fact, manual adjustments are an essential part of any paid search campaign. Strong Automotive Merchandising is a big believer in the value of multiple optimizations per day.
You’re now armed with all of the tools, tips, and knowledge you need to check on your own paid search ads without hurting campaign performance.
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