Why Aren’t My Google Adwords Ads Showing?

Have you ever uploaded an account – campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads – added billing info and then activated your Adwords campaign and then… nothing. Zero dollars spent. No impressions. No clicks. Chances are there is one simple issue within the account that is preventing your ads from showing in the search results. Here are several of the potential reasons:


1.    One of the simplest reasons is simply a campaign and/or ad group that is in paused status. It may seem intuitive, but make sure your account, campaign, and ad group settings are all set to the ‘active’ setting.
2.    Make sure to review your account billing info and confirm your credit card number, expiration, address and CSV are all correct. Typically, Google does a great job of letting you know when you have a billing issue but its always a best practice to be proactive.
3.    Speaking of billing, double check your daily budget amounts to make sure it is set above $0.
4.    On rare occasions, your keyword bid itself may be too high for your daily budget. If your keyword max cost-per-click is $10.00 and your campaign daily budget is set to only $5, then Google will prevent your ads from displaying. The easy fix here is to either raise your daily budget or lower your max bids.
5.    Traffic estimates are not always accurate. Low (or zero) impressions could be due to low search volume for your targeted keyword(s). Google will note low volume keywords from within the user interface. If you fall victim to low search volume, use some of our PPC keyword research tools to find related, higher searched terms.
6.    Google has a number of strictly enforced editorial guidelines. If your ad text does not adhere to Google’s ad text policy, then your ads will be disapproved. If this occurs, log into your account, click on the Disapproved Ads under the Analyze Your Ad Performance section. This tool is very useful and will tell you in detail the reasons for your disapproved ad text. Use the provided suggestions to remedy your issue.
7.    Google Adwords also has guidelines around keywords usage. Google AdWords does not permit advertising products and websites related to firearms, drugs, cigarettes, pornography, hard alcohol, fireworks, and more.
8.    Negative keywords are a must to almost every successful paid search campaign, however, you have to be careful when using broad matched keywords. Make sure that you have not added negative keywords that nullify your keywords within any given ad group.
9.    Position Preference Is Preventing Ad Serving. In theory, position preference is a great tool when you want to control where your ads appear in Sponsored Search rankings. But if your keyword bids are not set correctly, the position preference tool can stop serving your ads. According to our Google rep:
“Position preference instructs the AdWords system to try showing your ad whenever it’s ranked in your preferred position and avoid showing it when it is not. It does not mean that your ad will appear in the position you specify for every single search on your keyword. If you broaden your position preference, you’ll see that the keyword will trigger the ad.”
So, if your bids are too high or too low for the selected position, your ads will not be served. The Google position preference tool will only show your ad when you qualify for the designated position. To fix this, either turn position preference off, or expand your preference to include more positions.
10.    If all else fails, sometimes it is best to simply wait it out. Google ad text and keyword approvals can take up to five days! As with all paid search engines, when you submit your ad text and/or keywords, they become  entered into the Google review and approvals queue. If it has been more than five days, contact a Google rep to see if your keywords and ads have been approved.

What other issues have you experienced when getting your ads to serve?

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