4 Reasons Why Your Google Ads Aren’t Showing

Published On: 27 July 2023

It’s a question we’ve heard from clients before and one we’re sure we’ll hear again. That question is “Why aren’t my ads showing on Google?”.

We understand it’s exciting to launch a new campaign and you want to see it in action. We’ve been doing this whole design and marketing thing ourselves for a while now and even we are still excited to see our work out in the world!

The reality is that with the way search engine marketing works, it’s not necessarily a bad thing if you can’t pull up your ad yourself. It goes to show that the precise targeting is working as it’s supposed to.

If you haven’t been able to find your company’s Google search ads for yourself, here are the main reasons why this may be happening:

1. You’re not in the geographic area where your ads are running

A common reason why you can’t see your ads is that you’re not in the right location! Where your ads are running will depend on your service area and campaign goals. If you’re not currently in that targeted area then the ads won’t show, no matter what you search or how many times you search it.

You may wonder why the ad still isn’t showing up if you include the city in your search, such as “Brantford marketing agency”. For the majority of our clients, we deliberately choose the setting where the ads will not show unless the searcher is physically in the targeted region. This is to ensure you are only paying for clicks done by local searchers who are the most likely to turn into customers.

While Google does have a setting to display ads when someone shows interest in your location, we rarely use this option for our clients. The reality is that unless you’re in an industry like tourism where you want to attract searchers from different locales, for most campaigns this usually just results in wasting money on clicks from overseas and other locations beyond your actual service area.

2. Your daily budget has run out

While campaign budgets are set on a monthly or weekly basis, the budget we input into Google Ads is a daily budget. If your searches aren’t pulling up your ad, it could be a case of there’s simply no money left to spend for the day!

3. You don’t fit the advanced targeting criteria

Google Ads is about much more than just running ads based on what people are searching for. The targeting options go well beyond keywords to include criteria such as age, gender, device and time of day.

Adjusting the ad targeting based on the defined target audience, as well as insights from the actual ad performance, increases the likelihood of the ads reaching searchers who are most likely to not only click on your ad but follow through with a conversion.

While this helps your campaign perform better, it can be another reason your ads aren’t appearing for your searches. For example, if you’re in your 40s and your ad campaign is only set to run for people aged 18-35 then you won’t see the ad yourself.

Similarly, while you may not be excluded from the ad targeting, bid adjustments may mean Google doesn’t think you’re the best person to show the ad to (ie. +20% for ages 40-55 and -10% for desktop computers).

4. Google Ads has a competitive, dynamic ad auction

Every time you search, Google runs an ad auction to determine which ads to show and in which positions they will display. It’s more than a matter of targeted keywords and how much you bid; Google also accounts for ad quality, landing page experience and more.

Of course, at the same time, your competitors also have a stake in the game and are working to run the best ads possible! You may not have won the auction for your search at the moment, but that doesn’t mean your ads aren’t still reaching plenty of the right people when they need your products or services.

At the end of the day, the Google Ads ad auction is a dynamic process involving numerous factors that make it difficult to pinpoint exactly why your ad may not be showing up for a search. While you may not always see your ads out in the open like you can for other forms of advertising, regular reports on your campaign’s performance will give you the details you need to understand the impact of your ads.

Never forget, that while of course, it’s exciting to see your ads in action, not seeing them doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. As long as your future customers are seeing them, that’s what matters!

As a Google Partner, Design Thinking can run your Google Ads and answer any questions you have along the way. Contact us today to get started with launching your next online advertising campaign.