So you recently started with a new Paid Search Partner. And, although you can see the clicks in your Google Analytics account, it is tempting to want to see the ads, in action, for yourself.
What not to do and why:
Self-Googling: When you search for your ads regularly, one of two things can happen. You see your ad, but never click or you see your ad and click it.
Both of these can have unintended and negative consequences.
You see your ad but never click. Google learns and is constantly adjusting what displays when you search. If you type in keywords you are bidding on, but never click, Google will eventually start to show you different ads in the hope you will be more interested in them. The goal of Google is to get you to click. Also, you generate an impression that does not get clicked. This eventually can affect your AdWords account performance and thus the quality score of your account negatively.
You see your ad and click it. Your account is charged for that click when you see your ad and click on it. If you have a tight budget, these small clicks can add up and result in campaigns hitting the spending limit for the day and therefore no longer being eligible to show.
Other Reasons you may not see your ad:
Ads Outside of your Target Area: A target area is set upon the creation of an AdWords account. If you are outside the target area, or your computer/tablet/phone settings are out of that range, you may not be eligible to see your ads.
Budget: Your accounts are regularly managed throughout the month. Your account has budget rules set at the time of set up. Your account may be limited by budget and your ads ran out of budget for that time of day or day of the month.
Account Rules Created: MANY rules can/may apply to your account that you are unaware of and can prevent an ad from showing including:
Time of Day Rules
Days of Week
Performance Rules / Conversion Rules
These are, of course, just a few of the reasons why your paid search ad may not show if you search Google yourself. There is, however, a better way!
What you can do.
The Google Ad Preview tool allows you to test your ads as if you were on your browser, but without any of the ramifications mentioned above. Once you enter a search term and other criteria such as language and location, the tool will tell you whether your ad is eligible to appear in that situation. The tool also shows a preview of a Google search result page for a specific term. This helps you see which ads and extensions are appearing for your keyword.
The tool also shows a preview of a Google search result page for a specific term. This helps you see which ads and extensions are appearing for your keyword(s).
it’s better to use this tool than a traditional search on Google if you want to see how your ad appears in the search results. You’ll see the same results as a Google search, but it won’t affect your performance stats by accumulating ad impressions, or clicks, every time you search for your ad.
You’ll see the same results as a Google search, but it won’t affect your performance stats by accumulating ad impressions, or clicks, every time you search for your ad.
As you begin to type, a list of locations will appear, it is helpful to pick from the list – this will ensure you have the correct city, county, state, and country)
Enter the Language (if applicable)
Google Ad Preview tool will use the language setting of your system default to select)
Enter Device type
You can see how your ads would appear on both desktop, tablet or mobile
Enter the search term you would like to see results for
Add your search term, select a region, select desktop. English is the default location.
Choose device type to see your results on different devices.
Please NOTE: If you don’t see your ad, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is not running. There are many reasons why your ad may not show such as budget, location settings, account rules and more, but this is the best way to test. Also, this tool is not able to locate your specific ad on the Display Network.
Before you begin
Remember, your account it might need to be reviewed and approved by Google before it’s eligible to run if your account is new or the ads recently changed. This may include trademark and compliance reviews as well.
This helpful article was contributed by Katie Donovan, Dealer Teamwork’s CCO, as part of our ongoing efforts to educate dealers on their marketing activities.