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10 reasons your Google Ads aren't showing

There are many reasons why your Google Ads may not be showing, we’ve split them by performance and non-performance related issues.

Here we will take a look at some of these reasons and how you can improve your ad performance so you can keep the fire burning.

One thing to consider is Ad Preview. Check if your ads show up on Ad Preview before you start investigating what might be causing your ads to not show up on Google.

Performance related issues

If you don’t craft your PPC campaigns towards Google’s standards then they simply aren’t going to pass the quality test and your ads require optimisation. Here are the areas you can optimise your ads.

Your ad group needs focusing

Your performance in an ad auction depends on a juicy Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score, the higher you climb up the auction. Use keywords that are directly linked to your ad groups and are as relevant as possible. Avoid building ad groups with irrelevant or loosely relevant keywords. Your keywords should be like immediate family members and not distant relatives, twice removed. The more closely related they are, the more likely your ad group is going to succeed in the ad auction.

Your ad copy needs optimisation

Optimising your ad copy is just as important as optimising your ad groups. Ensure you use the target keyword in your copy and make it as relevant as possible so the search engines can find your ad and show it to the relevant audience. Write copy that sparks interest and is engaging. Get your customer’s heart pumping.

Your landing page isn't relevant

The quality and relevance of your landing page is a vital point to get to the top of the ad auction. When creating a landing page, think of what brought the user here and how it’s going to benefit them.

Your CTR is too low

If you want to create an ad that has a high CTR, write captivating copy that attracts your prospect’s attention and sparks their interest. Play on their emotions but not with their emotions. Aim to achieve a high CTR if you want Google to reward your ads.

Non-performance related issues

“But I’ve done all of that!” you say? There are still a few possibilities as to why Google isn’t showing your ads even if you’ve optimised your ad campaigns as best as they can be.

Your payment information is incorrect

For the love of money! Check if any of the payment details linked to your account are valid or need updating. If a payment doesn’t go through then Google won’t be able to display your ads.

Your bids are too high or too low

If your daily CPC budget exceeds the budget of the campaign you are bidding against then Google won’t display your ads in the search results even if it matches the target keyword. The same applies if your budget is too low. Your rank in a bid auction depends on your quality score for the keyword you are bidding on. Use the bid simulators within your Google Ads account so you can adjust your auction budgets accordingly.

The keyword search volume is too low

If your target keyword drives low traffic then Google will flag this as a low-volume keyword and temporarily de-activate your ad. They will re-activate it depending on the flow of the traffic. Get your research cap on and utilise Google’s Keyword Planner by searching for keywords with higher volume traffic and adjust your ad settings.

A scheduling or targeting mistake

The date and time you schedule your ads can also have an impact on your ads not showing up in the search results. Check the Ad Schedule tab of your campaigns and find out if there are any ads that are scheduled too close to each other.

One other reason can be a location targeting mistake. If there isn’t enough keyword search traffic from the location you have targeted. Check the location parameters and adjust accordingly.

Negative keywords negate active keywords

Using negative keywords is an important practice and can be beneficial to your campaigns, however, if not done correctly then they can cancel out your active keywords. Adjust the broad match negative and exact match negative settings to fit your campaign.

Your negative bid adjustments are too large

Usually, we encourage hyper-targeting, however, if your negative bid adjustment settings are too granular then this can cause your ads to not show up on Google. This is a powerful tool but with great power comes great responsibility so ensure you use this component with care. Use the bid simulator to check and adjust your settings.

You’ve carried out a Google Ads audit, completed a PPC MOT and adjusted all of your settings. These points have hopefully shown some insight as to why your ads weren’t showing up on Google and you can now get the ball rolling again.

Good luck!


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