Ask A PPC: Why Have My Google Ads Not Got Any Impressions?

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This month’s Ask A PPC inquiry comes from Vijay, who’s curious about the predicament of Google Ads being approved but garnering zero impressions. Let’s delve into the timely query of why a Google Ad entity—be it a keyword, ad, ad group, or campaign—might find itself in this situation. We’ll address the primary, fixable issues, though it’s worth noting that there may be some rare exceptions. If you find yourself grappling with further questions on this matter, feel free to get in touch!

Why Doesn’t A Google Entity Have Impressions?

The primary culprit often boils down to low search volume. When you’re targeting highly specific long-tail keywords (think 5 words or more) or delving into hyper-niche industries, it’s common for those keywords to yield zero impressions. Additionally, if you’re operating in a brand-new ad account, achieving traction can be an uphill battle.

That’s why Google typically recommends starting with broader keyword concepts. Building up data is crucial for kickstarting your ad account, although it’s equally important to implement safeguards.

One common strategy is to set bid caps, whether through bidding strategies, portfolio bidding, or manual bidding. These measures help ensure your ads get the exposure they need without overspending in the early stages.

Utilizing Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) can provide valuable insights into how people search. When combined with max clicks and a bid cap, DSA offers a practical way to gauge industry costs and search volume.

Another approach is to employ limited broad match keywords with extensive negative keyword lists. However, exercise caution when setting conversion actions, as broad match considers conversions in its matching criteria.

It’s important to acknowledge that certain ideas may inherently yield lower search volumes. For new offerings, leveraging visual content can be beneficial. However, it’s advisable to reserve Performance Max campaigns for situations where you’ve amassed at least 30 conversions within a 30-day period.

Yet another reason for zero impressions could be that the ad is still pending approval. Google’s approval process, especially in new accounts, can take up to two days, so it’s crucial to consider these timelines.

Furthermore, a previously active ad might have been flagged for editorial review, which is particularly common when dealing with trademarked terms or topics related to credit.

Accidental duplicate keywords could also be causing serving issues. When multiple keywords vie for the same traffic, winners and losers emerge naturally. However, in some cases, they might cancel each other out, resulting in neither serving.

Lastly, misalignment between bids, budgets, and targeted keyword concepts can lead to low or zero impressions. Ensuring coherence among these elements is vital for effective ad performance.

Google has implemented a floor for its auction, meaning if your bid doesn’t align with the correct idea or your budget is stretched too thin across various targets, you’ll likely end up with zero impressions.

One effective method to assess this is by utilizing the Keyword Planner, which provides insights into auction prices.

Additionally, leveraging Google Trends offers valuable data on regional search trends and trending topics across different parts of the country you’re targeting. This information can help refine your targeting strategy and ensure better ad performance.

How Can You Solve Low Impressions?

If your low impressions are due to budget constraints or bidding limitations, and there’s no room to increase investment, it’s time to explore alternative channels or different Google platforms to generate traffic and leads. This could involve utilizing display or video advertising.

Consider diversifying your advertising efforts to platforms like Microsoft or social media giants like Meta/Instagram. These platforms often offer lower auction prices compared to Google Search due to a preference for transactional engagements.

If structural issues are causing the problem, such as overcrowded ad groups or campaigns, reallocating some budget and creating separate campaigns to address specific ideas can help. Alternatively, pausing less effective ideas that consume a disproportionate amount of the budget is a viable solution.

A common challenge, especially in campaigns utilizing smart bidding, is the emergence of winners and losers in the initial stages. Including too many keyword concepts can dilute the effectiveness, causing valuable keywords to be overshadowed.

This is one reason Google plans to pause keywords with zero impressions over the past 13 months, preventing your account from being penalized due to an excess of inactive keywords.

If the problem lies in creativity, employing responsive search and display ads, along with Performance Max, can be highly beneficial. Continuously cycling through different creatives and messaging approaches is essential.

Integrating Google’s AI for creative purposes can offer valuable insights, as it aligns with their confirmed standards. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the creative output complies with your brand guidelines and standards.

Final Takeaways

Experiencing zero impressions for a keyword or ad can indeed be frustrating, especially when the cause is unclear.

As we’ve explored, the issue might stem from low search volume, prompting the need to broaden your targeting criteria.

Alternatively, it could be a bid and budget challenge, where you’re not actively participating in the auction or not allocating sufficient funds to make an impact.

Got a question about PPC? Feel free to submit it through the provided form or tweet me @navahf using the #AskPPC hashtag. Looking forward to connecting with you next month!

Original news from SearchEngineJournal