Adwords Quick Fix – Lesson 3: Costly Mistakes

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The Most Common Adwords Problems We See & How to Fix them

I Can’t See My Ads In Search?!

We hear this question time and again from clients but it’s not usually a bad sign.

You might not see your ads if….

  • Ads are scheduled not to run at that time
  • Daily budget has been used up
  • Keyword bid are too low to appear on page 1
  • You’re searching from outside your geographic target area

Occasionally it’s a sign of genuine problems e.g. an accidentally paused campaign or disapproved ads but this should be immediately apparent when you log into AdWords.

It’s typical to rarely see your ads, especially as time goes on. This is because Google’s system recognises your device and will stop showing you ads you seem uninterested in.

Looking for your ad can actually harm your campaign. The more frequently the ad shows without receiving a click, the lower the CTR (click through rate). Lower CTR equals lower quality score, which drives up CPC (cost per click).


Image result for warning sign + .png Do not click your own ads. This will waste the budget.


To check if your ad is running use the Preview and Diagnosis Tool:


Lesson 3 screen shot 1 ad preview and diagnosis tool.jpg

Enter a keyword and target location, then click Preview.

Lesson 3 screen shot 2 ad preview.jpg


AdWords will show if the ad is currently running. If it isn’t, a reason is often provided, so you can rectify the situation.


My quality score is 5, is that bad?

Quality score is one of the contributing factors to your ad position, along with bid, keyword/landing page relevance and historical CTR.

A higher quality score is desirable as it lowers CPC.

Reasons for a low quality score are……

  • Lack of ad copy relevance
  • Lack of landing page relevance
  • Poor CTR

Always keep your keywords relevant to your services, ad copy and landing page.

Strive to make ad copy both compelling and honest to boost CTR. Try to include your keywords in your ad copy.


Why are my ads showing for irrelevant search queries?

It’s disheartening when ads show for unsuitable keywords. This may lead to low CTRs and/or high bounce rates.

It occurs when…….

  • Keywords are too generic
  • Keyword match type is too broad
  • You aren’t creating negative keyword lists

Be specific with your keywords. Shorter keywords may have higher search volume but longer queries tend to be more informative and relevant.

Be careful with match types. Broad match enables your ad to show for queries similar to your keywords e.g. if your keyword is smartphones, your ad could show for samsung smartphone reviews. This can mean ads show for irrelevant terms.

While exact match e.g. [samsung smartphones] can be too narrow, broad match modifier e.g. +samsung +smartphones and phrase match e.g. “samsung smartphones” are more flexible, while offering greater control than broad match.

Keep an eye on your search query report and add anomalies to your negative keyword list.

The search query report and negative keyword tabs can be found within your keywords section:


Lesson 3 screen shot 3 search terms.jpg

Lesson 3 screen shot 4 negative keywords.jpg


My ads have been disapproved again! Whats going on?

Common reasons for disapproval include……

  • Forbidden topics
  • Spammy copy
  • Poorly written copy
  • Use of trademarked terms
  • Misleading display URLs
  • Too many characters in ad copy
  • Phone numbers in ad copy

Avoid all offensive and prohibited topics. You can review all restricted themes here.

Never use bad grammar, misspellings or incorrect spacing to fit the character limit.

Do not use spammy tactics, such as exclamation marks, all caps, repetition and manipulation e.g. click here or FREE FREE FREE.

The root domain in your destination and display URLs must match.

Keep to character limit, do not use disallowed symbols and use ad extensions for your phone number.

If a term is trademarked by another advertiser this will usually be indicated by AdWords and you will have to reword your copy.


 Nobody’s clicking on my keywords! Should I remove them?

If certain keywords are failing to see action while other are, it could be because….

  • They have a low search volume. If impressions and clicks are low it could be due to a lack of users searching for those terms.
  • Your budget is stretched too thin across numerous keywords. AdWords will favour historic best performers.
  • Your bid is too low
  • Ad copy is not relevant enough. This is the case when you have keywords with high impressions but low clicks.


General Tips to avoid any of the problems mentioned

  1. Don’t have too many keywords per AdGroup. Smaller
  2. AdGroups can be more focused and perform better.
  3. If your budget is stretched, try moving low performers into a new campaign with a separate, lower budget.
  4. Double check your bids. AdWords will inform you when your bid is too low for page 1 of search.
  5. Pause consistently underperforming keywords to give your profit winning terms a chance.


You’re now ready to confidently troubleshoot these AdWords issues.