Why You Shouldn’t Search For Your Own PPC Ads

A popular question we get asked from our clients is why their Google PPC (pay per click) ads aren’t visible. We understand that it can be frustrating when you feel that your ad is not being shown on some of the main keywords you are targeting as this can feel like potential missed opportunities. However searching for your own ads is not providing you with the whole picture and can actually be deceiving and harm the effectiveness of your PPC ads.

Whilst it is natural to be curious about how your PPC ads look, there are ways to do this without skewing your data and accidentally spending some of your budget – on your own click! This article explains why you shouldn’t search for your own PPC ads.

Reasons why you shouldn’t search for your own PPC ads

You can’t get an accurate picture

PPC works in an auction style where advertisers are bidding against each other for the same keywords that they have deemed important and relevant to their business. This bidding happens in real time so ads being shown will continually change. What you are seeing for a search now is not necessarily the adverts you will be seeing in 5 minutes time – even if you have searched for the exact same thing. Bearing this in mind, you need to review your PPC results over a certain period of time, say a week or a month, in order to discover how often your ads are being shown. This is known as an impression share. An impression share of 80% means that your ad is being shown 80% of the time. From this information you will be able to make decisions for PPC strategy changes. Never make big decisions or changes based on a single search, as it will never be an accurate representation.

You could harm your own campaign

Whilst this may sound a bit dramatic, it is definitely true. You might not think you are doing any harm, especially if you are not clicking on the ad, but that is not the case. If you repeatedly type in certain search terms and not clicking on anything, you are telling Google and other search engines that the ad is not relevant. This can lower your Quality Score which will not only lead to the cost per click going up and costing you more, it can reduce the amount of exposure your ad will receive. Whilst the quality score is unlikely to be impacted much by a single check, if you make a habit of searching for your adverts, it will definitely end up having an adverse affect.

Your ad will never be showing all the time

It is a common misconception that if you have PPC ads running, they will be visible all the time. There are so many factors determining which adverts are shown where, when and for how long. Even if you have a huge budget and the best advert imaginable, it will not be visible all the time. It depends on the time of day, the day of the week, which device is being used to search, the number of competitors bids on those keywords, the ad type and so much more. Whilst it can be disappointing that your ad is not being shown, this does not indicate your advert is not good or not working.

Your IP can be blocked

Google uses the IP address of your computer in order to help identify who you are as this ensures that you are being shown ads that are most relevant to you and your interests. If you are repeatedly searching for your own ads without clicking on them, Google may just stop showing them to you as you have been suggesting again and again that the ad is not relevant to you. As Google uses this information to continually learn, they will take that as you are not interested in the advert so they wont bother you with the advert anymore. This may seem like the adverts are not showing, when in fact they are just not showing for you based on your search behaviour.

You may click on your ad

Even if you have the best intentions, accidents happen and it is very easy to accidentally click on an ad. If you are doing this to your own ad, you are wasting your budget and it will negatively skew the data. Google will see this as a click but if you don’t go on to carry out an action (what you have determined to be your conversion like a purchase or filling out a booking form), it will infer in the marketing figures and to Google that your ad is not working or not as effective as it could be. All because you were intrigued.

How can I see my ads?

We are not saying that there is no way for you to see your ads in real time. There is definitely a way you can do it but it is important you do it the correct way to ensure you are not negatively impacting your PPC campaign.

If you want to see how your Google PPC ads are performing, first of all you should ask for a report from whoever is running your PPC ads. They will be able to pull the data for the timeframe you are seeking without you jeopardising the effectiveness of the ad campaign.

If you simply want to know how your ads look like and what people searching will see then you the Ad preview tool. This is a tool that similates exactly what the average user will see when they search for your keywords. This allows you to analyse the advert and see if any changes should be made to the look of the ad without it actually being served.

Hopefully this article has shown that searching for your own PPC ads is something many people do but can be harmful to your PPC campaign and can compromise its effectiveness. Need help with the management and creation of your PPC ads? DBS Digital provides a Pay Per Click Service that will put your mind at ease and drive quality leads and traffic.

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