Google Ads: Please Don’t Search For Yourself!

“I searched for my business on Google and didn’t see an ad. Why isn’t my account running?”

Trust us, we understand where you’re coming from!

You’re paying for these ads, so it’s natural to want to make sure that potential new customers are seeing them. However, it’s a common misconception that searching for your own ads is the best way to judge the success of your campaigns. It’s not only a very inaccurate way of evaluating your campaign performance, but also actually harmful to your PPC account.

Your ad won’t necessarily appear every single time

There are any number of reasons why you may not see your own ad in any given search. Keywords are not the only factor that determines if your ad will be displayed – many things like location targeting, ad scheduling, budget, bid strategy and delivery method also factor in. It’s normal for most of your keywords to have an impression share below 100%, which means your ads don’t appear in every single search result due to bidding and budget factors. Each time you deliberately search for yourself, you take away the opportunity for an actual customer to click your ad.

Does this sound familiar?

Let’s go a bit further, and imagine the following scenario:

Curious about your Google Ads campaign, you search for “auto repair near me” but don’t see your ad in the search results. “My account isn’t running!” you think, and in a panic you search two more times until your ad appears. You don’t click on your own ad, of course, because you know you’d be charged for the click – but you now feel assured that your account is performing correctly, and go about your day as usual.

How it hurts your account

Here’s the problem: When you search for a term and then don’t click on an ad, you’re essentially telling Google you didn’t find that ad relevant to what you searched for – which is harmful to your click-through-rate (CTR). CTR is the measurement of how often your ad appears in search results (impressions) versus how many times it’s actually clicked. A low CTR tells Google, “This ad isn’t helpful based on what this user searched for. Let’s get rid of it.” Ads with a lower CTR have lower Quality Scores, which means you need to pay more per click to reach the top of the page.

Furthermore, in addition to the factors we discussed earlier, Google serves ads based on algorithms and user history. If you repeatedly search for your own business on Google but don’t click your ad, you may stop seeing the ad after a while. That’s because Google’s system recognizes your computer and stops showing ads that it thinks you aren’t interested in. Due to your self-Googling, your ads are still appearing to others – just not to you.

How to measure campaign performance

So if you shouldn’t Google yourself, what’s the best way to monitor the performance of your Google Ads account? Autoshop Solutions provides all clients with monthly email reporting as well as a dashboard for viewing all details of your account performance. You can view and track things like clicks, cost-per-click, conversions, CTR, keyword activity and more. If your shop is set up with keyword-level call tracking, you can also look at your call data. Calls with a Source Type listed as “Google Paid” will have come either from someone clicking to call directly from an ad, or from calling you after getting to your website via a paid search ad.

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Ads and PPC campaigns, contact us to get started!

Written by Erica Slesinger

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