If you’re currently investing in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your company or paying someone else to do it for you, great! With traditional forms of marketing no longer producing a reasonable ROI, advertising on Google is an extremely cost-effective way to utilize the Web to get more leads and sales for your business.
At Blue Corona, we manage PPC campaigns for clients in a wide variety of industries. In an attempt to see how well we are running their campaigns, many of our clients will perform Google searches to see their ad positions. But if a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is running, you should NOT search for your ads!
Here are some reasons why you should not search for your own Google ad.
If you click on your own Google ad…
It costs you money (and no one wants to waste money!). Some clicks can be expensive when they are not lead-worthy.
If you click on the ad and then close the window, Google will register this as a bounce and this will decrease the quality score of a keyword (a number assigned to a keyword that is determined by expected click-through-rate, ad relevance to the searcher, and landing page relevance).
The ad may stop showing up on your IP address because Google will believe that people are attacking your ads from that IP address.
Even if you do NOT click on your own Google ad…
Impressions for the keyword will be inflated. This will cause a decrease in quality score. Google’s algorithm will believe that the search is not relevant to the keyword or ad and it will cost you more money to run the same ad.
The ad may stop showing up for your IP address because Google may decide that you are uninterested in the ad.
Basically, if you search for your ad, your quality score will go down and it WILL cost you money.
Using AdWords’ Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool
Instead of searching for your own ad, use a handy AdWords tool called the “Ad Preview and Diagnosis” tool. There are two ways to get to it.
Log into AdWords, click on “Tools” and then it will be on the bottom of the drop down list as “Ad Preview and Diagnosis.”
Click on a campaign, any campaign, and click on the “Keywords” tab. Under the “Status” column, there is a little bubble next to the information about the status of the keyword. There you can click on “Ad Preview and Diagnosis” (as seen in the picture to the right).
There are several things that you can do with this tool:
See if your ad is showing for certain keywords, while matching the specified domain, language, location, or even device. This allows you to be able to see what campaign is triggering the ad.
If your ad is NOT showing, then you can see the reason why it is not showing. Some reasons for the ad not showing include: low quality score, negative keywords, low ad rank, or even a low bid.
You can see where you place in comparison to your competitors on a certain keyword.
You can see what your competitors ads look like. In turn, you can take some of their ideas or make sure not to include some of them.
For our clients, we will often create a “read only” version of the account in Google AdWords. That way, they can see their ads without worrying about messing anything up in the account!
Alas, if you need to exclude an IP address to prevent impression inflation, you can exclude an IP address from a campaign by going to the “Campaign” tab in AdWords, scrolling to the bottom and finding “IP Exclusions” and adding the IP addresses that you want to exclude from the campaign.
If any of this sounds confusing for you, Blue Corona can help. We handle all aspects of PPC advertising, from copy creation to ad split testing to call tracking and landing page optimization and more. Contact us today for a free analysis of your current pay-per-click campaigns or to have us set up your first campaign for you.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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