For small businesses and individual entrepreneurs, it takes some serious courage to even start using costly Adwords platform to promote their business. Once they do decide to give it a shot, they are faced with lots of other obstacles on their way to targeted traffic and conversions. Very often, new advertisers find that their ads don’t get any impressions despite being approved by the system, and they have no clue why. Without being able to talk to actual humans, new advertisers are lost in the maze in Adwords support links, finally ending up in the official forum, which is, let’s face it, useless and frustrating. Posting in that forum will usually not attract answers from real pros; what you usually get is unnecessary questions from users who know even less than you. So why your ads could be not running and how to fix the issue.
First, I am assuming your ads were initially running and approved, then suddenly stopped getting traffic. If the ad is not approved, that is a whole other issue. For ads that where approved and stopped running, the first thing to do is to use Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool in your Adwords account. Set your keyword and country where you are advertising and make sure that you get green check for all devices — tablet, desktop and mobile.
Sometimes you will get an error telling you that your Ad Rank is too low. Ad rank is a combination of your quality score and your bid. If your ad rank is low, first thing to do is to make sure your quality score is high enough to compete. Your ad quality score is compiled of ad relevance, landing page experience, and CTR. The easiest to manipulate here is ad relevance, so please make sure your ad text matches the keyword of your choice. This will usually take care of CTR as well.
If your quality score is fine, then it must be your bid. Here’s the tricky part: You might be charged very little but for some reason the system still wants you to raise your bid on maximum CPC. Just yesterday I was paying only about $0.4 per click when my ads stopped gaining impressions and I got a nasty Ad Rank error. My maximum bid was $3 and my budget was $300 per day. Yet, Adwords wanted me to raise the bid even more in order to get impressions. That felt uncomfortable but I rose it all the way to $10. At this point I didn’t know what I was doing, I only knew I wanted my ads to run. I wanted to see what happens. Surely enough, it took care of the problem. Was I charged $10 per click? Nope. Actually, my average CPC went down all the way to amazing $0.34 cents per click!
I don’t have any explanation, but it worked. So if your ads aren’t running and you get a frustrating red X and Ad rank warning, it might be worth a shot. Otherwise you will not be getting any traffic and it will take you ages to collect any statistically significant amount of data.
Useful: Guide to Adwords Quality Score