You searched for your business and your ad didn’t show up. Does this mean your ad isn’t running? Is something wrong with your campaign?

There are a handful of reasons your ad might not appear in the search results. In most cases, it’s simply because the search engine is doing its job and following the settings that run your campaign. In rarer cases, this might mean your ad was disapproved or you haven’t paid your balance. Read on to learn the common reasons you didn’t see your ad.

The Daily Budget Ran Out

For each digital advertising campaign, there is a daily budget that allows your campaign to run throughout the entire period or indefinitely. Daily budgets are useful because rather than spending your entire budget within the first few days of the campaign, the search engine will stop running the ad once it reaches its daily limit.

In most cases, this is good since that means people are seeing and clicking on your ad. This can be frustrating, though, if you are trying to see your ad later in the day and the daily budget has already run out.

You Are Not in the Targeted Location

In some cases, you might not be able to see your ad when you search for it because you are not in the targeted location. When setting up a campaign, you are able to target searchers in specific locations and searching for that location. This helps ensure that your ads are reaching your desired audience.

Let’s say you own a pizza restaurant and your ad campaign is targeting searchers within a 15-mile radius around your store. If you are not within that radius when searching for your pizza restaurant, there’s a large possibility you won’t see the ad. The good news is that means your campaign is doing what it was set up to do: reach people nearby looking for pizza.

Your Search Included a Negative Keyword

When you set up a digital advertising campaign, most advertising platforms have you choose keywords to target. Keywords help the search engine know which searches to show your ad for. You are also able and encouraged to exclude keywords that you know will not lead to clicks or leads – these are called negative keywords. For example, you might target keywords related to pizza restaurants in your area, but your digital marketing manager excluded the keyword “reviews” since they know that in the past “pizza restaurant reviews” cost too much money and didn’t lead to conversions. If you tried searching for “pizza restaurant reviews”, your ad would not show up since it includes a negative keyword.

The Ad is Not Scheduled to Run

Another reason you might not be able to see your ad when you search for it could be its schedule. When setting up an advertising campaign, you are able to choose specific days and times for your ad to run. If you search for your business when the ad is not scheduled to run, it will not appear in the search results.

Your Search History Influenced the Results

Your search history is also a major factor in what search engines decide to show you. For some search engine like Google, if you search for the same things over and over again, it will most likely stop showing you ads for a certain period of time by blocking your IP address. The search engine might also base your results on past locations you’ve searched for or have been in while searching. For example, if you frequently search for pizza in Detroit but are trying to find a pizza restaurant in a different nearby city, the search engine might still show you ads for the location you most often searched for in the past.

Before we wrap things up, it’s important to pause and ask yourself if you should even search for your ad at all. Remember that with most advertising platforms, each search, impression, and click has an impact on your data and results. Google, for example, might count your impression and note that you did not click on the ad, therefore lowering the click-through-rate.

We recommend viewing your ads within the advertising platform’s campaign management system. Under “Tools & Settings”, you can use the “Ad Preview and Diagnosis” tool to type in different keywords or search queries to test if your ad will appear. If you work with a digital marketing agency or manager, don’t hesitate to ask them to test your ads, or for a screenshot or a link to the ad to preview it rather than searching for it. This could end up saving you money and help you avoid negatively impacting your ad’s results.