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Why Is My New Campaign/Ad Group Getting No Traffic?

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Not getting any traffic for your new ad group or campaign? Here are 5 possible reasons why, according to Navah Hopkins.

Managing paid search and paid social requires plenty of strategic shifts.

One of the biggest is understanding that paid search favors older entities while paid social favors new things.

That said, sometimes there are legitimate reasons why a new campaign or ad group isn’t running.

In this Ask The PPC, we’ll address that question.

Rofhiwa of Pretoria asks:

I have decided to create a new ad group with three ads set, but I’m not getting any clicks or impressions for ads and keywords. What could be the reason?

Note that this post will cover common reasons an entity hasn’t gotten any clicks.

Each account is different, and it’s always best to take any concerns to the ad network support if you believe there’s an issue.

Reason #1: The Date Is Wrong

The most common and frustratingly obvious reason is we don’t always have the right date range.

That could be because we were analyzing another part of the campaign or working on a different account.

Set the date range in the top right-hand corner (true for all ad networks) to include at least yesterday and today.

You also might have unintentionally set the start date for the future.

Check start and end dates in campaign settings.

Once you’ve confirmed that you have the right date range, you can move on to other technical fixes.

Reason #2: The Ad Got Disapproved

When an ad is disapproved, you’ll get a notification.

At times, these can get lost in email filters or spam.

If you see that your ad is disapproved, check if it’s for a valid reason (e.g., editorial policies, restricted industries, etc.) or a mistake on the ad network’s part.

Valid ad disapprovals need to be corrected, and then you can appeal the disapproval in the ad interface.

Sometimes, ads get accidentally lumped into restricted categories because of wording choices.

The following words can sometimes accidentally trigger red flags:

  • Credit.
  • Housing.
  • Broker.
  • Loan.

You might also have an editorial issue and not even realize it.

These are the most common editorial issues in ads:

  • Including a phone number in the ad text (must be contained to call extension).
  • Using all caps (e.g., “FREE” or “TRY”).
  • Using punctuation in the wrong place (e.g., “!” in a headline instead of description).

Reason #3: The Keywords Have No Search Volume

There’s nothing worse than being told your ideal keyword has no volume.

Yet, some industries naturally have lower search volume because of how niche their products/services are.

If your keyword has low search volume, it won’t run.

A good middle ground is to use a broad match on your longer-tail keywords.

Broad match allows audience signals to inform how the ad network matches your keyword to queries.

This additional queue can mean the difference between enough data to serve and being stuck in low search limbo.

Reason #4: The Bid Is Too Low/Bidding Strategy Doesn’t Make Sense

Brand new accounts won’t have the benefit of conversion data.

This means bidding strategies like Max Conversions, and Max Conversion Value will struggle to set meaningful bids in the early days of an ad group or campaign.

If the bid is too high for the budget (more than 10% of the daily budget), the ad network might struggle to enter the keyword into the auction.

Be sure to set bids and bidding strategies in line with your industry and the age of the account.

Reason #5: Accidental Exclusions

Ad groups inherit the negatives from their campaigns.

You might have a negative keyword list or campaign level negative prohibiting a keyword you’re actively bidding on from serving.

Audiences can be applied at both the ad group and campaign level, so adjusting the new ad group’s targets is possible.

That said, be sure you have the right exclusions, and confirm whether you intend to be on target and observe.

Target and observe prevent anyone who isn’t part of your targeted audience from triggering your ad – which means you’re excluding audiences without actively excluding them.

Final Takeaways

There are several reasons an ad group or campaign can struggle to get traffic.

Be sure to check for these hidden pitfalls, and if you’re still struggling, reach out to your ad network representative.

Have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me @navahf with the #AskPPC hashtag. See you next month!

If you are interested in original article by Navah Hopkins you can find it here

How to audit your Google Ads account like a pro

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Use this step-by-step analysis as a blueprint to audit and help improve the profitability of your own Google Ads account.

Brad Geddes is no stranger to paid search. And as one of the co-founders of Adalysis, he’s done his fair share of audits.

In an SMX Advanced session, he provides a framework for how to audit your own accounts, or perform audits for client proposals. Let’s dive in.

Why perform an audit?

Here are a few reasons why you’d perform a Google Ads audit:

  • Someone is unhappy with performance. Their conversions have decreased and spend has gone up. Something has gone wrong. 
  • The account owner wants to make sure they are following best practices and nothing is wrong.
  • The account owner is happy with what they are getting, but they want more.
  • The agency is performing an audit as part of a proposal and they need to know what the products are, how they sell, what their funnel is, and if part of that funnel is being ignored. 

Ask the right questions

When you’re performing an account audit there are several pieces of information you need to know. Geddes addresses some of the questions you need to ask yourself or the client. 

  • What is the goal of your Google Ads account?
  • What do you want out of it?
  • What do you consider a successful account?

Starting the Google Ads account audit

Account overview

Scope

  • How big is the account? Is it two campaigns or 30?
  • What is the ad spend?
  • Are there search and display campaigns, or just search?

Sophistication level

Is the account manager new? Will you have to educate that person?

If they are a professional then you can address them in a different way than if they’d only been working in Google Ads for a few months. 

What are you not seeing?

What is not being tracked or only used in certain campaigns? The most common conversions not being tracked are:

  • Phone calls.
  • Downloads.
  • Mailto links.

Use Google’s conversion action sets and adding different conversions together and applying different activities to different campaigns, Geddes said. This way you can use interaction goals for top of funnel and CPA goals for bottom of funnel. 

Account settings

Once you’re happy with the conversions or know what needs to be fixed, look at campaign settings. What you’re looking for is consistency in the setup process. 

Some things to look for:

  • Are all of the campaign targeting the same locations? 
  • Are they creating ads by device? 
  • Are they using bid adjustments? 
  • How are they bidding?

Who is managing the account

Is someone actively managing the account? Sometimes an account is spending millions of dollars per month and if it has five changes over the last 30 days, it’s likely that nobody is managing it.

Other times it may have a huge number of changes but it’s all done by API, meaning that nobody is overlooking the data. And other times someone is really into the account, actively managing it and you’ll see a ton of changes and what is being worked on. 

This should give you an idea of how active the management is and what is being used to make changes. Is it API, third-party scripts, a human, or something else?

Trends

Once you have the base level audit complete, look at trends. Instead of looking at month-to-month trends, look at year-over-year. Consider how last March did compared to this year instead of looking at February vs. March. 

Ask the client if they can provide a few time frames when they were happy with the account for reference. This way you can look at date ranges, compare the visual data, and analyze whether search volume has dropped significantly.

If search volume dropped, did someone remove keywords? Is impression share going up?

Quality score issues could also be present as well as problems with extensions. Was a new landing page launched?

Knowing these factors can help you chase down what happened and isolate areas of change.

Looking at the big picture

In a traditional audit, you don’t have time to look at every detail. Instead, you look into what the problem areas are, Geddes said. 

Impression share 

  • How often are those ads showing or not showing?
  • Are you losing impression share due to budget?
  • How about ad ranks?
  • If impression share is high and the client still isn’t happy, can you add new targeting with some different display or keywords?

If the issue is budget:

  • Can you manipulate the budget to get more?
  • If you took the budget from another campaign, would you get more?

Budget manipulation is likely the easiest way to gain additional conversions, Geddes said. 

Look at the trends and timeframes of when things changed:

  • Is it an ad rank issue? If so, then you’ll want to dig into Quality Score.
  • Is it ad relevance? Is it a landing page issue?
  • Does the landing page match the keywords in the account?
  • Did they launch a new website or page that caused the experience to be affected?

Have a conversation with the client and find out what happened.

Keywords

What keywords is the client using? What does their targeting look like?

Look at their match type usage and trends.

  • What is their conversion rate by match type?
  • Do they have a lot of broad match keywords with conversions, but no exact match?
  • Is anyone going through the query report and adding those keywords to the account?

Duplicate search terms also occur. So Geddes suggests adding a negative keyword to the lower performing ad group can often result in an increase in conversions. Controlled duplicates can often result in additional conversions. 

Keyword conflicts can also occur if you are blocking your own keywords. However, Google doesn’t look at match types, campaign negative lists, or MCC negative lists, so you could be blocking keywords that don’t even show up in Google. Microsoft does, so you can use that to find Google conflicts, Geddes said. 

Ad group sizes

Geddes uses a simple pivot table to look at ad group sizes.

  • How many keywords are by ad group and how many search terms exist by ad group?
  • How are the ad groups being managed?
  • Do the ad groups need to be broken down smaller?

Consider the top spending ad groups first. Is there is a large number of them? RSAs don’t cover everything, so Geddes suggests still using granular ad group organization – even with the new ad formats.

RSA performance and pinning

When you get an idea of how that client is managing RSAs, you want to know what’s their overall asset breakdown.

  • What is your overall pinning usage?
  • Are they pinning everything a little bit?
  • Nothing pinned?
  • What’s your ad strengths?
  • What’s that asset performance breakdown?
  • Are these RSAs unique and are they doing well?
  • How is the client thinking about it?

Looking at the overall asset report you can determine how many different ads an asset is in:

  • Is it on purpose?
  • Did multiple people create the pins?
  • Are they consistent?

Geddes reminds us that pinning doesn’t affect conversion rate or CTR. You’ll likely see a lower ad strength because you’re controlling the message.

But once you have an idea of how ad groups are broken down and how they are doing, you also need to know who you should be paying attention to.   

The competitor analysis

Auction insight shows you who you’re competing against.

  • What’s that overlap rate?
  • How are different people addressing these search terms?
  • Do we fit the same?
  • Do all the ads look the same?
  • How do we stand out in this crowd?
  • Who are your top competitors?

And then looking at how their ads are selling against you, you can devise your own sell against strategy.

Once you do that, you can still do ad testing just like you could before. You may have some ad groups with multiple ad types, and some ad groups that are just all RSAs. So when you’re doing RSA ad testing, you may do them by theme, like RSA one is about discounts, RSA two is about prices, etc.. 

Geddes notes that clients love insights. Multi ad-group testing is a great way to let clients know that they can increase clicks, conversions, or other metrics by doing X. 

Bid methods

A lot more can be done than what Geddes discussed, but you only have so much time to complete the audit. The big methods to look into are:

  • How are they bidding.
  • How are they using bid modifiers.
  • Target CPA is common, but it may not be the best option because it does not use device modifiers to adjust bid.

Audiences

How are audiences being used across the account? Geddes says that audiences are are so useful and so much reporting and audience bid adjustments can be used with several types of automated bidding. 

Google doesn’t use audience modifiers to change the bids. They use the audience modifiers to say “you want to show your ads more to this audience group, or less to this audience group.” So use your bid modifier in an ad serving way.

What if someone has zero audiences or they have zero search audiences, or maybe they have some display ones for remarketing? That’s often a place of improvement in accounts. Dig deep into audiences and the ways you can create custom audiences

Presenting the audit to the clients

Some audits can be 10 pages or even 100 pages.

But what’s important to remember is that not every client who reads the audit will have your level of PPC knowledge. They simply want to know what to do. So focus on the important highlights and recommendations.

If you are interested in original article by Nicole Farley you can find it here

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