Handling Low Impressions in Pay Per Click Advertising

by John Eberhard

So you’ve gotten an account started on Google AdWords and gotten some ads set up, and people are starting to come to your web site.

One of the problems that can occur sometimes with a new pay per click ad campaign is that you will put up your new campaign, and the impressions will be really low. Remember that the impressions are the number of times your text ad appeared in front of someone. This is the beginning of the cycle.

If you don’t have good impressions, you will not have good results overall. Realize that you need thousands of impressions to get a certain percentage that will click through on your ad and then a certain percentage of those that will then become conversions.

There are six possible reasons for very low impressions:

1. You have chosen some really low traffic keywords, or you have only chosen a small handful of keywords, not enough to get good impressions.

The solution for this is to add more keywords. Just make sure your keywords are relevant to the subject of your ads. Google has a keyword suggestion tool that works quite well, suggesting keywords that are similar to the ones you already have in that campaign.

2. The keywords are not displaying because the bid is not high enough to put your ad on the first page.

The easy solution is to raise the bid for those keywords, or raise the overall default bid for that ad group. But the judgment here is how high do you have to raise the bid? If Google is telling you that you have to raise the bid to $25.00 to be on page one, and your default bid for that ad group is $3.50, then maybe you don’t want to use that keyword. Unless you really have to have that keyword, find others that have traffic but are less expensive.

3. The keywords are not displaying because your quality score is too low.

Google has what they call a “quality score” for a given campaign, text ad or keyword. If your keywords have a low quality score, this usually means that the system cannot actually find that keyword anywhere in your text ad or on your landing page. You can handle this by adding new text ads that contain the keyword, and adding the keyword to your landing page.

4. You have a really low daily budget so the ads can’t display very long.

If this is the problem then you need to raise the budget. For example, if your daily budget is $5.00 and the bids are $2.00, your ads are only going to be on for a short time.

5. Your text ads are disapproved.

This is something you have to check on when you put up a new ad group or new text ads. It may sound stupid but if you don’t check on your new ad group and/or new text ads a few days after putting them up, you won’t know or notice if your ads are disapproved. Google sometimes will disapprove your ads. If they are disapproved, you have to figure out why and fix them. One reason text ads get disapproved is if you are using a trademarked name in the ad. If this happens go to Google and enter one of your top keywords and see how other advertisers are wording their ads. You may be able to come up with a way that does not technically use the trademark, such as putting a dash in the name or something.

6. You are targeting too small an area with geo-targeting.

Geo-targeting is where you select the geographical area in which your ads will be displayed, such as in the metro Los Angeles area, in the state of CA, in several states, in the whole US, etc. As a business you want to use this tool to limit where your ads appear, because if you are a local business, you don’t want to be paying for people to click on your ads in Peoria if you only service Glendale. BUT, you always want to select the largest possible area with geo-targeting that is appropriate for your business. You may have a business that only services one small geographical area. But whatever the case, you want the geo-targeting to be set for the largest possible area that is appropriate for your business. If your impressions are really low and the geo-targeting is set for a really small area, you might want to consider increasing or broadening the area.

Good luck with your pay per click ad campaigns.

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