So you’ve started a Pay-per-click (PPC) or a Google Ads campaign to help drum up your business, and you want to test and see where you currently sit in the search engine ranking pages. You might think that typing in the keywords and search terms you’re aiming for might help give you a general idea of how your campaigns are performing. However, doing so will actually hurt your campaign more than help it.
As a company that’s helped thousands of small-to-medium businesses begin, improve and scale their digital marketing, many clients have come to us with the question of just how well the campaigns are doing so far. Naturally, there’s always that temptation to Google their own ads, but we always caution our clients against it for several reasons. Here’s why…
1. Clicking on your own ads wastes your budget
One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t Google your own ads is because PPC ads charge you every time a user clicks on one of your ads. Yes! That includes you! That means that your budget that is meant for other users is wasted every time you choose to click on your own ad. Besides that, there are also several other factors related to clicks that Google considers that will determine whether you’ll climb higher in the search rankings.
One such factor is the bounce rate. If you click through one of your ads, and then click away from your website, or close the tab, Google will count that as a bounce. A bounce is simply a signal to Google that the user did not find the content on your website relevant to them. This counts as a point against you, which then affects your quality score.
2. Your quality score will go down
What is Quality Score? Your quality score is one of the most important metrics to keep track of with your PPC campaigns. Quality Score determines your Ad Rank, which is the basis of whether your ad shows up on search engine ranking pages (SERPs) or not, and eventually the cost you’ll be paying for every click. You want to keep your quality score as high as possible if you want to get the most out of your budget.
3. Your click-through rates will decrease
If you try searching for your ad, but don’t click on it, that can still affect your overall results, particularly your click-through rate. The click-through rate is determined by the number of impressions your ad gets against the number of clicks. If your ad shows up in front of 100 people, for example, and only 3 people click on it, that puts your click-through rate at 3%.
Every time you search for your ad without clicking on it is recorded by Google, potentially lowering your click-through rate. This signals to Google and to other search engines that perhaps your content isn’t relevant enough or of good enough quality for the users that are searching those particular keywords. The more often that this happens, means that…
4. Your ad will eventually stop showing up
It’s a normal thing to want to know that the campaigns that you’re running are working well, especially after you’ve just launched a campaign. You want to make sure that the ads you’re running are actually showing up in front of your target audiences. Repeatedly searching for your ads, though, proves to be counterproductive.
Repeatedly searching for your own ad and then not clicking through signals to Google that it’s not relevant to you. Eventually, Google will stop showing you that ad entirely. This doesn’t mean, though, that it’s no longer showing up in front of other users. After all, Google’s primary concern is to give each user the best user experience. That said, there are better ways to test and preview your own ads.
How to Search for Your Ads the Right Way
Seeing as this would be a potential concern for advertisers, Google actually has a tool in place to help you preview your ads: Google’s Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool. This tool provides a safe environment for you to view which of your ads is displayed for each keyword, without the adverse effects to your campaign. The tool also shows you which ads are eligible to appear, and can be a glimpse into figuring out why some may not be displayed.
Reading that data and trying to analyse and come up with improvements, though, can prove to be a monumental task. Thankfully, that’s one of the best services we perform for small-to-medium businesses across Australia. If you’re looking to start or improve your PPC campaigns, get more traffic, and increase your leads and sales, get in touch with one of our agents today and we’ll help set you and your business up for success.