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AUCKLAND - AUG 10 2014:Hand holds Magnifying glass against Google homepage.620 million users visit www.google.com daily, almost all the people who use the Internet every day.

It’s only natural to wonder what your paid ads would look like when searching for a particular term, where they are placed or whether they are even showing at all. However, this curiosity has the potential to cause harm to your campaigns and is definitely not a wise move.

1. Impressions

Searching for your ads will increase the number of impressions that each ad receives. This is not necessarily an issue when searching maybe once or twice but doing this repeatedly and/or regularly will see increases in this metric. This will give you or the agency/individual managing your campaigns, an inaccurate view of how many users your ad is reaching. This will indicate that your audience is larger than it actually is and then changes may be made to accommodate for this and these could be unnecessary or cause harm to your campaigns overall. Additionally, this can cause click-through rates (CTRs) to decline over time and this is another metric that would be negatively impacted and reflect an incorrect percentage. These changes could be detrimental to the performance of your ads and it is completely avoidable.

2. Quality Scores

Your quality score will play a huge role in calculating your Ad Rank and it is a vital metric to keep track of. It is an important component of Ad Rank alongside ad relevance, CTR, landing page experience and more. Ad Rank determines where your ads will show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and also how much you would be paying for each click. Searching for your own ads and, therefore, decreasing CTRs can also cause a decline in quality score and this can negatively impact where your ads are positioned on the SERP and also how much you are paying for each click and, also, conversion.

3. Bounce Rates

Bounce rates are the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away after only viewing one page. Therefore, if you do happen to click on your ads when searching for them and then click off, this can lead to an increase in bounce rates. An increased bounce rate can cause Google to believe (once again) that your ads are irrelevant and then decrease quality scores. By increasing bounce rates and reviewing them, this may lead you to believe that there is an issue with a particular page that users are reaching and false optimisations could be made to cater for this.

4. Budgets

For obvious reasons, it is not advised to click on your own ad as this will cost you money each time. However, there are ways that your average costs will increase even if you do not click on the ads. By increasing impressions on ads and lowering quality scores, your cost-per-clicks (CPCs) will inflate and this can waste your budget. If your delivery is set to standard, this is designed to allow your ads to be shown evenly throughout the day and save your budget. This means that some users who search for your ad may not see it as Google Ads is trying to conserve your budget across the day. With ads using this delivery, you may be taking an impression away from a potential customer who may have converted via your ads. Additionally, ads will be shown less often within your budget constraints which can result in less relevant traffic and leads.

5. Your Ads May Stop Showing

The reason that the majority of businesses will search for their own ads is out of the fear that they are not showing to potential customers, however, this can searching for your ads regularly can cause them to not show at all. Google aims to only show ads that they deem to be relevant to the user and searches. Therefore, if you continue to search for your ads them Google may be led to believe that these ads are not relevant to you (as you do not click on them) and stop them from showing to you altogether. Additionally, Google tracks your IP address to identify you and determine which ads to serve you and this is what they can use to block you from seeing your own ads. This will not stop them from running completely as they will only be visible to other users.

Ad Preview and Diagnosis

Google continuously recommends that advertisers use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool provided by Google Ads. This allows you to search for a keyword and shows a preview of the Google search results page so that you can see which ads are triggered by particular keywords (depending on location and language). This can be found in the tools sections of Google Ads under “Planning”.

To learn more about PPC and how we can help you, contact our team now!

Chloe Marston
Chloe Marston
Hi, my name is Chloe and I work in the PPC department here at DPOM. I enjoy working in marketing and have a range of interests within the industry.