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Why is My Google Ad Not Spending? 11 Reasons

Sometimes, you may find that your Google Ads campaign is not delivering and utilizing the budget. In this article, we’ll walk you through the key reasons why your Google ad campaign is not spending. Although we may not cover every possible scenario, you can rest assured that we will cover the most common issues. Plus, we give you solutions to tackle each of these issues. So, let’s get started!

 Google Ads Campaign spend issue

You pay for your Google Ads in any of the two ways:

  • Automatic payments - charged after your ads run, either 30 days after your last automatic charge or when you reach a preset amount

  • Monthly invoicing - You get a Google credit line and costs and receive a monthly invoice.

If Google cannot charge you, it won’t run your ads.

What you can do:

In that case, fix your payment issue.

If your keyword bids are lower than your competitors, it would affect your first page ad placement. That’s because your ad rank is determined by your bid amount, ad quality, the Ad Rank thresholds, the competitiveness of an auction, and the relevance of the search query. Low bids may not rank your ad on the first page and get as many impressions.

On the other hand, ​​​​high bidding can give you a higher ranking, but your budget gets used faster. And when your bids exceed your campaign budget, Google does not show your ad for search queries that match your ad keyword.

What you can do:

One way to estimate the impact of your bids on your ad campaign is using the bid simulator feature. Go to the Keywords section in your campaign dashboard. Click Columns. In bid simulator, check the ones you want to see the estimated impact.

 Google Ads budget issue

Daily budget lower than the recommended amount can make your ad campaign ‘limited by budget’. In that case, Google does not show your ad as often as they could.

For instance, increasing your bid may increase the number of auctions your ad is eligible for - which means more potential traffic. But, if you keep the daily budget constant, it finishes fast due to the increased bid amount. So, the campaign would not be able to accommodate the new clicks available for your campaign

What you can do:

Like bid simulator, use the budget simulator in the Campaigns table. Use different budgets to understand the exposure your campaign might receive.

This usually happens when you’re targeting niche or long-tail keywords. Keywords with low search volume indicate two things: less people searching for them and keywords irrelevant to most searches.

Google may temporarily make these keywords inactive to avoid your ad showing up for them. Even if your ad shows up, there is a possibility that you have paid for all the potential traffic coming from those narrow keywords with still balance left in your campaign.

What you can do:

  • Identify whether your keywords have less search volume by going to the Keyword planner. Reduce bids to reduce ad spend waste on these keywords.

  • Add more keywords. Try adding some broad match and modified broad type keywords to show up for more relevant searches.

Exact match keywords let your ad appear if the user searches for that exact phrase. Although it gives you extremely targeted website traffic, too many exact match keywords restrict your ad’s reach. Your potential to rank for new keywords searches decreases along with your impression share (the number of impressions your ad received divided by the impressions you were supposed to receive).

What you can do:

Try adding some broad match and modified broad type keywords to show up for more relevant searches. This will get you more clicks but possibly include unnecessary clicks as well. So, you need to also update your negative keywords by checking the search terms report.

We add negative keywords to prevent our ad from showing up on unnecessary search queries. However sometimes, they can overlap with your relevant search queries. For example, if your negative keyword is broad type (which means it has a broad meaning), it can conflict with relevant broad type search queries. In short, your negative keyword is blocking a positive keyword, reducing your impression share.

What you can do:

Add exact match negative keywords. Alternatively, set up a script to find all of the negative and normal keywords across your Google Ads account and understand if any normal keywords are blocked. This step is slightly technical and might require more expertise. Find the script source code here.

These reasons are self-explainable in nature. Your campaigns could be disapproved if it violates Google Ads Policy.

What you can do:

To know the status your ads, follow the steps below:

  • In your Google Ads account, click Ad extensions and then Ads to see all your ads.

  • In the ‘Status’ column, you can see if your ads are disapproved, limited, paused, removed. If your ad is disapproved, hover your cursor over the ad’s status to know the reason behind it. Click on the pencil icon to edit and resubmit your ad for a review. Learn more about how to fix ads with policy violation.

  • To activate a paused ad, click the circle next to your ad.

  Campaign not spending? Fix it now

If your ad targeting is too restrictive, your ad may not show up.

What you can do:

  • Use reach estimates to understand your ad’s potential reach. Find them on the right-hand side of the campaign creation screen.

  • If your ad group is set for targeting multiple things—audiences, placements, keywords, at the same time, you may not find many people matching all those targeting options at once.

  • In that case, try some of your targeting methods in the ‘Observation’ state. It allows you to observe how ads might perform for your selected placements, topics or audiences while your campaign is running, without restricting your ad’s reach. You can also set custom bids.

  • Expand your targeting by including new areas close to your business. Begin with a broad location and then narrow down once you know where your audience comes from.

Scheduling mistakes can happen in two ways:

-when you have scheduled your ads for a very narrow window of time (e.g. 1-hour everyday)

-Your ad is scheduled for days or hours when your target audience don’t search

What you can do:

  • Do initial research of when your audience usually searches for your products and services.

  • Expand the window of time by going to the Ad Schedule tab of your campaign.

Quality score indicates how well your ad will perform against your competitors. The score is based on three factors: estimated clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, and post-click experience. Low quality score means your ad lacks in one or more of these areas.

What you can do:

Review the earlier mentioned three factors by updating your text, keywords and landing page. Make sure the status shown for these factors is at least ‘Average’—so your ad performs fine.

Google generally reviews all your ads within one working day. But sometimes, there can be unforeseen delays which restrict your ad from running.

What you can do:

  • Check your ad review status: in your Google Ads account, click Ads & extensions, see the ‘Status’ column.

  • If your ad is not reviewed within two working days, contact Google’s Support team.

Did you come across any of the issues above? How did you fix it? Or, if you need free advice from our performance marketing experts, let us know in the comments. Happy Advertising!