Google Ads Approved But No Impressions? Here Is How to Fix It

Jun 29, 2023

Are your Google Ads approved but failing to generate any impressions?

This is a frustrating but common issue. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons behind this issue and provide effective solutions to get your ads up and running.

Let's explore the most common causes and how to address them.

New Account Delay

If you're facing this problem with a new account, don't worry—patience is key. Google typically takes around three days to start displaying ads for a new account or campaign. In some cases, it may even take four or five days. During this time, the system undergoes setup processes, ensuring your ads reach the intended audience. Give Google the necessary time to optimize your campaigns before expecting impressions.

Campaign Errors or Status Warnings

One possible reason for the lack of impressions is the presence of errors or status warnings within your campaign. It's crucial to thoroughly review your campaign settings and ad groups to identify any issues. Common errors may include incorrect targeting options, disapproved ad content, or other violations of Google's advertising policies. Rectifying these errors will enable your ads to start gaining impressions.

Payment Issues

A common payment issue is an expired or declined credit card. This could happen if the card on the account has expired, is over the limit, or has been reported lost or stolen. In addition, if there are any discrepancies in the billing information provided, such as an incorrect billing address or ZIP code, Google may not be able to process the payment.

When a payment issue arises, Google typically tries to charge your account again within a week. However, if these attempts are unsuccessful, your ads will be paused, resulting in no ad impressions. It’s worth noting that your ad campaign's history and performance data are preserved, and once the payment issue is resolved, the ads will resume running.

To address this possible cause, you should first check the "Billing & Payments" section in your Google Ads account for any alerts or messages that could provide more information about the issue.

Device Bidding

Google Ads allows advertisers to set bid adjustments for different devices – desktops, mobile devices, and tablets. This feature enables advertisers to prioritize and allocate more of their budget to the device types that generate the best results. However, incorrect settings can lead to your ads not being shown, thus resulting in no impressions.

If you've set significantly lower bids for specific devices or excluded certain types completely, your ads may not be competitive enough in the ad auction. This could result in your ads not being shown on those devices, thus lowering your overall impressions.

For instance, if you've lowered bids on mobile devices because, historically, they've led to fewer conversions, but a large proportion of your target audience primarily uses mobile devices, you could end up with fewer overall impressions.

To identify if this is causing your lack of impressions, check your campaign's device bid adjustments and compare the performance by device. If there are devices with low or no impressions but high performance in terms of engagement or conversions, it might be a sign that your device bid adjustments are set too low.

Location Targeting Problems

Location targeting in Google Ads allows advertisers to show their ads to customers in a specific location, or set of locations, that they select. This powerful feature lets you focus your advertising on the areas where you'll find the right customers and restrict it to areas where you won't, thus hopefully leading to higher click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates. However, incorrect use of location targeting can be a reason for seeing no impressions.

If you target a location where your audience doesn't reside or operate, your ads won't reach the right people, resulting in no impressions. Similarly, if you target an area that's too small or less populated, the potential audience might be so limited that it doesn't generate any impressions. Additionally, keep in mind that targeting a location where your product or service isn't available can also lead to zero impressions.

Misaligned Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling, also known as dayparting, is a feature in Google Ads that allows advertisers to specify certain hours or days of the week when their ads should be shown. This strategy can be effective in optimizing ads for times when they are more likely to perform well.

However, incorrect ad scheduling can lead to situations where your ads get no impressions. If you've limited your ads to run during times when your target audience is not active or online, or you've set a very restrictive schedule, you might not see any impressions at all. For instance, if you run a local business and schedule your ads to run in the middle of the night when most people are sleeping, you're likely to miss out on potential impressions.

Limited Budget Constraints

Budget limitations can significantly impact the visibility of your ads. If your campaign is set to a limited budget, especially in relation to the cost-per-click (CPC) in your industry, it may struggle to generate impressions. Ensure that your budget aligns with the competitiveness of your target keywords and the desired exposure.

If your budget is too low, Google may limit the number of times your ad is shown, which could lead to zero impressions. This is because Google attempts to spread your ad serving throughout the day to avoid exhausting your budget early on. With a very limited budget, your ads may not be shown at all, particularly in competitive industries where the cost-per-click (CPC) is high.

To identify if a limited budget is causing a lack of impressions, look at the "Status" column in the Google Ads interface. If your budget is indeed limited, your campaign's status will be "Limited by budget." Also, in the Recommendations tab, Google may suggest a budget adjustment to capture all available traffic.

Incorrect Bid Targeting

Bid targeting plays a vital role in determining your ad's visibility. If your bid strategy is not effectively aligned with your campaign goals, it can hinder impression delivery. Take a closer look at your bid settings and ensure they match your advertising objectives. Experiment with bid adjustments and bid strategies to optimize your campaign and improve impression rates.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is a metric that measures the effectiveness of a digital advertising campaign. Google Ads allows you to set a target ROAS, which is used to predict future conversions and the value they will bring to your business. It's an automated bid strategy designed to help you achieve as much conversion value as possible at your target return.

If you set your target ROAS too high, your bids may become too conservative, which can reduce your ad's visibility in the ad auction. This is because Google Ads will aim to meet the high ROAS target by limiting your bids to scenarios where a conversion seems highly likely, which might be infrequent. As a result, your ad may not be shown frequently, leading to no impressions.

Review your campaign's performance metrics in Google Ads to see if an unrealistic target ROAS is causing your lack of impressions. If your campaign is receiving few or no impressions and your target ROAS is set high, it could indicate the need for adjustment.

Experiencing approved ads without impressions is a common concern among Google Ads advertisers. You can implement the appropriate solutions by understanding the potential reasons behind this issue. Remember to be patient if you have a new account, rectify any campaign errors or warnings, review and adjust your budget, and optimize your bid targeting. By following these steps, you'll be on your way to increasing impressions and maximizing the impact of your Google Ads campaigns.

For a more comprehensive visual guide on identifying and resolving these issues, check out my YouTube video, where I provide detailed account screenshots and step-by-step instructions.