How Do I Find My Google Ads?

Understand Google ads and why you might not find your ad where you expect it

Oh, I see. You’ve invested money in Google ads (smart move!). And you see other people’s Google ads every time you browse the internet.

So why don’t you ever see your own ad?

This is a question we ask our clients all the time. And there is a simple answer.

But first, to put you at ease: don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong if your Google ads don’t show your own personal search results.

In fact, this is what you often expect.

We’ll cover Google advertising and SEM (search engine marketing) in more detail below.

But first, we asked our permanent advertising expert, Daniel Simmons, to solve this question once and for all – why can’t you see your own Google Ads?

Understanding Google Ads (and why you shouldn’t see your own ads)
Google ads can be used to create brand awareness, but are often best used to sell or promote a product or service, generate website traffic, or get email list signups. When used this way, they offer an easy-to-measure ROI, so you can understand how your advertising money is working for you.

Ultimately, budget plays a big factor in whether or not you will see your own ad. But first, let’s explore the two types of Google Ads – search ads and display ads – because the type of ad you use can be a determining factor in whether and when you’ll see it in person.

Search Ads
As the name suggests, Search Ads are ads that appear when someone performs a Google search. Say you’re a plumber in Kelowna. If someone searches for ‘plumber in Kelowna’ on Google, then your ad may appear in their search results.

As you might expect, this type of advertising can be very powerful, as you ensure that you appear in front of and among people who may be looking for your direct services.

However, the important thing to remember is that your ad won’t appear every time someone searches for your keywords. You’re actually in a bidding war with every other company using similar keywords (and trust us: competition is often steep).

So, if you have a small budget – say, less than $20/day – then that budget can run out fast every day.

And that means that depending on when you’re trying to find an ad, you can search after your ad spend for the day is up. In other words, it is impossible for your ad to appear for you.

This is compounded by your geographic parameters. If you have a very specific location that you’re targeting (such as in a small town), you’re more likely to see your ad, even if your budget is small.

But if you’re using a limited budget to target a broad area – like, all of North America, for example – your budget will likely run out before you have a chance to see your own ads on any given day.

This is a numbers game. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Google Ads to get results, especially when you use smart SEM. But unless you’re spending a lot of money in a highly targeted region, the chances of seeing your own ads are virtually non-existent.

But don’t worry. Again, if your campaign is set up well, the right people will still see and click. And that’s much more important than finding your own ad!

Display Ads
Display Ads work a little differently. These are images or videos that appear on websites on the Display Network, and you pay per 1000 impressions.

There’s a higher chance that you’ll see your own display ads, assuming again your budget isn’t too small and your geotargeting isn’t too big. But there is a caveat. These ads are not shown on every website – only on certain sites in the network.

So if you are on the ‘wrong’ site, again there is a 0% chance your ad will appear.

Again, this is not the end of the world. Because again, just because you don’t see your ad doesn’t mean potential customers don’t see it.

How to see your ad in search results
By now, you may have got the picture. Unless you have a large budget (in the $100/day range or higher) and a small target region, there’s a good chance you won’t see your ad.

And it doesn’t matter.

Just because you don’t see your ad doesn’t mean it’s not performing well or delivering results for you.

READ: Best Ad Strategies for Immediate Results

Advertising can be very effective for your business, but it must be done right or you will lose time and money. With all the info out there, conflicting advice, and constantly changing online platforms, it’s really hard to know where to spend your advertising budget.

In this article, we simplify online and offline advertising strategies, so you can start seeing sales right from your website.

Read more about us. Website.

So seeing your ad results is much more important than seeing your actual ad ‘in the wild’. And you do that by checking your Google Analytics.

We ensure that all of our clients have access to their Google Analytics accounts. From that account, you can see where your ads are showing, on what devices, at what time and at what rate. There is so much valuable information that you can find in your account.

That’s why we love spending time with our clients to help them understand their Google Analytics accounts. Because sometimes all that very valuable information can lead to info overload. Many people log into their Analytics account once, feel overwhelmed, and ‘not’ log out, never to log in again.

That’s why we like to spend about an hour with our clients guiding them through how to understand what they’re seeing in Google Analytics.


Just as you must understand your financial figures as a business owner, you must understand your website analytics. They go hand in hand in understanding your business and where it is headed.

Of course, we also provide monthly analytics reports to our digital marketing clients.

Viewing your ad versus seeing results
Don’t fall into the trap of losing forest for the sake of trees.

In the end it doesn’t matter if you see your Google ads.

That matters if potential customers do. This is how Google ads help your business.

And that’s where SEM experts come in.

SEM, or search engine marketing, helps increase conversations from paid Google Ads by leveraging proven campaign management and optimization strategies. It is an important tool in digital marketing. And it requires highly focused keywords to determine the most cost-effective approach to getting qualified customers looking for exactly what you have to offer.

Anyone can set up a Google account and run multiple ads. Heck, you can probably set it up yourself.

But using Google ads correctly, to connect with the right people at the right time with the right message, requires complex knowledge. Without this knowledge, you make yourself waste a lot of money.

You need someone who will manage your Google AdWords account, target keywords, and display campaigns that will drive conversions (buys, leads, target goals) to your site.

Through a variety of research tools and techniques, they can develop effective paid search campaigns focused on meeting your target cost per sale or lead. You will reach passionate buyers who may not necessarily find you organically through search engine optimization techniques.

For Your Business Success,