Using Google Ads is a great way to get your brand or products directly in front of the people who are most likely to become customers — your target audience — as efficiently as possible. But, because Google makes it possible for your ads to be targeted with laser precision, it may take a while for you to start seeing those results.
But how long does it take for your campaign(s) to get momentum and start driving you leads at a sustainable rate
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, but if you’re trying out Google Ads — also called pay-per-click or PPC — for your business, the worst thing you can do is abandon your ads too early. Here’s what to expect at various points in the timeline of running your Google Ads campaign — and how to know when the time is right to make changes.
The first step to getting started with Google Ads is to create your account. You’ll start by inputting some information about your business. Then, you’ll wait for your account to be approved by Google, a process that doesn’t usually take longer than 24-48 hours. Once this is complete, you can start running ads!
You’ll designate keywords to target, submit ad copy, and set your bid strategy to align with the goals of your business. Once you’ve fulfilled all of the requirements to launch your first ad groups, you won’t want to touch them for at least a week. Here’s why:
7 Days After Launching Your Ads
Google is extremely sophisticated, which makes having optimized ad campaigns more of an automated process than ever before. However, in order to make sure your ads make it to the right places, Google has to learn about your business, the topic of your ads, and your target audience.
After any major changes occur in your ads, Google enters what’s called a “learning phase.” This is how it optimizes your budget to get you the best results possible. This part of the process lasts an average of 7 days.
The First 2-4 Weeks
During the first 2-4 weeks of a new ad campaign, your ads will start to become optimized by Google. During this time, it’s still unwise to make major changes, for a few reasons:
- The platform is still learning about your goals, so it likely won’t be using your full budget yet. Changing things before you have a chance to see a full run of performance means you might be making the wrong moves.
- Making a major change at any point will send Google Ads back into the learning phase, potentially restricting the results of your campaign.
The goal during this window is to allow Google to gather enough data to optimize the performance of your ads without having to start the process over.
The Next 2-5 Months
Experts agree that it can take up to 6 months for a Google Ads campaign to mature, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make changes after the first week. The important thing is to make sure you have enough time to measure the impact of each optimization you make after giving Google a chance to set a baseline for performance expectations according to your budget and bid strategy.
Here are some changes you could make after your Google Ads campaign has been running for long enough to gather sufficient baseline data:
- Changing your ad copy: If the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads is low, it may be because the copy in your ad groups is not relevant to the targeted keywords. In this case, you might consider writing new copy that takes a different approach.
- Adding negative keywords: Due to variations in search intent, not every keyword will be from members of your target audience. Designating low-performing or irrelevant keywords as “negative keywords” will keep your ads from showing up for those terms.
- Increasing your budget: If you’re competing for competitive keywords, your ads may not show up as much as you need them to. In this case, you can choose between finding different keywords or increasing your budget to be more competitive.
- Optimizing run times: You can change the time parameters for when your ads run in order to avoid wasting your budget on unqualified searches. For example, if your specific audience is more likely to search for relevant keywords outside of work hours, you might consider restricting your hours to after 5:00 PM on weekdays.
Google Ads Presents Some Challenges
Because Google is always optimizing the performance of your ads, it can be difficult to tell when it’s the right time to make changes — and, which changes to make first. That’s why you need a qualified digital agency with plenty of PPC experience under its belt.
At Kick Digital Media, we’ve run Google Ads campaigns successfully for countless clients. Save yourself the worry and uncertainty; leave your PPC work to the experts. For more information, contact us today.