Whether you’ve been running Google Ads for a long time or just started your campaigns, not seeing your ads working as expected and users not converting can be frustrating.
Google Ads is one of the most powerful tools in every business’s marketing arsenal. However, sometimes results are different from what you anticipated, even when you have a good strategy.
You did your research, found your keywords, created your ads, invested your budget, and published your campaigns, but still, sales or leads are not coming.
Don’t worry or give up too soon. We can assure you that you’re not alone.
Many different factors can affect your conversion rate, including elements you might not even have control over. In this article, we’ll share the most common issues we discovered and addressed for our clients, along with our recommendations.
Here Are Our Top 8 Reasons Your Google Ads Are Not Converting
1. Tracking Setup
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether the results you see are accurate. Are you sure that tracking is set up correctly or is not broken?
We’ve seen in many accounts (and by many, we mean almost every single one of our client accounts) conversions not set up properly. These led to inaccurate results because conversions were either
- missing completely or
- not being attributed to the right source or
- included in the bidding goals that were not important for the business.
Especially now, with the transition to Google Analytics 4 (the newest version of Google’s Analytics platform), setting up tracking correctly is more important than ever. Universal Analytics (GA3), after over a decade of service, stopped processing data on July 2023, making the switch to GA4 mandatory.
This transition made everything more complicated, as many businesses haven’t updated their tracking yet (and stopped receiving data) or simply relied on the automatic transfer without verifying if their conversions are still being recorded in Google Ads.
All these simply mean that such businesses are spending money on ads that don’t know if they actually work.
So, the first thing that we always recommend and do for our clients before even starting to run any campaigns is to properly set up Google Analytics 4 and ensure that accurate conversion tracking is in place.
On top of all these, we’re experiencing a new area where third-party cookies and individual identifiers are diminishing. So utilizing first-party data (information from customers that your business collects, like emails and phone numbers) to enhance your advertising strategy becomes more and more crucial.
Our team suggests incorporating first-party data, along with setting up offline conversions, to create a strong foundation for your strategy. Preparing for this before the competition will make tracking a competitive advantage as you gain access to even more insightful data and use them for your campaigns.
2. Lack of Patience
We understand that once your campaigns are live, you want to start seeing results. However, achieving success does not happen in the blink of an eye.
It’s essential to understand that different industries will have different conversion timelines. That’s why we all need to set realistic expectations.
Especially if you just started, you should not expect immediate results. The first few weeks (how many will depend on your niche, budget, target locations, and other factors) are all about collecting data and letting Google’s algorithm learn and adapt.
These results will be used to make more informed decisions for your strategy moving forward. For example, which keywords, ads, assets, products or services, and locations are bringing better results, and what should be improved?
Don’t forget that your competitors might be doing this for a very long time, have bigger budgets to spend, and already have historical data for better optimizations.
Combining patience with informed decisions can lead to more effective campaigns. Because while it’s essential to let campaigns collect data and perform, remember that it’s equally important to regularly observe, analyze, and adjust your strategy based on correct and meaningful data.
3. Budget Constraints
Investing in Google Ads can be quite challenging, especially when you never had or stopped having a positive ROAS (Return On Ad Spend).
Of course, the budget should always be aligned with your business goals, but factors like your industry, competition, seasonality, and time will always impact your decisions.
It’s also important to remember that what you will achieve is determined by the limits of your budget.
When the budget is restricted and the competition is intense because you’re dealing with high CPC (Cost-Per-click), your campaign’s performance, starting from clicks, will be affected (as seen in our image above). This includes, for example, focusing on
- long-tail keywords,
- niche audiences,
- tight location targeting,
- ad scheduling, and
- creative ad copy that is more likely to convert.
Regular monitoring and optimization are crucial to finding the right balance. However, whether you have a restrained budget or not, effective budget management and optimization are always essential to maximize results.
You can always learn more about Google Ads budget in our article here.
4. Over Optimizing Or Over Testing
As we discussed before, it’s essential to monitor your campaigns’ performance and optimize them to improve your results, but you should do it moderately.
You also probably already know that advertising is all about testing–which is also part of the optimization, but when is it too much?
If, for example, you’re continuously changing your budget, bidding strategy, targeting, or your campaigns’ elements (keywords, ads, assets, etc.) without properly evaluating your data, then we’d recommend taking a break and reconsidering.
Don’t forget that Google’s algorithm needs time to adjust to changes, collect data, learn again, and then optimize to better serve your campaigns.
Every test and optimization needs a plan and a reason. Otherwise, you’re risking lowering your campaigns’ performance, getting early budget exhaustion, basing your efforts on short-term metrics, and missing many opportunities for long-term success.
We also know that Google uses your account’s performance history, settings, and trends to offer recommendations that could improve your performance.
These recommendations, which are constantly showing up inside your account, can give you great insights into what your campaigns might be missing, but you shouldn’t entirely rely on them.
So, here’s an extra tip from our team: When optimizing your campaigns and account, never forget to carefully review and analyze Google’s recommendations before you apply them.
The best practice is to review them one by one and decide if they’re relevant and a good fit for your campaign at this specific time. If they are not, simply dismiss them, and your optimization score will go up again!
5. Landing Page Issues
Ads are responsible for bringing relevant and targeted traffic to your site; however, this doesn’t guarantee any conversions. After every click on your ad, your website is responsible for converting these leads into sales.
That’s why an organized, user-friendly, and well-designed landing page can significantly impact your conversion rates. Simply think about the last time you wanted to find something online. You clicked on an ad, but the page didn’t include what you were looking for, or you couldn’t find it.
Would you continue browsing this page or just go look somewhere else?
Check out how Google rates your landing pages. Open your Google Ads report and take a closer look at the Landing Page Experience measure (an estimate of how relevant and useful your page is for anyone clicking your ad).
If your ads are bringing clicks but not converting, and the landing page experience score is low, you know where to focus your efforts.
Try to imagine what your target audience will probably want to find after clicking your ad and ensure to provide it.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to follow our best practices for a well-optimized landing page and get a great foundation to improve your overall online experience.
Another significant factor is price, which is actually the number one when we talk about sales. It’s great to have a well-optimized and relevant landing page, but keeping your prices competitive is equally important.
If your services or products are reasonably priced and offer a good value, your potential customers are more likely to convert. Higher prices can make them more hesitant to proceed, and they will probably continue their research for a more affordable solution somewhere else.
Especially if your business is an Ecommece store and you want to see your shopping ads and Performance Max campaigns bring results, offering competitive pricing can boost your conversions.
Keep in mind that Google is also bringing the price competitiveness report to Google Merchant Center, which also indicates how important this is. Now, you can get more data about how similar products offered by other retailers are priced and how your products perform based on the price benchmark.
7. Campaigns Not Following Best Practices
There are numerous reasons why one or more of your campaigns are not converting because they are not following the “best practices.” Here are some of the most important ones:
- You are not using any first-party data (like importing your own customer email list in Google Ads) to optimize your campaigns.
- You are not running any scripts or automations for better management.
- Your campaigns are not well organized (too many or too few campaigns, missing important campaign types, not leveraging new types of campaigns, etc.).
- Your campaigns don’t have the right goals (sales, awareness), so the algorithm can’t adapt accordingly.
- You haven’t set up your location targeting properly, so you’re still reaching people who are not within your target audience.
- You are not running any experiments in your account to A/B test results.
- You’re not remarketing to hyper-relevant user groups that are more likely to convert.
8. Your Ads and Campaigns Are Not Updated Regularly
If you’ve been running the same campaigns or ads for a long time or even years, you should definitely start updating them and then continue doing so periodically.
Google Ads is a platform that is constantly evolving. To maintain the effectiveness of your campaigns and ads, it’s important to regularly review and adjust them accordingly.
Don’t forget that various factors can change over time (market trends, competition, best practices, Google’s algorithms), and new features are continuously available.
If, for example, you’re running successful campaigns for a very long time without adapting to new changes, you’re risking lowering their performance and allowing your competitors (even the ones that just started) to find ways to steal your results.
The same applies if you’re keeping the same ad copy because it can significantly impact your ads’ relevance over time and the way users may interact with them.
Optimizing your Google Ads campaigns is an ongoing effort that will help you get the best results from your advertising investment.
Running successful ads has its challenges, but understanding what can be wrong and how to improve it is a foundation for your strategy. Try not to search for quick fixes but to improve the core parts of your campaigns and strategy.
We are confident that after reading this article, you will not still just wonder why my Google Ads are not converting, but instead, you’ll get the insights to start working on improving your results.
By setting your conversion tracking, regularly monitoring your campaigns’ results, optimizing based on data, and following the best practices for a well-built campaign, you’ll unlock the potential for successful advertising, and conversions will await.
The team of Zima Media will be here to be your companions on this journey. Request a free marketing audit to see how we can help your business leverage the world of Google Ads!