How long does Google Ads take to work? It’s probably the first question every business asks when investing in this advertising tool. And the quick answer is it depends.
On average, you need 3 to 6 months for the campaign to mature. And you get to see significant results in the 12th month.
It is slow progress, and there are several reasons explaining why.
Still, experts agree that Google Ads works faster than any other SEO technique. With it, you can target specific customer groups while efficiently controlling advertising costs.
And while it takes time to work, you can do something to ensure its steady yet eventual success.
Read on to learn more and find out how.
Average Time Required for Google Ads to Work
As mentioned, a Google Ads campaign will need at least three months to mature. Then, it will take about 6 to 12 months to see the fruits of your labour.
This timeline is not absolute, though. But whether you are in a small business or an enterprise, Google Ads needs time. Why is that?
Here are some crucial reasons you need to know.
1. Google needs time to review and approve ads.
Google works with established advertising policies, so Internet users get the best experience through relevant and engaging ads.
Some of the ad issues Google look at include misleading headlines, offensive content, inappropriate keywords and landing page discrepancies.
Assessing these elements against its guidelines take time. Moreover, not following these guidelines when submitting your ads will cause approval delays.
Usually, reviewing ads takes one business day. More complex ones need a longer time. And you can always check the status of your ad through your Google Ads account.
2. Campaigns need time to attract leads.
Putting up a new marketing campaign does not gain momentum overnight. It will take weeks or months to happen, no matter what advertising platform or channel you use.
But as the Google Ads campaign takes about three months to mature, you can use this waiting time to promote your ads.
Your persistence and effort should eventually boost the number of leads, decrease the cost per conversion rate and generate revenue.
Otherwise, you need to consult a Google Ads specialist to make campaign adjustments.
3. New ad campaigns need time to gather data and create a performance history.
Setting up an ad campaign requires initial data through keyword, market and competitor research.
But the most valuable data will come from the ad itself. And getting advertising data needs considerable time, even more so with a small audience size.
Once you gain enough data, you can use them to enhance your targeting, keyword selection and bids.
Networks like Google Ads also evaluate the quality of your ads based on performance.
Specifically, gaining more clicks and impressions will impact how often users see your ads and how fast you get to see results. Again, this process takes time.
But with increased exposure, the network can give you a more accurate score, allowing your ads to perform better.
Factors Affecting Google Ads Results
Answering the question “how long does Google Ads take to work” also depends on several business factors.
For instance, your location, goals and competition are crucial elements that affect your campaign.
The business industry you are in also plays a vital role. Some industries will see results faster, while others will take longer.
Business owners in professional services, trade, and retail might begin seeing new customers within the first week. And by week 2, they’re all set to reap the benefits of their hard work.
Here are some factors to note:
If your product is popular or helpful to buyers, it can sell itself. You get a winning marketing pitch if you complement it with a reasonable price, placement, and advertising.
2. Landing page
A high-converting landing page is vital to your Google Ads campaign. After all, it is the first thing that visitors see before hopefully making a purchase.
So, keep your landing page welcoming but professional and easy to navigate. Pair it with original and concise content.
Your copy should be engaging but credible to build a trusting relationship with your audience.
3. Unique selling proposition
Your ad campaign works better with a powerful USP (Unique Selling Point). It’s a statement or point that emphasises why buyers should patronise your product or service.
More importantly, it tells customers what makes you better than the competition.
Competitor analysis or audit is essential in ensuring a successful campaign. It is also important to understand your rivals thoroughly, particularly the target keyword they use.
Note that if you have a lot of big companies within your industry, they can spend more for their campaign, making progress for your business slower.
5. Marketing budget
Remember, Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) service, meaning you need a reasonable starting budget to run it. Also, it’s a bidding system, so you have to pay as much or more than your competitors to stay visible.
Investing smartly for Google Ads plays a part in your progress. Moreover, allocating a higher budget increases your lead generation opportunity.
So, generally, you can accelerate results if you are willing to spend more money on competitive keywords and various strategies in your campaign.
6. Ad management
Effective messaging, relevant keywords, bidding strategies and a good landing page work together for a successful Google Ads turnout.
And so, make sure you have an efficient team to manage your account. Having specialists or experts behind the campaign also ensures you are not wasting resources.
What to Do to Improve Google Ads Results
We know the answer to the question, how long does Google Ads take to work. Now, how can we ensure its success?
First things first: start with a plan. Establish your goals, do keyword research and identify your ad spend based on competition, search volume and cost per click.
Next, plan your campaigns and ad groups and then develop your copy. Proceed to set up your campaign in Google Ads and launch.
During this time, Google will evaluate your ad and scan it for any violation. It should take about one business day to complete, so you may not see any activity at this point.
But once your ad gets the approval, it will be active and start delivering. And Google will start observing your ad and identifying who sees or clicks on it.
We call this phase the learning period, which usually takes seven days. But it can take longer when you target a small audience, have a low budget or have keywords with low search volume.
But remember to hold your changes for now. Making any significant edits in the campaign will only restart the learning period.
Once learning is over, you can work on your campaign monthly.
As turnaround time takes three months on average, here’s a timeline with an action plan based on that. That way, you will have well-directed efforts each month.
First month: data gathering
The first month of your Google Ads will likely be the most inefficient. So, it’s normal to start seeing results that are not very satisfactory during this time.
After all, the initial phase of your Google Ads campaign should focus on researching and gathering information about the business.
Aspects like customers, competitors and business goals are examples. The key here is to collect as much data as possible.
Ideally, start with a broader targeting. This approach ensures that you get to attract your most valuable customers.
Increased ad visibility and online presence also help PPC specialists with data mining and interpreting later.
Refining it too much will only result in limited data and a smaller audience. You can refine it with additional demographics after gathering enough data.
Making data-backed decisions will speed up your progress and prevent the waste of resources.
Second month: campaign optimisation
Optimising your ad campaign depends on the amount of data you’ve gathered. You’re likely to get better results when you optimise more.
But remember, Google takes time to assess ads. And so, over-optimisation or making too many adjustments affects “how long does Google Ads take to work”.
Having a PPC agency working with you is crucial at this stage. Experts would know how to sort and make the most of the data collected.
They understand essential metrics, too, including click-through rates (CTRs), cost per click, conversion rate, and more.
But to give you an idea, here are three main elements you should be looking at and improving on in the second month.
1. Keywords and search
Generate search query reports to find out what your potential customers search for online.
Doing this also helps fine-tune your initial keyword list. Keep the best performers, then remove those with low-quality clicks.
Check for potential negative keywords as well. These are broad-match words or phrases that people type in but do not indicate business interest.
For example, if you offer interior design services or consultations, you probably have “interior design” as a broad match keyword.
But then, people might come across your ad even if they are looking for “interior design job openings” or “interior design supplies”. Job openings and supplies in these examples are your negative keywords.
When keyword optimising, your goal is to avoid irrelevant traffic. Remember, you get charged when people click on your ad.
And it will be a waste of your advertising budget to pay for clicks that have no chance of converting. It also reduces bounce rates, which Google uses when giving out quality scores.
2. Target audience
Gathered data from the initial phase of your campaign can help you skim down your audience. You can define it by segregating consumers into segments like age groups or devices used.
Other demographic data you can use include age, gender, location, average income and interests. What’s crucial here is to pick out data sources relevant to your product or service.
But why is PPC audience targeting important? Like in keyword selection, you will only waste money when publishing ads for an audience without purchasing intent.
Google Ads is an investment, after all. And attracting high-quality leads is necessary to boost your return on investment.
One related element to keep an eye on is click fraud or making fraudulent clicks on PPC display ads through bots. Some use this to boost their CTRs artificially or hurt competitors.
Advertisers lose billions of dollars because of click fraud. It can also affect the accuracy of your ad data, especially traffic and user behaviour.
You can avoid this problem with an automated detection program for blocking click bots.
3. Bid strategy
Google Ads has automated and manual bidding options for different campaign goals, such as generating more clicks, impressions or conversions.
Whichever bidding method you choose, your aim here is to focus bids on your winning performers and reduce spending on poor performers.
For example, you can do this by assessing your average cost per click with your keyword list. From here, you can spot your top-performing keywords and broad ones that attract fewer converting visitors.
Optimising your bidding strategy helps you decide where to put your money best. It also lets you know if your revenue can outweigh an increased campaign budget.
Third month: test, expand and scale
At this time, you’ll have more than enough data and results to take your Google Ads campaign up a notch. One thing you can do is to experiment with a new ad copy.
Google Ads even has a feature that lets you create an ad copy test. With it, it shouldn’t be hard to evaluate new headlines or text variations and see which ones work best.
Month 3 is also the best time to explore new keyword opportunities. Consider expanding your keyword list to boost traffic from other untapped areas.
You may even find new keywords for a dedicated ad group or campaign.
Lastly, use this time to create a long-term plan. Expand your strategy by compiling campaign opportunities, ad networks and revised ad spend.
Deciding to incorporate paid ads into your marketing strategy should not stop at answering the question, how long does Google Ads take to work.
Like any SEO technique, Google Ads or any ad network requires money and time. So, be prepared for hard work if you want to see results.
Remember that success does not happen after reaching the first-year mark either. It’s an ongoing process without any finish line.
So, have a team of dedicated specialists to get things started and constantly monitor or tweak the campaign for gradual but steady progress.
Google Ads is an investment that can demand a lot on your end. But give it time and keep working on it. Ultimately, its high returns make all that effort 100% worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know if my Google Ads campaign is working?
Several metrics let you know if your Google Ads campaign is doing well. But the most important would be the number of clicks, click-through rate, cost per click, conversion rate and cost per conversion. An early sign of success is a minimum of 15 clicks per day per ad group and 200-300 clicks on keywords per month. If you’re not reaching these numbers, you might need to reconsider your campaign set-up and budget.
2. How much budget should I allocate to Google Ads?
You can start with a small budget of about $20 to $30 daily to see results within a few weeks. Once your ads start producing results and converting well, you can increase your budget. Allocating at least $100 to $200 per day should be enough to see results for an extended period. However, remember that a reasonable starting budget is subjective and depends on factors like your industry and product/service type.