How Long Does It Take for Google Ads to Work?

how long does it take for google ads to work

Are you wondering, “How long does it take for Google ads to work?” If so, you’re probably either anticipating a date when you can check back once you submit your ad, or you’ve already created it and are wondering why it’s been a week without any visible change. While it may sound frustrating, you likely won’t see results even a month later. 

It doesn’t reflect your ad’s success at grabbing your target audience’s attention — at least, not at first. Google simply takes three to 12 months to find and utilize your demographic. At Bear North Digital, our award-winning Google ads agency has years of experience increasing website traffic by up to 30%, which includes showing the right ads to the right people, so we’ll explain how long Google ads take and why.

How Long Does It Take to Post the Ad?

In the digital era, many people expect things to move fast, but that doesn’t mean Google will instantly post your pay-per-click ad overnight. In fact, most ads aren’t posted until 24 to 48 hours later. The Google team must review them thoroughly to ensure they follow all requirements, like having a professional appearance and easy user interface that doesn’t border on generic or gimmicky. They should also lead to valid and relevant sites, among other things. 

While it usually takes one business day for your ad status to move from “under review” to “approved” or “disapproved,” your ad’s complexity or other issues may prolong the evaluation. You can contact Google’s support team for more information by the second day, and if they reject your ad, follow their feedback on policy violations since that’ll help you resubmit your improved ad. 

What Happens After Approval?

Once Google approves your ad, the algorithm spends the next week undergoing a learning phase where it collects information on your company and the products and services you provide. Company research may take a while, depending on the complexity and size of your business. The algorithm also studies your target audience and competition to optimize the performance of your Google ad.

Since Google doesn’t want to spend your entire budget the moment they post your ad, and you have to pay each time someone clicks on it, they’ll only allow a small number of clicks until they gather more data. Therefore, you’ll notice lower clicking and conversion rates, but this doesn’t reflect overall performance. If you really want to enhance your rates, go to your account and alter your budget.

However, the most important thing to do during the learning phase is nothing. Many feel the temptation to make large alterations to their accounts when they notice lower rates, but each time you do so, the learning period takes longer since the algorithm has to learn the new data. Refrain from changing the bid strategy settings, editing conversion actions, and pausing or enabling your campaign for better results. 

The Optimization Period

Once the learning session is complete, you’ll probably ask again, “How long does it take for Google ads to work?” The optimization period, the second of three periods, takes up to 90 days, during which the algorithm gains traction with the already-gathered information. That means you’ll notice an improvement in click-through rates and conversion rates.

Although the ad’s status will no longer say “learning,” the system will still gather data to further evolve your ad, so take this period to make minor adjustments that won’t catapult the ad back into the learning phase. For instance, you can make small changes to the ad copy, hone in on specific locations you want to target, and implement positive and negative keywords.

Positive and Negative Keywords

When you start your campaign, you start broad and allow the algorithm to collect viewing data to determine how to reach your target audience. During the optimization period, you can begin narrowing down these factors, which include keyword choices. Results show what keywords bring in the most traffic to your site, but not all high-impact keywords are good for your company. 

Let’s say you have an HVAC company that offers heating and cooling services, but you don’t service heat pumps. If someone from your target location searches for heat pump repair, your company may pop up, and they may click on the link to your site. But once they notice you don’t offer these services, they’ll leave, contributing to your bounce rate. 

Bounce rates are the percentage of potential customers that click on your site but don’t take further action. Not only does this run up your PPC costs with no profit to show for it, but it makes your bounce rates higher than your conversion rates. Labeling “heat pump” as a negative keyword in your campaign keeps your company from surfacing during irrelevant searches, lowering your bounce rate and PPC costs. 

Words that do target the appropriate customers and contribute to higher conversion rates are positive keywords. You can determine the best ones by using SEO keyword research tools to find relevant keywords similar to what you already use. Uncovering what works for your competitors also helps since you can use their research to further your company. 

Determining Quality Score

Keywords primarily give your ad a Quality Score that ranges from level one to ten. The more relevant your target keywords are, the higher your score on this diagnostic tool. Alongside relevant keywords, Quality Score also measures ad relevance and the expected CTR, which is how much it expects others to click on it. 

Google also determines the quality of your ad (such as what it takes to produce a high level of conversions and if it’s reaching those requirements) while pitting the ad against other advertisements.

While this score doesn’t affect the ad auction, it tells you how well your ad will perform during the auction. If you have a low score, it relays what you should remedy to ensure Google picks your ad to pop up for certain searches. Otherwise, a high score of about nine or ten, alongside an appropriate and competitive bid, puts you in the running for an ad space. 

Reoptimization for Further Results 

So, how long does it take for Google ads to work after the optimization period? At least three months after your ad posts and you make the appropriate modifications, you’ll begin noticing results that are more to your liking, which include higher CTRs and conversion rates. By learning what works from the first two phases, you can now use that information to promote your campaign on a larger scale.

For many business owners, enlarging the campaign includes using an in-house or outsourced team of writers, data analysts, and ad specialists to continue researching your target audience and location. Doing so allows them to find more potential customers and successful tactics for reaching them. They also evolve your ad campaign and create new ones, keeping your campaign relevant and successful. 

Keep in mind that not everyone’s growth results are going to skyrocket within three months. It may take a bit longer, with some business owners not hitting their goals until a year later. However, if your numbers are slowly but steadily rising, refrain from making any major changes that would otherwise halt or reverse the progress your ad is making. 

But if you’re seeing close to no results, it’s time to make major changes, such as to the geographic location, target audience, keyword selections, or copy. While some campaigns may require you to take a completely different direction to get it off the ground, try to make changes in small increments so you don’t trigger the learning process all over again. 

Some Major Changes for Reoptimization 

If your ad’s results aren’t pleasing you, you may think it’s primarily because of your positive and negative keywords. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Some other things you should consider include the following.

Bid Strategy 

Automated bidding may seem more convenient, but it can prove faulty, especially for low-volume or new campaigns. That’s because it hasn’t yet learned your habits and may waste money or produce poor results. So use manual bidding strategies, at least for a while, before switching to automatic bidding. 

Conversion Rates

You’ll wonder, “How long does it take for Google ads to work?” if your conversion rates are high but you’re not noticing a profit. Unfortunately, it happens about 95% of the time when campaigns have insufficient conversion tracking that relays an inaccurate number to the Google algorithm. This incorrect data bars Google from learning about your company and targeting the appropriate viewers.

For instance, if your tracking data falsely claims a higher conversion rate, Google will never learn to readjust to the appropriate audience, keeping your true conversion rates low. On the other hand, if it claims a lower conversion rate, Google may sway away from targeting the right demographic. If you’re unsure about your conversion rates, ask an advertising company to audit your campaign for accuracy. 

Ad Copy 

Sometimes, the ad copy itself may be the issue, especially if you’ve trusted its writing to PPC specialists or data analysts who focus primarily on appealing to the most recent Google Analytics requirements. While honing in on the appropriate keywords and providing accurate linking to the correct landing pages increase your chances of gaining a spot during ad auctions, it doesn’t guarantee it’ll catch viewers’ eyes.

Copy should be intriguing, showing viewers you know what they want and how your company can assist with solutions. But if your ad has generic or tired wording, you won’t stand out from the competition, and viewers won’t want to click on your ad. Therefore, hire a copy specialist who’ll create multiple drafts of each copy rather than handing you the first thing they come up with. 

Growth Guaranteed!

Whether your start-up business is new to Google ads or you don’t know how to implement it for your long-time company, we’re here to guide you. Our full-service marketing agency has spent years partnering with top platforms like Google Ads, Shopify, and Facebook to bring our clients the most custom-tailored campaigns focused on their unique goals every time. Our goal is to provide clients with services tailored to their unique needs; with our help, you can create an ad strategy that will help you boost your business.

Contact Bear North Digital at (218) 216-8692 to request a free growth plan. We’ll explain conversion rate optimization and answer, “How long does it take for Google ads to work?”