Don’t search for your pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google and Bing — you may be hurting your keyword click-through-rate (CTR), or even worse, your entire campaign’s performance. While it is understandable to want to see what your PPC ads look like on the search engine results page (SERP), what your ad position is, and even what your competition is doing, many do not know that doing so may weaken their campaign performance.
Every time your ad is shown, both your keyword and ad receive an impression, and although you may not be clicking on your ad — to save yourself that cost-per-click (CPC) — you are hurting your CTR because the ad is shown, but not clicked on. The search engines will think that your ad is not relevant to the search query if its CTR is lower than other ads, and your ad may not be shown as often as it should. In addition, a low CTR can lead to a low quality score, which in turn will lead to a higher average CPC.
What is the solution? Both Google and Bing provide Ad Preview Tools for advertisers to utilize in order to see their PPC ads. The Google Ad Preview Tool works even without having an AdWords account; however, the Microsoft adCenter Preview Tool requires the advertiser to access the tool through the Tools tab within their interface. On the Tools page, select Ad Preview Tool. Next, type a keyword in the keyword box and click the Preview Ads button to see your result on a Bing search results page.
Using an Ad Preview Tool will not affect your PPC campaign performance and will enable you to get a better picture of how your ads will appear on a SERP. The Google Ad Preview Tool allows you to select your location and language as well as device and Google domain. Happy ad searching!