Google Ads offers an effective way to reach users looking to buy your product and can offer immense return on investment. But how long does it take for Google Ads to work?
When launching a new Google Ads campaign, there are four phases: pre-launch, launch, learning, and optimization. You won’t see the true success of your ads until you complete the fourth phase. Below we explain how long it takes to see results in Google Ads and why.
Phase 1: Planning
In the planning phase, we establish your goals, complete keyword research and recommend a monthly ad spend based on factors like search volume, competition, and cost per click.
Learn how to calculate your Google Ads spend.
Then, we plan your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and develop your copy. Finally, we create your account if you don’t already have one and set up your campaigns in Google Ads. Note that we always provide our clients with ownership of the accounts we setup. We believe in transparency — you should own your accounts and have access to your data.
Phase 2: Launch
Once we set up and launch your campaign, your ads are evaluated by both an automated system and Google employees. They are scanning for any violations to their advertising policies (you can review those here). This usually takes 24 hours to complete but can take up to three business days. This is why you may not see any activity on your account on the first day.
Once your setup is approved, your ads will be active and begin delivering. You are now in a period of learning.
Phase 3: Learning Period
This is the time when Google’s machine learning takes place. The only way for Google to learn how your account will perform is with time. It’s observing who is seeing your ad, where they are, what time it is, who is more likely to click on your ad, and more.
This learning period usually takes about seven days. However, it can take longer if, for example, your keywords have a lower search volume, you’re targeting a smaller audience, or you have a low budget.
In this time, we make as few changes as possible, or preferably, none. Large changes will affect progress and could restart the learning period. It may be tempting to make edits to your ads within the first few days, but allowing Google to adequately optimize performance based on your configuration will result in better success long term. We will, however, make small edits to ads or ad groups and add negative keywords as we see irrelevant search terms pop up.
Note that making bulk changes or significant edits in the campaign composition during this time could throw you back into the learning period.
Phase 4: Optimization
Now that your ads are running and the learning period has ended, the manual optimization begins. Here is a list of what we do to ensure our clients Google Ads are successful:
- Campaign budget/bid strategy management
- Adding negative keywords based on irrelevant search terms
- Expanding keywords based on Google recommendations and additional research
- Fine-tuning copy based on popular keywords
- A/B testing copy & extensions
- Pausing ineffective keywords
- Ongoing analysis of performance to include more targeting strategies like geo targeting, day-parting, and devices
- Conversion edits or additions
These ongoing tasks help fine tune your account and require time to gather enough data to complete the tasks above in an educated and deliberate way. Meanwhile, Google is constantly using its algorithm within your account to optimize. As you make changes, Google notices and adjusts.
This is why running a Google Ads campaign for at least three months is recommended. This gives enough time for Google to learn and for us to analyze and optimize for a successful campaign. Note that if your business has a seasonal sale that you would like feature, you can always implement a promotion extension to advertise the offer on your existing ads.
So to answer “How long does it take for Google Ads to work?” Approximately three months.
Just starting your Google Ads journey? We’d love to help. Contact us and we can help make your business stand out on Google.