Ad Preview Tool – Google

If you’ve already got your ads running on Google, you may want to see that your money is being put to good use by checking where your ad is appearing in searches. The place where your ad appears is referred to as an “ad position”.

Checking your results by performing searches will negatively affect the outcome of your campaign – costing you extra money and pontential decrease in leads and sales! 

To provide their customers with value, Google provides the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool for their customers to get an idea of how their advertisements are being displayed, without negatively affecting their campaign.

The 3 Step Process

1. Open the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool to see exactly how your paid advertisement appears for a certain search query. This free tool is the simplest way to check the position of your ad and it comes with the added benefit of not triggering any impressions, which could lower your Quality Score and increase your average bid cost.

2. Make sure the settings are correct before hitting the “Preview” button. If you advertise in different markets, make sure the domainlanguagelocation and device settings are all in line with the ad you are trying to preview.

dog kennel screen shot

3. After inputting this information and submitting it you should get a SERPs page as you would normally get in Google search that looks like the one below (note the “PREVIEW” watermark in the background and yellow-box warning message at the top which distinguishes it from a regular Google search).

dog kennel screen shot serps

Checking mobile ads

Another handy little option which was added into the preview tool last year is the ability to check what your ad looks like and where it is positioned  in the SERPs on a mobile device.

1. Choose the device you want to target. (Make sure you only pick “Mobile device with full browser (e.g., iPhone”. I consider Tablets more of a “laptop with no keyboard device” as they still provide full browser viewing)

2. Choose the browser OS

3. Choose the carrier

Save time, check multiple positions simultaneously

In the results there should be an average position column, if you are unable to see it you are able to add it to your account statistics using the Columns button in the toolbar above the statistics table. With the average position column in place, you will be able to check multiple positions at the same time, saving you time and effort in the long run.

average ad position preview

Know which position you want to be in

When creating an ad campaign, a lot of advertisers first idea is that they want to be no.1 position in the search results, this isn’t necessarily true, based on your budget and size of your company you may want to obtain any one of the lower positions.

Don’t Google yourself!

Whatever you do, avoid searching for your ad manually through Google, though it may be your first instinct when you’re curious about how you’re doing from a web user’s perspective.If you perform searches that bring up your ad in the results, you will gain unnatural impressions that are brought on by your searches (the goal is to get the ad displayed in potential customers searches) , this will lower your click through rate (CTR) which in turn lessens the amount of times your ad will appear in the future.

It’s even possible that searching for terms that trigger your ad repeatedly will result in you not being able to see the ad at all, because Google’s search results will stop displaying ads that you aren’t likely to click on (based on the fact that you haven’t clicked on them in the past).

Aaron has worked both agency and client side since entering the Online Marketing industry over 4 years ago. He has a diverse range of skills, including: eDM, CRO, PPC, SEO, Content Marketing, Digital Strategy and more.

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