There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with a drop in PPC results you can’t immediately explain. While the reason for lost opportunities on Google Ads is sometimes clear (such as your budget running out), at other times, impressions can often flatline seemingly without explanation. What’s more, lost impressions often lead to fewer conversions and reduced reach.

So what might be the reason behind your lost impressions? Here are some of the potential causes you’ll want to check against:

1. Your Account Balance is too Low

One of the most common reasons behind a steep drop in impressions is a low budget.

If your budget is extremely low, then Google might not be able to serve your ad properly enough to receive the best possible number of impressions. If we’re being honest, your results will continue to dwindle until you add more funds back into your advertising account.

Solution: Reassess your campaign goals, and update your budget based on your targets. Google will suggest a budget for you depending on factors like your keywords and target audience.

2. Your Ads are “In Review”

Google requires every ad published via its system to pass a specific set of guidelines. Sometimes, a Google Ads account may go into “review” or “hold” because you’ve been flagged for issues like using too many sensitive words or failing to follow the image guidelines correctly.

Account reviews are also common when laws change, when regulations change in your target location or when a Google Ad policy changes. In these cases, you will not receive a notice your account is “in review.”

Solution: Reach out to the Google Ads team to get an insight into why your account is in review and what you can do to get it approved.

3. Policy Problems

Sometimes, your account suffers from holds with Google for reasons outside your control. However, if the majority of your ads are being disapproved, this could be because you’re not following Google’s guidelines with your content.

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A larger share of disapproved ads will impact your impression share, making it harder for you to reach your audience. Check your Google Ads account interface for notifications about ads being disapproved.

Solution: Examine your account structure and campaigns to make sure you’re following Google’s Ad policy guidelines. You might come across something that requires a minor tweak to get your ads back on track.

4. Issues with Campaign Types and Ad Groups

Improper settings can sometimes cause disruptions in your ad impressions. Identify the specific campaign causing the problem with your impressions and use your impression share data to learn more. You can check your Impression share data with these steps:

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account
  • Click Campaigns or Ad Groups
  • Choose the “columns” icon, then Modify columns
  • Click competitive metrics and adding impression share
  • Hit Apply.

Compare impression share (budget) and lost impression share (rank) over the previous month’s data.

Solution: If the impression share loss is due to a lack of funds, find ways to increase your budget. If “rank” issues are the reason for the sudden drop in your impressions, your account requires some fixing.

5. Low Quality Score and Bids

To enter an ad auction, you need a decent quality score and strong bids.

A low quality score significantly lowers your chances of entering an auction, which could lead to a reduction in impressions. Check your Quality Score to see if there have been any significant drops lately.

Quality Score is usually based on three major components:

  • Landing page experience
  • Ad relevance
  • Expected CTR

Solution: Ensure all of these components are accurate, engaging, and performing well, so your quality score remains strong. For instance, to improve landing page relevance, you should ensure your ad CTA aligns with the offer your client sees on the landing page.

Note: Your bids also need to be competitive enough to win an auction, so make sure you’re periodically checking and optimizing your bids based on the benchmarks provided by Google. You can use your Auction Insight report on Google Ads to see which factors may be influencing your impression drop.

6. Technical Issues

Technical issues on your website create problems with your SEO, user experience, and PPC campaigns. Page speed, for instance, is a major factor in Google’s perception of your website’s landing page quality. If your page loads too slowly, your Quality Score will drop, along with any potential impressions.

When segmenting your campaign data by device, you may also see that your impression problem is focused on a specific device. This issue happens when your website or landing page isn’t properly optimized for the device in question.: If your impressions are dropping on mobile devices, check your landing pages are fully responsive.

Solution: Get a technical SEO person or web developer to look at your site.

7. Trends and Seasonality

Sometimes, a sudden drop in Google Ads impressions has nothing to do with your advertising campaign. For instance, seasonality and trends can significantly impact how people use the search engines and what kind of ads they see.

Over several years, you may recognize specific periods each year in which your number of impressions drops. This indicates a seasonal difference in the kind of services your clients are looking for at those times. When major events happen, you might see a drop in impressions because customers are busy looking for other things online.

Solution: Keeping track of trends on Google Trends and seeing which of your keywords are still earning attention can help you continue attracting impressions.

8. Specific Channel Issues

If you have an account with Google Analytics, you can often compare channel performance to investigate the reason for lost impressions. If the impression drop happens across all channels, your law firm is experiencing a site-wide issue. If the drop only affects Google Ads campaigns, you need to find exactly where the problem is to fix it.

For instance, if your impression drop is on your display network campaigns, you can check your performance on specific placements where you’ve had good impressions in the past. Changes in your placements can lead to huge fluctuations in impression results.

Solution: When you face a lot of competition for specific placements, updating your bids can improve your chances of getting more impressions. It’s also helpful to use responsive display ads on Google Ads. With Responsive ads, Google uses your uploaded assets to create ads capable of fitting into any ad slot to maintain a steady impression share.

Don’t get lost in lost impressions

A sudden drop in impressions can cause any ad account manager to panic. However, the last thing you should do in this situation is make drastic changes to your ads without knowing what caused the impression issue in the first place. Stay calm and investigate the reasons behind your lost impressions. Afterwards, you can take an educated approach to fixing the problem.

Need help with getting to the root of the issue? Contact a PPC specialist at Webrageous. We specialize in Google Ads management (formerly Google Adwords management) for law firms and audit your account for potential issues that might be causing a loss in impression share.