This is a question that almost every advertiser using Google Ads wants to know. The answer to that question is: it depends. The timeline of how long it takes Google Ads to work varies from business to business, just as it depends on what your definition of “working” is.
It is also dependent on factors like budget and how searched your keywords are. For this blog, I’ll be primarily talking about companies with smaller or limited budgets who aren’t in a super popular search category, that are just starting out advertising on Google Ads, so don’t have any prior data.
Some companies will see results within the first month or two, and for others, it could take up to a year. The reason for this lengthy timeline is that Google (and you as a PPC practitioner) needs this time to gather and analyze your data to start giving you the results that you want.
Google is always gathering data from the ads that have been created, and then using that data to learn from. With that being said, Google needs some performance history to study from and generate data that advertisers can use to make changes and improve their campaigns. It can take two to six months for a Google Ads campaign to grow then stabilize, and then another six to 12 months to mature into a strong PPC campaign.
The first two to six-month span is when the campaigns are in a researching stage, where they are gathering data and compiling ad metrics for you to analyze. It’s the six to 12-month span when you can really take that data and performance history from the ads and start to enhance your campaigns to craft them into strong and high-performing PPC campaigns.
When you start your Google Ads campaigns, there are many factors that will decide how well your ads perform. The amount of search volume for your keywords, your budget, how aggressively you are bidding, and how much competition is in your niche are some examples. Google will take all those factors into consideration and use its machine learning to gauge the quality of your ads over time.
In this two to six-month phase, you are casting out a large net and trying to collect as much data about your ads as possible. Analyzing that data and making small adjustments is a process that you will go through in this phase.
While Google is in this learning stage, some of the minor changes you can make to improve your ads include adjusting bids, refining keyword selection, and improving targeting. During this time, Google will take your ads performance history and the minor tweaks that you have made and start to mature into a capable PPC Campaign. You can now review the campaign’s performance history to be able to make larger changes to develop a strong PPC campaign.
The six to 12-month range is where your PPC campaign will form into a strong and effective advertising method for your business. Now that Google has collected a couple of months’ worth of data and you have some performance history to look at, you can improve efficiency and boost the metrics that your goals were focused on. All of the minor changes that you made earlier will still apply here, but now you have some data in your account that can help influence where you want to allocate more budget towards or increase bids for certain ad groups or keywords.
Improving ad copy to keep up to date with your business and creating new campaigns are also viable options to help optimize your performance. With all the data that you have collected over the first couple of months, you can start to create PPC ads that target your exact audience and the correct market.
If you are just getting started with your PPC advertisement journey, don’t panic that you are not seeing instant results. Every business’s PPC ads can grow at different rates, so focus on what you can control to set up your PPC ads for success.
Work with Google Ads to help analyze your data early on, and optimize when you have a performance history that you can build off of to help your business’s PPC ads perform efficiently.