Who doesn't love seeing a finished version of their project? Whether its an ad, a postcard or a deck, you're filled with a sense of pride every time you look at your just-completed handiwork. But while there's no harm in sending yourself a piece of direct mail or a promotional email, there are downsides to seeing your search ads in the wild.
If you search for your ad on Google, you'll pay for it... directly or indirectly. In this post, I'll show to how to preview your search ads without paying for it using the Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool.
Why You Shouldn't Search for Your Ads
Once you start running ads on Google AdWords, it can be incredibly tempting to do a search and see your ads serving in the wild. But you have to resist the urge because conducting searches to check up on your ads can hurt your performance.
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The issue is that when you perform a search that triggers your ad, you rack up ad impressions that don't lead to clicks. This can lower your click through rate (and reputation) and it can prevent your ad from running as often as it should.
Do it enough times, and you might never be shown the ad again because Google might think you're uninterested in that ad and will instead show you ads from your competition. Of course, don't click on your ad either, since that will directly cost you money.
How To Preview Your Ads on Google AdWords
To check up on your ads without affecting your performance, you can use the Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool. It's like an alternative Google.com where the impressions are free. The links don't work, but you'll be able to see if your ads are running.
Instead of searching for your ad on Google, use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool to see where your ad appears in search results for a particular search term. Also, the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool will tell you if your ad isn’t showing and why, so you can make any needed changes and begin reaching customers.
This is an easy way to check how your ad appears in context, and the tool provides the same results as a Google search, without accumulating any impressions.
Bonus! How To Preview Your Bing Ads
Now that you know how to preview your ads without paying for it, you can admire your handiwork without accruing costly impressions. For more help, check out our full list of Google AdWords help articles.