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Google Ads Not Spending: 8 Common Reasons & How to Solve

Have you ever encountered a scenario where your budget not spending on Google Ads, leaving you wondering? This situation is quite common among advertisers and can be frustrating. This article aims to explore the causes behind this issue and offer remedies to ensure that your ad spending is optimized.

What does Google Ads not spending mean?

When managing Google Ads, it’s crucial to look at the average daily budget your campaign spends. This is a set amount determined for each campaign daily. Google Ads then adjusts your daily spending based on this number to maximize the effectiveness of your budget. Depending on various factors, like click-through rate (CTR) and reach, your campaign might spend all of its budget, exceed it, or spend less than the average daily budget.

Google Ads not spending means that Google Ads is consistently spending less than or not spending your average daily budget. This underperformance indicates that your ads may not be set up efficiently or there might be other problems affecting their performance. If you encounter this situation, it’s important to investigate and address these issues to optimize your campaign.

What are the signs of Google Ads not spending?

Google ads not spending leads to many negative results for your campaign. If your Google Ads campaigns aren’t utilizing your entire budget, there are some key signs to watch out for:

Firstly, check your campaign performance indicators:

  • Low impressions: This suggests that your ads aren’t being shown as frequently as intended. This situation could be due to factors like low bids or narrow targeting. 
  • Limited clicks: You can also monitor the number of clicks your campaign is receiving. A low number of clicks might indicate that your ads aren’t working efficiently, even if they’re being displayed. This could be because they’re not compelling enough to attract user engagement.
  • Daily average campaign budget: Your campaign consistently goes unspent over time, it’s a clear indication that your ads aren’t reaching enough people.

Besides checking your ad’s performance metrics, Google will also notify you if your ads are not spending your budget. Here are some signs you need to consider:

  • Status alerts: Check the Status column within your Google Ads dashboard for any warnings or disapprovals. Paused or disapproved campaigns or ad groups won’t spend your budget.
Sign of google ads not spending status alerts
  • Bid strategy performance: If you’re using automated bidding strategies like Maximize Clicks and your budget is not spending. it might indicate a lack of qualified traffic or overly aggressive bid limits.

It’s worth noting that a slight underspending (less than 10%) might be normal due to Google Ads optimization algorithms. However, if you notice a consistent pattern of underspending alongside low impressions, clicks, or conversions, it’s essential to take action to optimize your campaigns for better performance.

Negative impact of Google Ads not spending

When your Google Ads are not spending your budget, it can lead to several key issues that affect your marketing efforts:

  • Less visibility: If your ads aren’t appearing as frequently as possible, you’re missing out on potential views. This leads to a lower number of impressions and clicks, which can significantly decrease the chances of conversions and successful interactions with your target audience.
  • Inefficient use of resources: When your Google Ads budget isn’t fully spent, it’s a sign that your allocated funds aren’t being put to good use. This can hinder your progress towards key business objectives. Whether you aim to boost brand recognition or drive sales, Without full budget utilization, reaching these milestones may be unattainable.
  • Difficulty in measuring performance: An unspent budget can also make it difficult to see the effectiveness of your campaigns. Without sufficient data from ad spend, concluding campaign performance becomes a guessing game, preventing you from making data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy.

Why is Google Ads campaign not spending (with solutions)

You might wonder: why is my Google ads campaign not spending? Keep in mind the symptoms of Google Ads are limited by budget, and in this part, let’s analyze the reasons and reach solutions for each issue. 

Disapproved ads

It’s crucial to stay vigilant with your ads to avoid any violations of Google’s rules which could result in your ads being disapproved and not appearing when users search relevant keywords. If you’re unsure about the guidelines, you can refer to Google’s resources on troubleshooting disapproved ads for further clarification.

In essence, your Google ads should steer clear of four main types of content: Prohibited content, Prohibited practices, Restricted content and features, and Editorial and technical issues. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your ads remain compliant and continue to reach your target audience effectively. 

4 types of disapproved Google ads

Solutions: If you’re in this situation, there is no better way than adjusting your ads and appealing for a review. Check out how you can do this:

Firstly, click on the Campaigns icon and select Ads from the options.

Choose ads

Click on the disapproved status of your ad to see the exact policy you’re violating

Check status

Then, make the necessary adjustments to ensure compliance with Google’s policies. Once you’ve made the edits, click on Appeal to notify Google and let them review your ads.

Tight targeting

If your campaigns aren’t spending as expected, the reason could be low search volume in your targeted demographic or location. When fewer people are searching for your keywords, it naturally leads to fewer impressions and clicks, resulting in lower ad spend. This is especially true if you’re targeting very specific or niche keywords, or if you’re advertising in areas where your products or services aren’t in high demand.

Solutions: Google Ads has made changes to audience targeting. As of November 1, 2022, similar audiences will be removed from Google Ads. This means you’ll need to adapt your strategies to use optimized targeting and audience expansion effectively. Here are solutions you can consider: 

  • Analyze your search terms report: Identify relevant, high-volume keywords that you might be missing out on.
  • Review your location targeting settings: Ensure that you’re targeting areas with sufficient demand for your offerings.
  • Consider expanding your audience demographics, interests, and keywords: Broaden your reach and attract more potential clicks.
  • Make use of optimized targeting: Focuses on directing ads to individuals most likely to click on them based on real-time conversion data, while audience expansion targets new users who fit the profile of your current target audience, potentially increasing your chances of making a sale.
optimized targeting

Overlapped targeting

Targeting overlaps in Google Ads can have several negative effects on your campaign performance and budget utilization. When ad groups or campaigns overlap, it can lead to inefficient use of your ad budget, restricting ad impressions and preventing your budget from being fully utilized. This situation can result in higher costs and a decrease in the effectiveness of your ads. 


  • Use exclusion lists: Utilize exclusion lists to prevent your ads from showing to users who have already interacted with your ads or visited your site to help reduce overlap and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns
Exclusion list
  • Segment your audience: Break down your audience into smaller, more specific segments. This can help ensure that each campaign targets a unique group of users, reducing the likelihood of overlap
  • Monitor campaign performance: Regularly monitor the performance of your campaigns to identify any signs of overlap. Use Google Ads’ reporting tools to track metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions to identify and address any issues
How to avoide google ads overlapped targeting

Low bidding 

If your campaign is targeting highly competitive keywords or placements, it’s possible that your bids are not competitive enough to win ad placements in the auction. Other advertisers with higher bids may be taking precedence, resulting in limited or no spending for your campaign. This situation can have several negative effects such as limited visibility, increased costs, and reduced ROI


  • Use bid simulator tools to adjust your bid: Regularly review and adjust your bids based on how well your campaigns are performing. If your bids aren’t competitive enough, consider raising them to boost your chances of securing ad placements. To determine how much to increase your bid, utilize bid simulator tools from Google Ads for detailed insights.
bid simulator
  • Use smart bidding strategies: Utilize Google Ads’ smart bidding strategies like Target CPA or Target ROAS. These strategies automatically adjust your bids based on the performance of your ads, helping you control costs while maximizing your return on ad spend.  

Ineffective bidding strategies

Google Ads provides various bid strategies, each tailored to different campaign objectives. Performance-based strategies like Target CPA or Target ROAS require historical conversion data to function effectively. If your campaign is new or lacks conversion tracking, these strategies may not perform as intended, potentially leading to reduced ad spend.


  • Enable conversion tracking: If you’re new to Smart Bidding, ensure you have conversion tracking enabled. This is crucial for using Smart Bidding strategies like Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize Conversions, and Maximize Conversion Value
  • Understand each strategy: Familiarize yourself with how each bid strategy operates and ensure it aligns with your campaign’s goals.
  • Analyze performance data: Examine your campaign’s performance metrics and consider adjusting your bidding strategy. For instance, if your priority is conversions, consider switching to Target CPA or Maximize Conversions instead of focusing solely on clicks.

Low campaign budget

If your daily or campaign budget is too low, Google Ads might not be able to allocate funds within the set timeframe. This situation can occur because Google Ads aims to optimize ad spend based on performance, and if your budget is insufficient, it may not be able to allocate funds effectively across all your ads. 


  • Increase your budget: If you have a healthy conversion rate and aim to reach more potential customers, consider increasing your budget. This allows Google Ads to spend more on your campaigns, potentially leading to better results
  • Use automation: Let Google Ads automation work for you by using features like Smart Bidding and Ad Extensions. These tools can help manage your budget more efficiently and improve the performance of your ads 
  • Connect Google Ads and Analytics: Linking your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts can provide insights into how your ads are performing. This can help you make informed decisions about how to allocate your budget more effectively. 

Low ad rank 

Ad rank can directly affect how your ads spend. It’s influenced by various factors, including bid amount, expected CTR, ad relevance, landing page experience, the competitiveness of the auction, the impact of ad extensions, and the context of the user’s search.

A low ad rank can lead to less frequent ad displays and potentially less budget utilization. To enhance your ad rank, focusing on click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page quality is essential.

How to improve google ads rank


  • Boost ad relevance: Make sure your ads are highly relevant to the search queries. You can use precise keywords that accurately describe your product or service. We suggest you regularly conduct keyword research to identify new, relevant keywords and refine your ad groups accordingly.
  • Optimize landing page quality: The user experience on your landing page is a critical factor in ad rank. First, ensure your landing pages are user-friendly, fast-loading, and directly related to your ad content. Provide useful and relevant content to your Google ads. By doing this, you can enhance your Quality Score and ad rank, hence improving the situation.

Irrelevant keyword match type

The match type of your keywords significantly influences your ad spend in Google Ads. Broad match keywords are versatile, allowing your ads to appear for a wide array of search queries, potentially increasing your ad spend. Conversely, exact match keywords are more restrictive, limiting the search queries that can trigger your ads, which might lead to underutilization of your budget.

Negative keywords are designed to prevent your ads from showing for specific search queries. An excessive number of negative keywords can inadvertently limit the range of search queries that can trigger your ads, further reducing your ad spend.


  • Expand keyword list: Incorporate broader or related keywords to widen your ad reach. This strategy can help ensure your ads are displayed more frequently across a broader spectrum of search queries
  • Regularly review search query reports: Utilize the search terms report to gain insights into the search terms that trigger your ads. For profitable keywords, consider using exact match types to bid more aggressively and avoid spending on irrelevant search terms. For irrelevant search queries, add them as negative keywords to prevent your ads from showing for these terms
  • Optimize keyword match types: Understand the difference between broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords. Choose the match type that best suits your campaign goals and target audience. You can also mix them up to gain better results. 
  • Balance negative keywords: While negative keywords are crucial for preventing irrelevant ad displays, overuse can limit your ad reach. Striking a balance between negative keywords and broad match keywords can help ensure your ads are displayed for relevant search queries without wasting your budget on irrelevant ones. 
Use different types of keyword

Track your Google ads performance now!

Above are the potential reasons why your Google Ads might be underperforming and not spending effectively. By reviewing and addressing these issues, you can ensure that your ads have the optimal conditions to leverage their strengths and deliver the results you need. In addition to monitoring your Google Ads performance, it’s crucial to evaluate how your store is performing post-advertisement to ensure the ads are benefiting your business.

Check out NestAds, our multichannel ad tracking solution for Shopify e-commerce. NestAds provides key metrics like ROAS and conversion rate, giving you a comprehensive view of your ad performance and its impact on your store’s performance. Remember, running ads isn’t just about gaining impressions—it’s about converting those leads into customers. Try NestAds and maximize your Google Ads budget effectiveness today!



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