How to fix Google Ads App campaign not running or low traffic

At times, you may find that your App campaigns are not serving as many impressions as you would expect, or are not able to spend much of your set daily budget. This article, outlines the common reasons why your ads may not be serving, and how you can troubleshoot using the tools in Google Ads.


Before you begin

What to expect when a campaign is enabled

If you recently enabled your App campaign, it can take some time for your campaign to start serving impressions. There are a few reasons for this:

  • If you make changes to creatives or assets in a newly created or existing campaign, it takes 24-48 hours for your ads to be reviewed to ensure they meet all policy requirements.
  • For App campaigns, it takes some time for the system to learn and optimize towards your set goal. You may see fluctuations or lower spend during this initial ramp-up period.
  • It may take Google Ads some time to adjust serving if you make changes to your campaign settings.

Go to the Campaigns page in your Google Ads account

Recommendations

Recommendations help highlight opportunities to improve performance when your App campaign is not running or is getting low traffic. For example, you can look out for the following example recommendation types when troubleshooting these issues.

Common recommendation types to fix campaigns not running:

  • Campaign hasn’t started or has ended
  • Create or unpause an ad group
  • Account budget exhausted
  • All ads disapproved

Common recommendation types to fix low traffic:

  • Adjust your CPA targets
  • Raise your budgets
  • Improve Apps Ad Strength
  • Remove cannibalizing campaigns

Go to the Recommendations page in your Google Ads account

If your ad still isn’t receiving any impressions after 3 business days, check the common reasons mentioned below.


10 common reasons why your ads may not be running or are getting low traffic

1. Account issues

If your account is suspended, or if you have a billing issue on your account, you won’t be able to run your ads until the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that if other campaigns in your account are running, you don’t have to check on the status of your Google Ads account.

Next steps


2. Date ranges and campaign start and end dates

Google Ads shows you performance data for the date range that you select. Your campaign will show no impressions outside of the date range your campaign has been active.

Next step

  • Check that the date range includes your campaign’s start and end dates.
    Note: The pre-configured date range settings (for example, “Last 7 days”) won’t include today’s date. Learn more about date ranges in Google Ads

3. Low bid targets and optimization goals

While it may be possible to serve ads with a very low bid, your campaign is not likely to enter or win as many auctions and your ads may not have any impressions.

Next steps

  1. Confirm your campaign’s optimization strategy is aligned to your business goals.
    Example: If your goal is to drive as many conversions as possible within a set budget, use the Maximize conversions strategy.
  2. With your set optimization goal, consider whether your set manual bid or automated bidding target is achievable based on historical performance.
    Example: If you’re using target CPA bidding and your target CPA is significantly below your historical average CPA, your target CPA may not be attainable while maintaining reasonable levels of traffic, and you should consider raising your target.
  3. If available, use the bid simulator Bid Simulator icon from the performance report in your ad groups page.

4. Targeting is too narrow

While targeting settings help you find the right set of users most interested in your business, each time you add targeting or if you have issues with your remarketing lists, you narrow the potential reach of your ads.

Next steps

  • Audience targeting: The amount of users on the list is below our requirements, so the campaign doesn’t serve. This only applies to App campaigns for engagement (ACe).
  • Location targeting: Targeting one postal code, a small radius, or a city with a low population may limit your campaign’s reach or prevent it from serving. Add additional locations to your targeting.
  • Negative targeting: Exclusions can be helpful if you have brand safety concerns. However, excluding all account-level content labels or, in case of ACe campaigns, remarketing lists containing most of your users may limit or prevent your ads from serving.

5. Targeting overlaps with other campaigns or ad groups

You may have multiple campaigns or ad groups in your account that are eligible to enter overlapping auctions due to similar keywords or other targeting. If there is overlapping targeting, traffic may primarily go to one of your campaigns.

Next step

  • Review your campaign’s targeting and consider updating the targeting so it doesn’t overlap with other campaigns in your account.

6. Conversion tracking

If your campaign is using Automated bidding to optimize towards conversions, but is not getting sufficient conversion data or your conversion tracking is not set up correctly, your ad may have limited serving. Learn more about app conversion tracking in Google Ads.

Next steps

  • Check your conversion tracking setup using the Conversion tracking status troubleshooter.
  • Check the historical performance of your targeted conversion action to ensure it occurs frequently enough to be used for Automated bidding.

Go to the Conversions page in your Google Ads account


7. Ad policy review status

The review status of your ads, remarketing lists or assets can impact your campaign’s ability to serve.

Next step

  • Use Policy manager to review policy restrictions of ads, keywords, and extensions across your entire account.
Go to Policy manager in your Google Ads account

8. Low creative asset coverage and diversity (Ad Strength)

App Campaigns with a limited set of ads or assets may have more difficulty serving since they are eligible to enter into fewer auctions and have more limited reach.

Next step

  • Check your app campaigns to ensure you have a diverse set of creatives across ad formats.

9. App status

The status of your app in Google Play or the Apple App Store may limit or prevent your App campaigns from serving ads. Make sure that your app is active and available in the country you're targeting in your campaign.

Next steps

  • If your app was suspended or removed, your App campaign may stop serving. You can check this in either the Google Play Console or Apple App Store Connect.
  • If your app became available for download in a specific location or was un-suspended recently, it may take up to 24 hours for our system to process these updates and resume ad serving.
  • If your app was published recently, it may not be available in Google Ads immediately. You may try to insert a full Play Store or App Store URL into the app search bar to get the details of your app into Google Ads. Follow the instructions below:
    • Copy the App Store URL of the app.
      • Note: Make sure that the URL works in your desktop browser.
    • If the app isn't available in the US, you can add the country code in the URL to make it work properly. The URL needs to follow this structure to work consistently:
      • For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id={app_package_name}&gl={country_code}
      • For iOS: https://apps.apple.com/{country_code}/app/{optional_app_name}/id{app_id}

Example

If an app was only available in Japan, only the localized URLs would work.

Android:

  • Global URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.android.chrome
  • Localized URL: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.android.chrome&gl=JP

iOS:

  • Global URL: https://apps.apple.com/app/google-chrome/id535886823
  • Localized URL: https://apps.apple.com/jp/app/google-chrome/id535886823

10. Auction dynamics

Other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions as you can affect your campaign’s ability to serve. For example, If a new advertiser begins entering the same auctions as your campaign, this can affect how many impressions your ads receive.
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