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

Occasionally, you may find that your Smart campaigns are not serving as many impressions as you would expect, or are not able to spend much of your set daily budget. In this article, we’ll outline 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 Smart 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.
  • 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

Preview your ad

Your ad is appearing in search results if it is receiving clicks or impressions. Follow these instructions to preview how your ad will look to customers (without affecting its performance):

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click on the relevant Smart campaign.
  3. Go to the "Ad text, images & landing page" card. You may have to click the scroll arrow if you have more than one ad to view all ad previews.
  4. To edit the ads within the campaign, click Edit on the "Ad text, images & landing page" card, then click Edit Ad.
    Note: If you have multiple ad versions, click Edit on the ad version you’d like to preview.
  5. Click See how your ad will appear.

If your ad still isn’t receiving any impressions after 3 business days, check the reasons listed in this article.


6 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

  • For account suspensions, use our suspended account tool to automatically check your account status
  • For billing issues:
  • If you pay by monthly invoicing, check your account budgets. If your total campaign costs reach the designated amount in the account budget before your set end date, all ads in the account will stop running. Learn how to create or edit an account budget.
  • Check your Billing Summary or Transactions pages for declined payments. Your account may stop running until you pay off the outstanding balance.

Go to the Billing & payments page in your Google Ads account


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. 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

  • Keyword themes: If you’re only targeting a small list of specialized keyword themes, your Smart campaign may not serve as often as you’d like. Learn more about adding high-value keyword themes to your Smart campaign.
  • 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.
  • Ad schedule: If you’ve only scheduled your ads to run in a narrow time window, consider expanding your ad schedule so your campaign can reach more people. Learn about setting and editing your ad schedule.
  • Multiple ad versions: For best results, we recommend at least 3 ad versions for each Smart campaign. There is no additional cost to having more than one ad, and it also allows Google to optimize your campaign performance based on the best-performing ad.

4. Targeting overlaps with other campaigns

You may have multiple campaigns or ad groups in your account that are eligible to enter overlapping auctions due to similar keyword themes 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.

5.Low budget

When you have a low budget, your ads may not serve as often while Google Ads ensures your campaign doesn't spend more than your spending limit.

Next step


6. Ad or website may not be high quality

Google is committed to showing high-quality, useful ads. Make sure your ad is well-written and tailored for people looking for what you offer, and your website is high-quality and relevant to your Smart campaign ad.

Next steps


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