How Long Does It Take For Google Ads to Work?

Google Ads is a great way to get traffic to your site and ultimately sales or leads for your business. Of course Google Ads isn’t right for every campaign, but can be a good option for a lot of people.

Even if Google Ads is the right way to go, it’s not like flipping a switch and getting a lot of traffic and sales. It takes time to get going and then after that needs to be optimised over time to get the best results. 

This can be disappointing to clients as they just want to get sales. Patience is important. Results will come if you’re patient.

But how long is too long to wait? At what point should you try a different tactic? At what point should you find a new Google Ads agency?

When Will My Google Ads Campaign Be Optimised?

As always, this is a bit of an “it depends” kind of answer. 

The short answer is it takes about a week for Google’s algorithm to gather enough data for your campaign to be working properly, but this is dependent on enough data coming through for Google Ads to do its work. If there isn’t enough search volume for your niche, if you’re not putting enough budget towards your campaign, or your site isn’t up to scratch, it can (and likely will) take longer.

But that’s the short answer. The real answer is Google Ads takes about three months to get going. As mentioned, you don’t just flip a switch and suddenly get well optimised ads that make you lots of money. 

And that’s just to get going. After three months there’s still work to do. You’ll find that after the initial three months your Google Ads campaign can get even stronger, so long as the work is put in.

Why Does It Take Three Months For Google Ads to Optimise?

Because it does.

It takes a week for Google’s algorithm to do its thing and gather data and work the best for how you set it up initially, but then what? After that initial seven day period, you need to let Google Ads do its best with what it has (your budget, keywords, ad copy, landing page, audiences, and more); let it run with that for another week or two. After that, it’s time to look at the data, see what’s working, what’s not, and make some changes to your campaign.

And what happens when you make changes to a campaign? Google Ads needs another week to re-optimise.

Rinse, repeat.

Each time you optimise your Google Ads campaign, your ads do a little bit better.

Google Ads data showing optimisation over approximately three months

This is a campaign that ran on weekdays only for just under three months. It really started to take off in the last month and was a good springboard to get some business for the client. However, once that business came through the campaign wasn’t needed anymore.

What Can I Do To Make My Google Ads Optimise Faster?

Not a lot. As with all things digital marketing, you need to put in the work.

You also have to keep in mind that Google Ads shouldn’t be done in isolation. Everything needs a marketing campaign mindset. Consider other elements to your campaign and digital marketing presence:

  • How’s your site’s user experience? If you’re sending users to a crumby site, your ads won’t do as well as they could/should.
  • What’s your sales cycle like? If there’s a slow season for your business, Google Ads may be slow as well. You can’t force someone to buy something that’s not in demand.
  • Do you need to remarket? Sure, a lot of products can sell quickly. If you’re a plumber, an electrician, or another trade, you can probably convert after just one visit, but if your product needs research, like selling cars or real estate, you need to follow up with your users.
  • What’s your goal? Have you even defined your marketing goals? Maybe you’re reaching too far down the sales funnel to be reasonable and you need to re-evaluate what a conversion looks like.

This is all digital marketing campaign stuff. We’ve seen people just jump in and think that Google Ads don’t work. They work if you put in the work.