Google Ads – How Long Until You Should See Results?

What an awesome question! After investing heavily into a platform like Google Ads, when should I expect to see some results and get a return?

Google Ads is an excellent platform for advertising your business and driving strong quality traffic to a website or a landing page to either make sales or convert leads. Businesses of all sizes can use Google Ads to their advantage, but there are always budget and time restraints on campaigns and understanding how long it will take for something to perform is normally a priority for businesses.

So we ask again – “How long does it take for a Goole Ads campaign to start seeing results?”

  • 3 – 4 months for campaign maturity
  • 4 – 12 months to develop a strong and comprehensive campaign

Now you might be asking yourself “12 months? Are they serious?!” – Yes, a high performing Google Ads campaign could take up to 12 months to optimise to a point where it is getting you a large return. This may seem foreign to some, but this is the same with all digital marketing efforts.

The team at Reform Digital have produced campaigns on Google Ads that have had a 31X Return On Ad Spend from their investment and we have seen companies double / triple / quadruple the amount of leads for their business as we scale the performance on their Google Ads campaigns. Here is why a Google Ads campaign can take a bit of time to get going:

Campaign Strategy Development

What kind of campaign will you run? This seems fairly straight forward, but with Google’s ever expanding arsenal of Ad Types and campaign styles you can perform to achieve your goal, it can be a really difficult thing to get right from the get go.

New workflow in creating goal-based campaigns - Google Ads Help

Conducting some in depth keyword research, identifying negative keywords, auditing the current campaign or starting from scratch, ad copy, structured snippets, sitelinks, merchant feed, product information, the list goes on! An agency who is competent in this area will create a catered strategy to your business that will get the most out of your spend.

This strategy development requires a good amount of information from the business to the agency so are both on the same page with how the campaign works in short term and long term. With all of this in place, the campaign can begin being built out and the foundations of the campaign are nice and solid.

Campaign Approval

All things Google take time, otherwise everyone would just dump a huge budget into Google from Day 1 and reap the benefits. Google looks through your ads and will reject any ads that meet their reasonable tight guidelines. Google looks at the following:

  1. Headline – is it relevant to your offering? Is it spammy or misleading?
  2. Ad Content – What message are you trying to get across to your audience? Is there anything considered offensive? Are you publishing content that is prohibited by Google?
  3. Keywords – Are they appropriate for the type of ad you are running? Is there any profanity in the keywords?
  4. Landing Page – Does your Landing Page match the keywords you are targeting? Does your Landing Page break any of the above guidelines?

All of these are considerations for Google before approving ads, which is just the first step. Google can often take a full business day to tell you whether the ads are approved or rejected, but this varies based on the complexity of the ads, the set up and the specific account they are looking into. You can review Google Ad Policies here.

If you are employing a Google Ads agency who have experience running quality campaigns, you should see ads approved quite often as they are used to following the Ad Policies mentioned above, but also competent PPC agencies understand the inner working of the platform and are able to avoid any complications in your account and avoid any meltdowns from you as the client.

Campaigns Take Time and Require Learning

Google Ads runs heavily on data, the more data you are able to collect, the easier it is to trigger conversions through the campaign. It’s a tough pill to swallow as a business hearing from your ads agency “we just need more data”, but it’s the truth, all digital marketing to an extent relies on data to make strategic decisions that benefit your businesses ad performance.

This is also why the first month of a campaign is often a tricky one, because it is the admin month: Getting access to the account, setting up the campaigns, creating reporting documentation, collecting data for campaign improvements, etc.

A lot of the time, you are paying your agency to dive into the data and assess how to best optimise your campaign based on their findings. So although it doesn’t look like there is a lot of action in the backend of an account, a lot of the analysis goes unseen and can often be the most important element of a campaign.

The speed in which your campaign can perform could be decided by a range of things, the niche you are in, the service offering, your businesses website and landing pages, your competition and many more factors.

Scaling the Campaign Going Forward

Now back to that 12 months we mentioned. After 3-4 months you would have had enough time to set up the right strategy, roll out the campaigns and get approval and you should be seeing a decent return. This is where the real magic comes along.

Magic GIFs | Tenor

At this point in time, the key to having an effective long term Google Ads strategy is increasing the ad spend, but getting the same return as you would with smaller budgets. Why is this magic?


When you start to go wider with your audience, you are relying on campaigns that are further up your funnel, so the audience is often colder and less enticed to convert. This means that you start to spend more money and your conversion rate drops, making it extremely tough to continue getting the level of return you have grown to love earlier in the campaign.

This is what separates good PPC agencies from the short term win style agencies, having a plan to scale your budget, widen your audience and keep a great Return On Ad Spend and continue to bring new eyes to the product, whilst also remarketing your existing audience to help with conversions is the name of the game and takes a lot of time and energy to refine.

Final Thoughts – Trust the process, provide your KPI’s and goals to an agency and work with them to create a strategy that can help improve your campaign in all the areas mentioned above. Don’t rush things, there is always a tendency to rush campaigns and this can lead to immediate failure. Give the campaign it’s time to learn and enjoy the rewards as it grows!

Reform Offices

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Level 3, 141 Osborne Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141

1300 713359


Level 1, Suite 3, Fortune House, 88 Foveaux St Surry Hills, NSW 2010

1300 713359
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310 Edward St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000

1300 713359

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Google Ads – How Long Until You Should See Results?

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