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Five Things to Check When Troubleshooting an Ad That is Not Showing

Internet Advertising

Updated on Nov 3, 2014

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There is no denying the effectiveness of online advertising, which is why more and more businesses are investing their marketing dollars in that medium. If you have decided to spend some of your advertising budget online then it is imperative that you make sure that all of your ads are working as they should be. For example, let us imagine that you have paid to run your ad on a high-profile website, yet you notice that it is nowhere to be found. Your first thought is likely to be that you are being cheated, but that may not be the case. Here are five things to check for before panicking:


Ad Status

Just because you and the owner of a website have agreed on the ad being placed does not mean that it has been added and active yet. Before firing off an angry e-mail, take time to check on its status in the ad server. It may have an inactive or pending status. It may be in a queue waiting for approval. Or it may be that the ad spot you are taking on the site is still being filled by an advertiser that has some time remaining on their ad agreement. It is best to confirm the ad status with the publisher first.


Targeting Criteria

Part of setting up an online advertisement is selecting targeting criteria so that your ad is shown to a relevant audience. The people who see the ads will be those who meet all the criteria that you have outlined to the owner of the site. So, when you visit the site on which you have ordered an ad placement, make sure you are meeting your own specified targeting criteria. For example, if you have targeted a specific geographic location and you are viewing the site outside of that area, the ad will not show. The same rules apply for the type of device the site is being viewed on, assuming that is one of your criteria. For example, if the ad targets visitors using tablets, then understand that the most likely reason it is not shown on a desktop is because of the set criteria.


Image File

If you have ever put a website together, you know how important it is to check that all of the links are working properly before the site goes live. If you have provided the advertisement as a URL, then make sure that the provided link is correct by plugging it into your browser. Somebody may have made changes to the directory structure of where your image is stored and this could be causing the ad not to be displayed.


Ad Blockers

There are plenty of software programs out there that are designed to block ads from showing. This means a similar software may be installed on your computer or network that blocks ads, and this could be the reason why your ad is not being displayed. Also, be aware that certain ad formats like a pop-up are more likely to be blocked than other ad formats.


Specific Computer

If the computer that you are using to access the internet is not your own, you may want to go check the website on another computer. There is no way to tell what sort of settings are in place if it is not your own computer, which could potentially affect the viewing experience. Try checking the same page on a different computer, browser, or location.


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