Using The Google Ad Preview Tool

The Google ad preview tool is a useful tool in Google ads, that allows advertisers to check the status of their ads. This can be useful if you need to find out if your ads are displaying in certain areas. For example, if you are targeting people in a location you are not personally located in.

It also means you can view your ads without generating artificial impressions, by searching for your own ads in Google.

To use the ad preview tool there are a couple of ways you can access it in your Google ads account.

  1. The first option is to navigate to the keywords tab. Here you will need to hover over the status of a keyword you want to check. Once you have done this a little box will pop up with details about your keyword, including is it is displaying, your quality score and a link to the Google ad preview and diagnosis tool.
  2. The second way to get access is by clicking the tools tab in the top of your Google ads interface. Once you click this a drop down will appear and you can access Ad preview and diagnosis on the left-hand side under planning.

How to Use the Ad Preview Tool

Once you are inside the Ad preview tool, it is very simple to use. You have a few options at the top of the tool.

ad preview tool

  1. Search term – here you will input the term you would like to preview ads for.
  2. Your location – this can be as broad or specific as you like. Ranging from country all the way down to post code.
  3. Language – If you are in the UK, this will usually be English, however you can view results for over 40 languages (46 at the time of writing)
  4. Device – Here you can choose if you would like to see results for computer, tablet of mobile.
  5. Audience – this final option can let you preview ads based on audiences in your Google ads account, this includes things like re marketing lists.

Once you have chosen your settings you can search for your ad. Following this you will have one of two results. Either your ad will be showing, or your ad will not be showing.

your ad is not showing

your ad is showing

If your ad is not currently displaying, Google will give you a reason why, which can help you to trouble shoot your ads.

If your ad is displaying, you will be able to see what it looks like in the search results. For example:

  • What position it appears.
  • The kind of extensions that are being used.
  • How does it look compared with other ads?

Use the Ad Preview Tool to Spy On Competitors

Another good way to use the ad preview tool is to look at what your competitors are doing. By searching for terms that you advertise for, you can see what other advertisers are doing with their ads. This can give your ideas and inspiration for writing your own ads and extensions.

This can also be very useful if you are advertising in another location or even another country. For example, let’s assume you want to run ads in the US, but you are based in the UK. By using the ad preview tool, you can view what other advertisers are doing, without having to be physically located in the same area. Simply change your location in the tool and you can see ads in the US.


The ad preview and diagnosis tool can be useful for several reasons. You can see your own ads. You can see competitor ads and it makes it easy to trouble shoot issues your adverts might be having.

I hope you have found this article useful.. If you have any questions about the Google ads preview tool, or any other questions about Google ads management please leave them in the comments below.

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