When you embark on your first PPC campaign, you’ll find that one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is to build a strong landing page that’s compliant, and which also takes into account all the lessons learned over the years by our experts here at MoreNiche. To help you get started, you can take a look at some of the articles we’ve written on the subject here.

The best course of action would be to read the older articles first to get up to speed with all our conversion tips and then read through this list of dos and don’ts.

Once you have digested all the information, go ahead and create the best converting landing page you can and then review your work using this guide as a checklist.

1. DO ensure your page is responsive. Although you can advertise non-responsive pages, Google will detect if they’re not mobile ready and this will affect how much you pay per click.

2. DO ensure your page is adding value. As an affiliate, your main goal is to attract lots of visitors and send as much relevant traffic as you can through to one of our conversion pages. With AdWords, Google will scrutinise your website as a ‘bridge’ page and want to know that is offering real value to the user. Good examples of value are:

    • Reviews
    • Comparisons with competitors
  • Filters of similar products
  • Anything that helps the user make a better informed decision before they visit our site

What Google DOESN’T like is the same content. If you copy the content from our site – which you shouldn’t be doing anyway – then your ads will not be approved for that landing page.

3. DON’T make a time-based claim or promise. For example, John lost 15lb in 6 weeks. This will not be approved, as according to Google it suggests the user will get the same results too.

4. DO ALWAYS put a clear disclaimer on any claims or testimonials – a line favoured by Google is: “*Disclaimer, results may vary from person to person”. Ensure this statement is clearly displayed next to any claim. Disclaimers also must be in the same font and format as the rest of the page, so don’t go thinking you can drop it into the small print!

5. DON’T mention banned terms, even if it’s for educational purposes. Google doesn’t entertain banned words or phrases of any kind. If it is on their list, it won’t be approved. This includes images with the banned words on it.

6. DO ensure your landing page is using terms and phrases that you plan to use in your ads. PPC campaigns are much more effective if your landing page and ads share relevance including the keywords used on the page, so ensure you research your keywords well and use them appropriately.

7. DO ensure that your tracking pixels which are necessary for building an audience are installed on the landing page and also ensure that the conversion pixel is placed properly on the action you want to perform on that site. If you don’t have these in place, then you will not be able to learn from your campaigns and will essentially be flying blind.

8. DO ensure that the title that will appear in the SERPs matches your page title. If you need to create separate landing pages for new target ads then do so; it’s more work but the increased relevance will improve your results and campaign effectiveness.

9. DON’T make any exaggerated or unrealistic claims such as ‘miracle cures’ or ‘instant results’. This is seen as a breach of the Personalised Advertising policy that Google has put in place to prevent advertisers taking advantage of users. Also it breaches the time claim we mentioned above.

So that covers the DOs and DON’Ts of building a compliant landing page that reduces the chances of your ads being banned due to reasons relating to the landing page or website you are linking them to.

Then it’s all about optimisation and getting the most out of your landing page through A/B testing and tweaking to improve your quality score. The better the quality score the more effective your campaign will be. To help you with this, here are the criteria Google use to calculate a quality score:

  • CTR
  • Landing Page Relevance
  • Ad Text Relevance
  • Keyword Relevance
  • Device
  • Historical Performance

Your quality score is a very important factor when it comes to campaign effectiveness because it has a huge influence on how much you have to bid for your ads in comparison to your competitors in the PPC space.

It can be the difference between you making money or not, so it’s important to pay attention to it. Below is an example of how the quality score is used to affect the ranking of your ad against competitors seen to be in the same vertical as your ad.

Maximum CPC + Quality Score + Ad Extensions = Ad Rank

Following these nine dos and don’ts should be a good starting point when building your first AdWords campaign. Good luck with it and let me know how you get on.