1. Advertising
    y u no do it?

    Advertising (learn more)

    Advertise virtually anything here, with CPM banner ads, CPM email ads and CPC contextual links. You can target relevant areas of the site and show ads based on geographical location of the user if you wish.

    Starts at just $1 per CPM or $0.10 per CPC.

How to create a Landing Page that complies to the Google AdWords guidelines

Discussion in 'Google AdWords' started by Kieron, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. #1
    Please note this was originally posted on my blog but I thought it would fit in this forum well and am happy to open this up for discussion.
    SEMrush
    There has been some talk here over the last couple of days about Google AdWords tweaking its landing page algorithm.

    So with that in mind I thought I would publish a guide on how to create a landing page that will comply with Google’s guidelines. I’ve been marketing online using landing pages and Google AdWords for around 6 years now. Over that time I’ve seen many developments and changes and have been in constant touch with various members of the AdWords team directly. Below are the results of my experiences. They may work for you and they may not, but if you follow them, you should be able to market effectively using landing pages.

    First things first though, experience tells me that landing pages are no longer an effective way of marketing on AdWords. So why am I writing this then? I hear you ask. Well, traditional landing pages that contain a few links, a paragraph or 2 of pre-sell text/product reviews are dead and buried. Don’t even try it, Google will catch up with you eventually and raise your bids to silly prices. Take this example of one of my old landing pages, Google banned this about 18 months ago.

    If Google thinks the only reason your landing page exists is to funnel users to another site then its a landing page, and they will penalise you accordingly.

    Landing pages now have to be incorporated into a fully functioning web site with lots of original content. So yes, you can still market with landing pages but the landing pages must be within the context of a full site. Here’s the rules as I see them:

    Your landing page website should contain the following pages as standard:

    1. Sitemap - this should be accessible from all pages of your site.
    2. Privacy Policy - lots of resources on the web to create one of these, just Google “privacy policy”. If you are in the UK then consider applying for the Data Protection Act. It only costs around £35.
    3. Terms and Conditions - as above, here is a good resource.
    4. Contact Us - with full physical postal address and telephone number.
    5. About Us - description of what the purpose of the website is and the business operating it, i.e. you.

    OK now that you have these basic pages, consider adding these pages too:

    1. News - add a page where you regularly update with newsworthy stories related to the niche you are promoting.
    2. Blog - like a news page but you can also add editorial comments here and opinions.
    3. How To or What Is Guide - pages/pages with detailed unique content describing the product/service you are promoting and how they work. I.e. if you have a coupon site then add some pages describing what coupons are and how they work, an idiots guide really.
    4. FAQ’s - think of every question related to the product/service you are promoting then list them and answer them here.
    5. Glossary - every industry has its own terminology, create an A-Z of industry specific jargon here and define it.
    6. Deals/Offer pages - again everyone has specific deals and offers, so list the ones relevant to your product/service on their own page.
    7. Individual product/pages - likewise the chances are that your product/service will have different components. I.e. a certain brand of credit card will have a gold card, platinum card, reward card etc. So build pages for each product containing very detailed information, more so that you would find on a traditional landing page.
    8. Submit your review - offer your users the opportunity to submit their own product/reviews. Not only does this create stickiness but it gives you free content.

    So, you now have the structure of what the site should look like. Now for the landing page, first thing to do is to look at the AdWords guidelines for landing pages, it contains some good advice:

    Link to the page on your site that provides the most useful and accurate information about the product or service in your ad.
    If your site displays advertising, distinguish sponsored links from the rest of your site content.
    Try to provide information without requiring users to register. Or, provide a preview of what users will get by registering.
    In general, build pages that provide substantial and useful information to the end-user. If your landing page consists of mostly ads or general search results (such as a directory or catalog page), you should provide as much information as you can beyond what your ad describes. For example, if your ad mentions <’Free travel information,’ your landing page should feature free travel information (versus links to other sites that do).
    You should have unique content (should not be similar or nearly identical in appearance to another site). For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.​

    So, if you follow my suggestions above and Google’s own advice then you should have the perfect landing page website. As long as you have all of this structure in place then the actual landing page itself shouldn’t present a problem, here’s how to structure it:

    1. Create unique product/service reviews for whatever you are promoting. Do not just cut and paste text straight from the merchants site.
    2. Include some users reviews on the page too, as well as your own.
    3. List some comparable products/services from competitors.
    4. List some special offers, unique discount codes on this page. This is perceived as extra value to the visitor.
    5. Add some links to other products/services that are related but not the same as you are promoting. So lets say you are promoting Plasma TV’s. Add some links to DVD players, specialist cables, remote controls etc.

    Thats it really, as I have said there is no magic formula and the landing page doesn’t have to be that complex. It simply must contain original content and be of value to the visitor. So a landing page with the above 5 elements that is presented within a full site of other original content will withstand the Google AdWords algorithm. Noy only that but you will have actually built a decent quality website that you can maintain and build up with content for years to come. You never know, it could even end up being indexed well with the natural serps so you don’t even have to rely on AdWords for traffic!

    Almost forgot, with regard to affiliate links and masking them, my advice is to always mask them. The main reason for this is to avoid certain anti-virus software which has been known to make them invisible. I don’t think it has a major effect on the AdWords algorithm but I would say to mask them, just in case.

    For an example of a landing page that has been approved, see my broadband providers site. Despite not containing all of the elements I mentioned above it has been passed by Google and meets all of their landing page guidelines.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Kieron, Jun 9, 2007 IP
  2. britishguy

    britishguy Prominent Member

    Messages:
    7,951
    Likes Received:
    892
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    360
    #2
    Top post thanks for the very helpful information :)
     
    britishguy, Jun 9, 2007 IP
  3. Micromag

    Micromag Peon

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    67
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #3
    Hi Kieron,

    its a very good text, is very nice to have a complete information like that.

    The only information that I don't understand is the relation of masking links and anti-virus - is known that some spyware integrated into antivirus kill the affiliate cookies (after you clicking the link, interdependent of having an masked link or not), but they remove affiliate links? I never heard about that, could you please post here your source?

    Some people believe that non-masked affiliate links influence into adwords quality algorithm - but I think that has no influence like you told and this people could not prove its influence.
     
    Micromag, Jun 9, 2007 IP
  4. Huligan

    Huligan Peon

    Messages:
    328
    Likes Received:
    10
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #4
    Do you see any scenario where you would not include the website's full navigation on the landing page? What if you just provide links to Home, Contact Us, Privacy Policy, Sitemap, etc. and not include navigation to other products/services on the same website?
     
    Huligan, Jun 9, 2007 IP
  5. Lastbutnotleast

    Lastbutnotleast Peon

    Messages:
    2,614
    Likes Received:
    105
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #5
    Thanks for the contribution
     
    Lastbutnotleast, Jun 9, 2007 IP
  6. _vlada_

    _vlada_ Peon

    Messages:
    743
    Likes Received:
    57
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #6
    this post should go sticky.


    thanks and bravo!
     
    _vlada_, Jun 10, 2007 IP
  7. aeiouy

    aeiouy Peon

    Messages:
    2,877
    Likes Received:
    275
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #7
    I am not sure you have to go to those extremes. Remember Google is an algorithm. You simply need to feign enough like their desired profile.
     
    aeiouy, Jun 10, 2007 IP
  8. Kieron

    Kieron Peon

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #8
    Try it and see if it works.

    I did for a couple of my sites and the campaign lasted about a week before getting banned.

    All I can say is follow the guidelines I outlines above and you should be OK.
     
    Kieron, Jun 11, 2007 IP
  9. krct12

    krct12 Peon

    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    3
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #9
    kieron, thanks for this great post! what do you suggest when an improved landing site has been created on an existing campaign that got hit with high min bids, just wait for adbot to do the job, launch new ads or even use a different domain?
     
    krct12, Jun 11, 2007 IP
  10. speda1

    speda1 Active Member

    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    10
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    58
    #10
    Excellent post.
     
    speda1, Jun 11, 2007 IP
  11. Kieron

    Kieron Peon

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #11
    You could wait for the adbot, which may well be worth doing if you had a decent CTR and low bid prices *before* you got slapped. You could always ring AdWords and ask them to manually review the page also.

    Failing that then yes, use a new domain.
     
    Kieron, Jun 11, 2007 IP
  12. sputnik17

    sputnik17 Peon

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    2
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #12
    If I redo a landing page after it got slapped I always start a brandnew campaign.
    This has been the fastest way for me to relaunch the ad.

    I think you don't need to use ALL of the elements mentioned in the post. I think the main factor is that Google wants to see some relevant links to other pages on your site and a minimum amount of content (in terms of word count)
     
    sputnik17, Jun 11, 2007 IP
  13. Kieron

    Kieron Peon

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #13
    You are quite possible correct but you will leave yourself open for another "slap" when Google adds yet another element to their algorithm next time they tweak it.

    My process now is to build as big a site as I can to ensure it is as "future proof" as possible.
     
    Kieron, Jun 14, 2007 IP
  14. dayjober

    dayjober Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    7
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    #14
    Thank You very much. Actually I was thinking of starting a new thread on this Landing page issue. And also I hear " Adwords Optimization". Could anyone of you tell me how to do it? I would glad to see as many answers as possible. Thank You.
     
    dayjober, Jun 15, 2007 IP
  15. Kieron

    Kieron Peon

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #15
    I'm not quite sure what you mean? Can you be a lot more specific with your question?
     
    Kieron, Jun 16, 2007 IP
  16. pogung177

    pogung177 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    11
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    #16
    I will follow your guide to make landing pages before open an account on Adwords.
     
    pogung177, Jun 16, 2007 IP
  17. Micromag

    Micromag Peon

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    67
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #17
    but did you understand my unanswered question Kieron?:

     
    Micromag, Jun 16, 2007 IP
  18. Kieron

    Kieron Peon

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #18
    OK with regard to your unanswered question no, I can not remember which anti virus software removes obvious affiliate links. If memory serves it only affected CJ links, but I honestly can't remember which it was.
     
    Kieron, Jun 16, 2007 IP
  19. Minterest

    Minterest Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    39
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    #19
    Thanks for this useful info I will follow this..
     
    Minterest, Jun 25, 2007 IP
  20. scking

    scking Peon

    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    3
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #20
    Well....my question has to do with the "affiliates". Per Google, they will only allow one adwords advertiser to use the Affiliate owner's top level domain in the display url, therefore, every other affiliate trying to sell the affiliate's product has to have a type of landing page. My questions, if that url, all it does is redirect via the hoplink (clickbank) to the Affiliate owner's sales page, is that ok with Adwords? I'm going to have to call them. I suppose you can place meta tags in the top of the html, but the sole purpose again, is the redirect the person who clicked on the ad the supposedly well written sales page of the affiliate.
     
    scking, Jun 25, 2007 IP