What are Google Ads Destination Requirements?

Sep 2022

Changes are coming this fall to the Google Ads Destination requirements policy. Beginning October 2022, Google will now require all ads to conform to the Coalition for Better Ads “Better Ads Standards.” These new changes aim to make the user experience more seamless even after people leave the Google platform. Are you running Google ads? Here’s how these new changes will impact your campaigns.

Defining Google Ads Destination Requirements

In the simplest terms, a Google Ads destination is the location a user visits once they interact with a search, display, and phone call ad. Ideally, the website or phone number users are directed to from an ad will provide some kind of value, be useful or educational, be free of errors, and be easy to navigate. The new policy ensures that all ads adhere to the best user experience by doing the following.

Search and Display Ads

Destinations and supportive content are easy to navigate. A strong landing page or webpage should support the ad a user sees. That page should also have clear navigation, information, and a call to action. Things like slow site speed, excessive pop-ups that block content, location-specific accessibility, and additional download requirements will flag your ads. 

Ads destination is a relevant webpage. Using an email address or file download as the destination for your ads is a huge mistake. Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. Many ads have been removed for leading users to a spam page with fake error messages or file downloads. Your ad should never bring users to images, videos, audio, documents, or an email address. Instead, create a service or landing page that directly supports the content and call to action in your Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. Not only will this improve your conversion rate, but it will also prevent your ads from being rejected by Google.

Destination site should contain original content. Duplicate web pages, stolen copy, blank pages, or broken pages should never be the destination for your ads. It’s crucial that your ads provide real value to your site visitors. Avoid also using your destination page as a bridge to a sister site or a doorway to gated content. Google views all of these as negative user experiences. 

Destination page URLs must match the display URL. An ad that doesn’t accurately reflect where the user is going will be rejected under this policy. This can be seen when a keyword is inserted into the displayed URL, the domain (.com or .org) is not consistent, or the actual live URL is completely different. An example of this would be “digitalmarketing.com” as the display URL, but the actual URL a visitor is going to is “kwsmdigital.com.” This also applies to destination URLs that are duplicate pages or display something completely different from what a user expected from the displayed link. This can happen when a display link such as “myproductcatalog.com” takes users instead to  “myproductcatalog2.com” or “myproductA.com”

Call Only Ads

Call-Only ads must contain an active phone number. Call-Only ads are an option if your goal or main lead source is phone calls. Although these do not contain a web link like display and search ads, the Google Ads Destination requirements policy still applies. Call-Only ads must not contain a fax number, fake number, out-of-the-country number, inactive voicemail service, or come from a virtual phone service.

In addition to these guidelines, Better Ads Standards breaks down requirements for pop-up ads, videos, countdown ads, and sticky ads. 

No matter which ad you choose for your campaign, it’s crucial that you adhere to the Google Ads Destination requirements and provide prospective customers with the best experience possible. By doing this, your business starts off on the right foot with your audience. Interaction with customers doesn’t begin once you answer an email or make a phone call. The customer journey begins much sooner. Many times your ads are the first step in that journey. A positive experience with your ad and webpage is the key to turning those prospects into loyal customers.

megaphone65% of people clicking on ads are ready to make a purchase.

Is your business interested in implementing an effective PPC strategy? At KWSM, we create fully-customized marketing plans to attract and engage your audience.

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