How Destination Requirements Affect Experience in Google Ads

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Prevent Ad Disapprovals By Using Strong Landing Pages and Destination URLs

It has long been understood in the digital marketing world that paid search marketing, display advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO) need to work together to get the most out of those services individually.

Google is more or less making that teamwork a requirement rather than a suggestion to run effective ads. One of the primary ways that is happening is Google’s extensive list of ad destination requirements. These requirements are meant to fall in line with Google’s primary interest of improving user experience.

If you are showing users trustworthy URLs and sending them to strong landing pages, that helps ensure users will have a better experience.

Before we go any further, we need to determine what Google means by “ad destination.”

What Is an Ad Destination?

an easel holding a painting of a target hit in the bullseye

While the ad destination is technically what the URL is and the page it goes to, there is quite a bit more involved. Google also considers the content on the landing page, the value it provides the user, the functionality of the page itself and how easy it is to navigate.

All of those play a factor in Google trying to determine whether users will have a good experience when they click on your ads. If Google decides that your destinations are not strong enough or violate a policy, they won’t approve your Google or display ads. Luckily they have an extensive list of requirements to make sure your pages and ads are sufficient.

Google’s Ad Destination Requirements for Paid Search Marketing

Google’s requirements for a good user experience come in the form of a list of things that your ad destinations are not allowed to be:

  • Destination experience: difficult or frustrating to navigate, links that initiate a file download, and destinations with abusive experiences.
  • Insufficient original content: pages made for ads (i.e. landing pages), copied content, pages that only exist to send users elsewhere, blank pages, and pages that are incomprehensible or don’t make sense.
  • Destination mismatch: this is primarily to make sure all of the URLs match across your display URL, final URL, and mobile URL.
  • Destination not working: pages that don’t function properly or at all (i.e. 404 error pages).
  • Destination not accessible: Pages that are only accessible in certain countries or areas.
  • Destination not crawlable: Google needs to be able to crawl your pages to determine what the user experience is.
  • App or web store policy violation
  • Unacceptable URLs: Syntax errors, IP addresses, and use of select characters.
  • Unrecognized apps: Apps that Google is not able to recognize due to malformed app IDs, or the app has been suspended or deleted in the app store.
  • Unverified phone number (in call-only, call assets, and location assets)
  • Unacceptable phone numbers (in call-only, call assets, and location assets) : Inaccurate numbers, fax numbers, numbers not local to the area you are targeting, virtual numbers, and numbers with no active voicemail.

Check out Google’s full list of ad destination restrictions to see more specific examples of what is and is not allowed in your ads.

Make Sure Your Destinations Are Compliant

If your ad destinations exhibit any of the restrictions listed above and are causing your ads to get disapproved, there are a number of ways to go about fixing the issue.

If you feel that your ads have been incorrectly disapproved, you can appeal the decision or you can change the destination to a more suitable page. While that could bypass the issue, that doesn’t mean the problem just goes away.

The best way to ensure your ads show is by incorporating strong SEO tactics that get your pages and content up to the best standards. You can correct just about all those restrictions, but enriching your content and improving the backend of your website to improve the overall experience of your site visitors is your best bet. That’s why paid search marketing and SEO working in tandem is so important and can hinder or boost your performance for both services.

Kansas City Digital Marketing Experts Can Help You with Google Ads

Making sure your whole website and all your efforts on Google are up to the best standards is definitely the goal, but those tasks are not always easily accomplished. It takes time to learn about and to implement successful Google Ads and other paid media.

Luckily the paid media and SEO experts at iFocus Marketing in Overland Park, KS, have already put in the time and are able to do that for you. We’re Google Premier Partners for a reason.

If you want to make sure the pages on your website and your Google Ads meet or exceed Google’s standards, give us a call to get started.

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