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The Only Website Maintenance Checklist You’ll Ever Need

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The Only Website Maintenance Checklist You'll Ever Need

You might have the greatest product or service in the world. You might even have the slickest, most compelling branding in the world. Yet, all of that can fall flat because of one avoidable, albeit massive mistake…

Your website maintenance isn’t up to par.

It’s easy to neglect website maintenance, especially if your company lacks a dedicated web team. Still, website maintenance plays a critical part in any company’s success. Fortunately, website maintenance is manageable for companies big and small–especially with a handy checklist!

To equip you with everything you need to know to be successful, we’re covering:

Let’s get started.

What is website maintenance?

Simply put: website maintenance is the practice of ensuring your site is safe and secure, running well, and delivering a great user experience.

More specifically, website maintenance is an umbrella term for several activities that play a part in the overall functionality and success of your website.

Some of these activities include:

  • Security updates: Regularly checking for plugin and content management system (CMS) updates to ensure your site is free of security risks.
  • Traffic metrics: Checking your site’s traffic to look for major dips and sudden increases in bounce rate that indicate problems with technical aspects of your site or the content itself.
  • Content review: Reviewing your site for missing pieces of content, broken HTML code or images, and pages that take particularly long to load.
  • Design audits: Checking your site’s design to see if it’s causing slow load times, difficult to navigate on any devices, and accessible for all your customers.
  • Technical audits: Monitoring overall site uptime, checking for broken links, ensuring all pages are crawlable, and more to keep technical issues from holding you back.

website maintenance components in an umbrella image

There are countless additional activities that fall under website maintenance, many of which depend on the type of site, the platform it’s running on, your industry, and more. For example, ecommerce companies tend to have more in-depth website maintenance measures, as they have to worry about cart functionality, accepting payments, etc.

Why website maintenance is important

Website maintenance carries with it a number of benefits, beyond the obvious perk of, “your site simply works.”

  • 67% of people have increased online shopping habits since the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Conversion rates are 5x higher for B2B sites loading in 1 second, vs. sites loading in 10 seconds.
  • The average load time for a site on page one of Google is 1.65 seconds.
  • 45% of shoppers are less likely to purchase when pages load slowly.

website maintenance benenfits - stat states shoppers are 45% less likely to purchase if site loads slowly

Remember the aforementioned great product, service, brand, and so on? When your website maintenance is in great shape, you’re not only free to focus on delivering the greatest product and experience—your products and brand are able to truly shine.

How to do website maintenance

Websites have many, many moving parts. So, it should come as little surprise that website maintenance entails many, many processes. Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle website maintenance all at once, allowing you to break it up.

Take a deep breath and follow this website maintenance checklist to give your customers, brand, and products the platform they deserve.

Backup your site

First and foremost, it’s important your site is simply alive. (Alive and well can wait.) What begins as a simple plugin update or article edit can turn into blank pages and broken websites in no time. Regular site backups prevent these hiccups from turning into countless hours of lost work.

Your host or CMS should have automatic site backups in place. Make sure these are active, preventing any kind of sitewide catastrophe. It’s also a good idea to download copies of your site to a secure hard drive.

How often: Monthly + after major site changes

Check site speed

How quickly your site loads plays a huge role in your overall online success. (Remember: conversion rates are higher for quick-loading sites.)

Use a tool, like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, to check your site’s load times. If things are slow, it’s time to perform a technical audit and determine what’s holding you back. Also, remember to check your page speed on a number of devices and browsers.

website maintenance checklist - google pagespeeds report for wordstream july 2023

How often: Monthly + After major site changes

Perform security updates

Your website’s performance means little if your site’s not secure. When your security falls behind, you put your customers and your brand at risk.

Make it a monthly habit to check that your site platform/CMS is up to date. Also, don’t neglect to check for plugin updates, as outdated plugins can have security vulnerabilities that put your entire site at risk.

After running any updates, make sure your site still functions on all devices and browsers, and that your load times weren’t impacted.

How often: Monthly

Delete unused plugins

Speaking of plugins, delete the plugins you’re no longer using. By clearing out unused plugins you’re not only reducing your potential security issues via outdated plugins, you’re also making your CMS cleaner and easier to navigate on the backend.

How often: Monthly

Check content analytics

Use an analytics tool and regularly review the performance of your content to check:

  • Overall site traffic
  • Top-performing pages
  • Lowest-performing pages
  • Pages with the highest bounce rate
  • Month-over-month trends

If you notice a general decline in traffic, it’s possible a technical issue is impairing your SEO. Similarly, if you notice a page or article is suddenly performing far worse than it used to, look for broken elements on the page itself.

website maintenance checklist - google search console to measure content performance

You can use tools like Google Analytics 4 or Google Search Console to dig deeper into content performance and URL performance metrics.

While content analytics plays a role in website maintenance, it’s also something your marketing specialists can check. Regardless of who checks analytics, encourage cross-departmental communication so both your content/marketing team and tech team know what’s going on.

How often: Monthly

Hunt down broken links

Broken links lead to a negative user experience, which in turn impacts your bounce rate, SEO, and brand reputation. As part of your website maintenance routine, use a tool to check for broken links.

For example, Ahrefs offers a free broken link tool that will quickly show which links lead to 404 pages on your site.

website maintenance - ahrefs broken link checker example from content marketing institute

Replace the broken link with updated content, or remove the link entirely if a replacement destination page doesn’t exist.

How often: Monthly

Review browser compatibility

It’s possible your site flies on Chrome but crashes and burns on Edge or Safari. The same goes for mobile and tablet devices, too.

Run the aforementioned speed tests on your site while using major browsers and mobile devices (including tablets). Make sure your speed is consistent for each experience, and note the overall user experience. Is site navigation as easy on a phone as it is on a desktop? Are all elements displaying correctly?

How often: Quarterly + After major site changes

Test site forms

Contact forms and lead forms only help if they’re working. From newly-launched landing pages for gated assets to ancient contact forms, all site forms need your attention from time to time.

Use a test email and complete any forms on your site. Make sure the response not only goes through to your company inbox, but that the form also captures all the correct information.

website maintenance - test forms - example of information capture form from localiq website

You would want to make sure your test pulled in all the relevant fields from your form.

Run the same test on a variety of browsers and devices as well, as some forms may not display properly on a mobile device or tablet right out of the gate.

How often: Quarterly/Whenever you launch a new landing page

Perform a content audit

It’s important to audit all the content on your site, from your blog to your press releases to your various landing pages. Content with missing or outdated information can impact your bounce rate, while bloated images can slow site speed.

Set up a spreadsheet and go through all the content on your site, looking for the following and more:

  • Broken links
  • Broken images
  • Missing/outdated information
  • Large images/files
  • Dated design or branding

Ideally, you should perform a content audit every quarter. If this isn’t realistic for your organization, make sure it happens at least once every year.

How often: Quarterly/Yearly depending on resource constraints

Reduce image file size

Large file sizes often translate to crisp hero images, but at the cost of page speed. In fact, one large image can be enough to hurt your overall Google Core Web Vitals score.

During the aforementioned audit, take note of any images greater than 1MB. Then, run these images through a compression tool, of which there are many. After compressing the image, reupload it to the page and make sure it still looks up to par.

website maintenance audit - tinypng homepage

One of our favorite image compression tools.

If you have an infographic, ebook, or other visual-heavy piece, fear not! Offer a small preview on your site, then give your audience a way to click it and expand it into a separate tab, where they can view it in all its >1MB glory.

How often: Quarterly/When publishing new articles

Update/add more visuals

As you publish new content and revisit the old, look for opportunities to spruce things up with (responsibly-compressed) visuals.

Adding in a variety of visuals can keep your content interesting and engaging, help with SEO, and act as a way to break up text-heavy pieces and potentially lower bounce rate—all of which play into overall website performance.

How often: Quarterly/When publishing new articles

Update your header and footers

It’s easy to forget about header and footer copy, but it’s typically where we house some of the most important information about our organization:

  • Contact information
  • Terms of service
  • Privacy policy
  • Copyright info
  • Certifications
  • Important links

website maintenance - footer update - wordstream footer

For example, our own footer (above) may look sleek, but it still houses very important info. (Click the legal button, we dare you.)

While much of the above information can stay the same year after year, it’s important to ensure it’s always accurate and up to date. If your organization goes through any major legal shifts, like a new copyright, or if you move offices, it’s likely your header needs to change. You may also want to swap links that you’re featuring in your footer (or at least test that they all go where you want them to!).

Otherwise, make checking your header and footer part of your yearly website maintenance routine. It’s a good idea to involve your legal team, just in case there’s any legalese they need to finesse.

How often: Yearly/Following major changes

Create a 404 page (if you don’t have one)

Nothing’s ever totally foolproof, and links are no exception. It’s inevitable that people will enter the wrong URL or a link will break. When this happens, a helpful 404 page should greet your audience.

If you don’t have one already, make a 404 page that informs your audience they’re not on the right page. Then, give them links to helpful resources and popular pages on your site. This allows them to (hopefully) find what they’re looking for and keeps them from bouncing. It’s also a great way to build some internal links and help boost your SEO.

website maintenance - wordstream 404 page example

Not to toot our own horn, but use our above 404 page for inspiration. We’ve linked out to some of our most popular resources and used the page as a place to showcase our fun voice.

Lastly, make it a point to check your 404 page during your annual website maintenance. You likely have new resources to include and old ones to swap out.

How often: Annually

Website maintenance cost

Website maintenance cost, like the maintenance itself, varies across the board. The scale of your website, whether you deal with ecommerce, and the industry you’re in can all impact website maintenance costs.

Because of the many factors influencing website maintenance costs, estimates vary. Still, some experts estimate annual website costs at anywhere from $400 to $60,000 every year.

Despite the many factors in the cost of website maintenance, there are some common elements that you can prepare for, regardless of industry or platform.

  • Domain renewal: $10-100/year
  • SSL certificate: $0-200/year
  • Premium plugins/Extensions: Varies
  • Site redesign: $0-75,000
  • Secure email hosting: $2-25/monthly per-person
  • IT specialist: ~83,000/year salary

website maintenance cost - factor the type of ssl certificate you need

Different types of SSL certificates

Keep in mind the above is by no means an exhaustive list. If you’re in ecommerce, you have to worry about the added challenges an online store presents. And if you’re in a heavily-regulated industry, like health or security, you will have added security certification costs, and so on.

Mastering website maintenance—regardless of budget

There’s no hiding the fact that a lot goes into website maintenance. And yes, maintenance can eat up a sizable budget. But it doesn’t have to.

Regardless of the size of your organization, you’ve gotten where you are because you have expertise. Leverage the resources you have and you can keep your site running safe and sound, all year round.

  • No/limited IT team? Leverage tools and automation to counter IT limitations. Automate your backups through your provider or platform, streamline broken backlink hunting with tools, and set security updates to run automatically.
  • Limited design budget? Take advantage of the many design tools available online and utilize any templates they offer. If you can’t afford an in-house designer, find a reputable freelancer who can tackle your major site overhauls and batches of content as needed.
  • Lacking SEO or content expertise? While there’s no substitute for true content specialists, there are ways to reap the site maintenance benefits of content even if you lack a team. Interview your subject matter experts and turn their transcripts into blogs, then hire a freelance editor to clean things up or use one of the many great online editing tools.

Ideally, you can clear out every item covered in this maintenance checklist. Even if you can’t, use whatever internal resources you have, take your time, and stay organized while working through the list.

Getting the most out of a well-maintained website

Having a well-maintained website is no small feat. Being the case, you should take advantage of your site and get as much value out of it as possible.

By following our website maintenance checklist, you’re building a healthy foundation upon which you can consistently grow your organic traffic. Get a head start with our comprehensive guide on driving traffic to your site.

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Running Performance Max Against Brand is a Waste

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Brand Performance Max

If you’re like the majority of Google Ads advertisers, you’re running Performance Max campaigns. You’re also likely wasting a ton of money on it. Google makes it challenging to exclude branded keywords from Performance Max, while claiming the brand terms that do show up in these campaigns are incremental.

At our PPC agency, Taikun, where we manage tens of millions in Google ad spend per year, we have not seen this proposition supported by evidence. In fact we have found time and again that keeping branded terms live in PMax gives Google a license to waste your money.

Is Brand Search Incremental?

Before diving into the specifics of how including brand in PMax wastes money, it is important to discuss whether brand spend ever drives incremental revenue

Geo lift tests we have conducted on brand spend, within both shopping and search, with a number of brands, have found in each case that ad spend was found to be completely non incremental. That is, it generated no additional (net) revenue. This is supported by other companies which have seen similar results

Despite the lack of incrementality, there are situations where spending on brand makes sense. For example: To deter competitors or retail partners from bidding on your terms; product or service segmentation that meaningfully benefits from better control of landing pages; and when brand terms overlap with nonbrand searches.

Whether any of the above apply or not, it’s important to remember that when running brand there’s no guarantee it will drive incremental sales. If you have the volume to run a geo lift test, it’s recommended.

Understanding how the sausage is made

Regardless of whether running brand on search or shopping is incremental for your business, there’s one way to ensure it will negatively impact your incremental volume: running it in PMax. 

PMax gives you access to Google’s entire ad inventory. It promises to use machine learning to maximize your overall performance across Google’s entire ecosystem. This sounds great in theory. In reality, PMax is a way for Google to sell remnant inventory that you would not intentionally target because of its low quality. That poor performance can be hidden with spend against extremely high intent and high performing brand volume.

For example, if 10% of your spend goes to brand at a 20x ROAS and the other 90% goes to everything else at a 0.5x ROAS, your blend is a 2.45x. Performance looks good on the blend, but in reality you’re incinerating 90% of your ad budget.

This is not a theoretical example. We have seen this play out with varying degrees of severity in every PMax campaign we’ve looked at where brand was combined with nonbrand:

1716402362 272 Running Performance Max Against Brand is a Waste

You need to force PMax to work for its conversions. To do that you need to strip brand out completely.

How to Tell if Brand PMax is Wasting Your Budget

You can take a look at your own PMax campaigns and quickly determine if you’re wasting money on brand. If your PMax is performing at a better rate than other nonbrand volume in your account or your meta prospecting, you’re probably running a lot of brand. Likewise, if your campaign is consistently performing above the target, it is a dead giveaway there’s brand in there. Finally, if CPCs are lower than the rest of the account, brand is a likely culprit. 

You can also do a rough calculation of how much brand is generating witin the campaign. The insights report of PMax provides data on the search categories that are driving conversions. Add up all the conversions that are credited to search categories with brand terms and compare that to the overall campaign conversion volume. This will give you a rough idea of the percentage of conversions in the campaign being driven by brand. 

If it’s more than 30% of the overall conversions, you’re absolutely burning money and you should pull it out of PMax. 

Structuring Brand Outside PMax

Removing brand from PMax is annoying but not overly onerous. The first step is requesting Google adds a negative keyword list to your PMax campaign. Here is the form that includes a template to send in the name of your brand terms or dedicated PMax negative keyword list. This allows you to add negative keywords to your PMax campaign.

Note: The brand exclusions structure doesn’t do as good a job of excluding brand terms as a negative keyword list. 

Next, you need to set up a brand search campaign on either target impression share, or a manual bidding strategy. Smart bidding is a bad fit for brand search for the same reason we exclude it from PMax: it allows Google to waste money.

The goal with your brand search campaign should be to maximize the delta in real dollars between your spend and revenue generated.

If you’re managing an ecommerce brand, there’s one more campaign that needs to be set up (if you don’t already have one): A branded shopping campaign. A standard shopping campaign with a ROAS target that’s double your nonbrand target will ensure you’re capturing branded shopping inventory as well.

Adjust this target as necessary. Almost no nonbrand will make it into this campaign because PMax takes precedence over standard shopping.

With brand out of PMax, you’ll see volume on that campaign decline substantially as well as performance. Your overall account performance should increase substantially as well.

A Final Note on Google

The advertiser relationship with Google is currently broken. The Google antitrust trial has exposed what many of us in the PPC community have known for years: Google is squeezing advertisers to juice their own profits.

Whenever Google makes changes or encourages advertisers to do things, remember the relationship and ask yourself: “How would this benefit Google?”



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8 Fast Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

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8 Fast Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

Similar to last year, Google Marketing Live provided a torrent of AI-fueled advances for advertisers. In all, nine presenters announced 30 products and features over the 90-minute keynote event.

In the upcoming days and weeks, we’ll examine each of these new products and features in-depth and share what marketers and advertising experts think of them as they roll out.

But for now, here’s a quick recap of the most important announcements from Google Marketing Live 2024.

Contents

8 biggest takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2024

The GML keynote was a fast and furious hour and a half. Here are the biggest announcements from the event.

1. Automatic ad placements in AI overviews

Just last week at Google I/O, Google announced the wider release of AI overviews in search results (formerly known as SGE or search generative experience). Now, Google is testing automatically placed Search, PMax, and Shopping ads in AI Overview boxes.

Google Marketing Live - screenshot of AI overview ad

The ads will show up in a block labeled “Sponsored” to separate them from the organic and AI-derived content.

These ads will show up automatically when they match the intent of both the query and the AI Overview; advertisers don’t need to take any action to target those placements.

2. AI-powered, personalized recommendations and advice

In another experiment, Google is using AI to speed along shoppers’ decision-making process for large or complicated purchases by offering personalized product recommendations.

Google used the example of someone shopping for storage space.

The user would search for “short-term storage” and click on a relevant ad. They would then enter a guided shopping experience where they could answer questions and provide a photo of what they wanted to store.

Google Marketing Live - screenshot of AI guided ad.Google Marketing Live - screenshot of AI guided ad.

Google’s AI reviews the details and suggests the right-size storage unit and related items like packing materials. The user then clicks through to a product page on the business’s website to finalize their purchase.

This ad feature is currently in the testing phase. If it’s successful, it will soon be available to other verticals.

3. AI creative asset production for PMax campaigns

Google announced more features and tools to help advertisers create PMax campaign assets faster and at scale. These new features include:

  • The ability to add brand guidelines for colors, fonts, and imagery.
  • Image editing is used to add and extend backgrounds, add objects, and alter image sizes to fit multiple ad placements (think of adding a plant and expanding the wall for a furniture ad).
  • Auto-generation of ads from a product feed.
  • Asset-level conversion metrics.

Google Marketing Live - screenshot of PMax ad creation.Google Marketing Live - screenshot of PMax ad creation.

4. AI-enhanced Shopping Ads

    Shopping Ads got another layer of AI treatment with several upgrades to create a more immersive shopping experience.

    Virtual try-on for apparel

    Google is expanding its virtual try-on (VTO) experience to apparel ads. Beginning with men’s and women’s tops, users will be able to see how individual styles look on different body types.

    3D product images

    Using Adidas brand sneakers as an example, Google showed off new 360-degree shoe views that can be featured in ads. Google generates the 3D images using images provided by the seller.

    In-ad, short-form product videos

    Advertisers can now incorporate short product videos—created by the brand or by influencers—into ads. The videos will be clickable and interactive, letting shoppers view related products and get styling suggestions.

    The ads will include product details under each video.

    5. New visually immersive ad formats and features

    Google shared that it’s expanding its demand-gen video ad campaigns by adding new options for advertisers. These features include:

    • Clickable stickers created from existing image assets.
    • The ability for users to swipe left to a branded YouTube landing page.
    • AI-generated animations based on static images.

    6. Cohesive first-party data management

    In a move to improve the quality of data used to guide AI outputs, Google announced that its Ads Data Manager platform is coming out of beta testing and is now widely available.

    Google Marketing Live - screenshot of Google performance dashboard.Google Marketing Live - screenshot of Google performance dashboard.

    Ads Data Manager lets advertisers aggregate first-party data from sources like YouTube, Google Ads, HubSpot, and Shopify to make it more visible and actionable. The platform also acts as a “check engine light” to help make sure marketers are using data safely and responsibly.

    7. Visual brand profiles on search

    Sellers can now create a brand profile for Search, including branded imagery, product deals, videos, and more.

    Brand profiles will also include reviews pulled from Product Listing Ads. It remains to be seen how much control advertisers have over which reviews are shown.

    8. New profit optimization goals in PMax

    Advertisers will be able to optimize ads for profit goals in Performance Max campaigns.

    Google says advertisers using the new profit goals saw a 15% uplift in campaign profit compared to revenue-only goals.

    What we didn’t see at Google Marketing Live 2024

    There was a lot for advertisers to be excited about in this year’s GML keynote, but a couple of topics stood out by their absence.

    No B2B-specific products or features

    Once again, the 90-minute Google Marketing Live session focused on the rollout of products designed to help business-to-consumer brands generate more return from their Google Ads investments.

    There wasn’t a single mention of a B2B company, example, or use case. For obvious reasons, we’d have loved to see some.

    No (or too few) small-business case studies

    By number, the vast majority of advertisers on Google are small businesses. Yet just about every example, case study, and customer story featured big brands using Google’s newest features to attract new customers.

    Additionally, the majority of example use cases for the new features announced at Google Marketing Live 2024 were for travel and ecommerce–industries that typically thrive in the search ads environment. Meanwhile, the typical small business wouldn’t be able to reap the same benefits from these new features.

    “Google Ads and YouTube ads for well-established brands should work. If it didn’t, it would be alarming. Show me a local business with impressive stats,” tweeted Julie Bacchini, President of Neptune Moon and Managing Director of PPCChat.

    Google Marketing Live - screenshot of a Tweet about Google Marketing Live.Google Marketing Live - screenshot of a Tweet about Google Marketing Live.

    Source

    Our hope is that Google will use AI to make advertising easier for smaller businesses with smaller budgets.

    What it all means

    We’ll dig deeper into all these announcements and new AI features in an upcoming post, but for now, the takeaway is clear: Google is investing heavily in AI across the board. We get the feeling that not all users are quite as excited about AI as Google is, and regardless, there are bound to be some hiccups, as with any new technology. But we’ll be here to help you all navigate the changes.

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How to Navigate Your Google Ads Suspension

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Google Ads Account

Are you facing the dreaded red bar of death in your Google Ads account? If so, you may be the victim of a Google Ads suspension.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Google Ads accounts are suspended for various reasons, leaving businesses puzzled and eager to restore their campaigns.

Whether you’re new to the concept of a Google Ads suspension or currently grappling with one, this article will explore Google’s policies, to help you understand common suspensions, and will offer guidance on resolving issues if you find yourself fighting a suspension.

Understanding Google’s Approach to Suspensions

Google says it prioritizes user safety and credibility over generating revenue from advertisers. With billions of ads and millions of advertiser accounts to manage, Google has implemented robust policies to ensure a largely secure online experience for users.

These policies are designed to uphold legal requirements and the safety of users. The challenge arises when legitimate advertisers unintentionally get caught in the same net as bad actors who are deliberately violating policies.

Google’s policies cover a wide range of areas, from preventing scams and illegitimate businesses, to safeguarding users against misleading ads and harmful websites. In the past year alone, Google flagged over 5.5 billion ads and suspended around 12.7 million advertiser accounts.

While these measures protect users, they also pose a significant challenge for businesses aiming to reach their audience through Google.

Common Reasons for Google Ads Suspensions

While the reasons an account has been suspended can vary, some are more common than others. Circumventing Systems, Suspicious Payment Activity, Unacceptable Business Practices, and Counterfeit Goods are among the top suspension types.

None of these suspension types are impossible to recover from. The team at StubGroup has worked with numerous accounts struggling with these types of suspensions and have successfully gotten them reinstated.

Types of Google Ads Suspensions

Google rarely provides detailed explanations for account suspensions. If you get flagged for a certain policy, Google does not give more information than that. Here’s a few of the most common suspension types and their potential causes:

Circumventing Systems

This suspension type flags tactics like cloaking, sneaky redirects, and creating multiple accounts to bypass Google’s system.

Obvious things that can cause this type of suspension are redirecting users to a different final URL than the one displayed in the ad, maintaining multiple accounts to run similar ads, malicious software, or using cloaking techniques to show different content to Google’s review systems and actual users. There are, however, many other, less common and often unintentional triggers for Google to suspend an ad account for circumventing systems.

Suspicious Payment Activity

This suspension involves issues with your payment method used for the Google Ads account.

Common causes include: Using virtual or prepaid cards, having multiple accounts with a history of suspension linked to the same payment method, or discrepancies in the payment details provided.

Unacceptable Business Practices

This suspension revolves around practices deemed unethical or harmful by Google, such as misleading claims or deceptive offers. It’s common to see this suspension type in verticals that are more heavily restricted by Google’s advertising policies.

Common causes include: Failing to deliver promised services, using misleading information in ads, or engaging in practices that violate Google’s guidelines on transparency and honesty.

Counterfeit Goods

Google issues this suspension if it suspects the account is advertising counterfeit products or unauthorized replicas. Businesses with original products and services can also be hit with a counterfeit good suspension if something about their business confuses Google’s algorithms.

Common causes include: Selling or promoting fake goods, using brand names without authorization, using misleading wording that could lead Google to think a product is counterfeit, or listing products that violate Google’s trademark policies.

The Technical Perspective

From a technical standpoint, most suspensions stem from insufficient or incorrect information on the website. They can also come about as a result of landing page issues, security concerns, and inconsistent payment details.

Google’s emphasis on user safety and positive experiences shapes its algorithms. That renders these issues of top importance, and the first to get flagged.

Navigating Your Google Ads Suspension Effectively

If you find yourself dealing with a suspended account, don’t panic. Instead, use these trusty tips to get through it.

  1. Don’t Panic: Everyone’s first thought is to create a new Google Ads account. Don’t be lured into this trap. Creating a new account is seen by Google as an attempt to circumvent their system and ignore the underlying problem. That new account might hurt your chances of restoring your suspended Google Ads account.
  2. Identify the Issue: Understand the specific reason for the suspension. Review the policy Google says that you have violated and compare the policy with your account or website for anything that could appear misleading or flag Google’s system. Finding the cause behind your suspension is crucial for an effective appeal.
  3. Review Everything: Conduct a thorough review of your website, landing pages, ad content, and payment processes. Check anything and everything that could seem malicious.
  4. Address Any Technical Issues: Promptly address any technical issues you find. If you don’t have someone in-house, work with experts to ensure everything is taken care of.
  5. Construct a Clear Appeal: When submitting an appeal for your suspended Google Ads account, provide a clear and concise explanation of the actions taken to resolve the issues. Google does not respond well to complaints against them or angry appeals. The best road to action is a calm, comprehensive appeal, outlining the resolved issues.
  6. Documentation: Keep detailed records of changes made to your website, ad content, or payment processes as evidence of your compliance efforts.
  7. Monitor and Iterate: Keep a record of your appeal. After submission, wait for an email from Google and monitor your ad account.

What if Google Rejects My Appeal?

If your appeal gets rejected, you may need to go back to the drawing board. Re-evaluate and scan for anything that could still be triggering Google’s system or reviewers, including the status of connected accounts and the payment methods used.

If Google provides feedback, use that as you audit your account, website, and any linked accounts that might be affected.

Analyze Google’s Response

When Google rejects an appeal, they reply with an automated email as to why it was rejected. From time to time, however, there will be clues as to why they rejected your appeal to help steer you in the right direction.

Making Changes

Depending on Google’s feedback, you may need to make more changes to your ad account, website, or the documentation you submitted with the appeal.

This includes reviewing and updating any payment method information to ensure it is current. Check there are no outstanding balances that could lead to account suspension.

Resubmit with Updates

After each change, review and revise your appeal. Ensure it addresses the concerns raised by Google and its policies. Once you are confident in your modifications, resubmit the appeal.

Persistence and Patience with Google

Google’s review process can take time, so patience is key. While you are suspended, explore different channels you may have overlooked before. There are many different ways to advertise, digitally and in print, who knows where you may find success.

Consider Expert Assistance

If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of rejections and suspensions, consider seeking expert assistance like the suspension team at StubGroup. Professionals with experience in dealing with Google suspensions can provide valuable insights, identify blind spots, and guide you through the process more efficiently.

When choosing a professional to work with, be cautious and thoroughly research the companies to choose a reliable and transparent company that will keep your information safe and maintain an open line of communication with you.

Strategies for Preventing Google Ads Suspensions

  • Stay Informed: Google is always updating their policies. Regularly review and stay updated on those policies to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Comprehensive Compliance Training: Educate your team about Google’s policies and best practices so they are aware of what to avoid when operating both your website and ad account.
  • Audit Your Online Presence: Conduct regular audits of your website, landing pages, social media, and ad content to identify and address potential issues before any bigger problems can arise.
  • Security Measures: Prioritize website security. Implementing HTTPS and conduct regular security audits of both your ad account and website. Keep your software updated, and address vulnerabilities promptly.
  • Ad Campaign Monitoring: Actively monitor the performance of your ad campaigns. Look for signs of policy violations or content issues and address them. It’s crucial to maintaining smooth and efficient Google Ads campaigns that you adhere to Google’s policies to prevent suspensions and achieve desired results.



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