We get it–ad disapprovals are a bummer. Don’t worry—it’s common, especially when diving into the world of digital marketing campaigns for the first time. To uphold the best experience for search engine users, and drive good results for businesses and brands who use Google Ads campaigns to reach them, Google maintains certain standards that all ads and campaigns must meet before they can be approved for publication.
Wondering how you can meet these best practice guidelines? Read on. From getting started with your Google Ads account to following basic industry standards and the most common reasons for your Google Ads disapproval, the Edge marketing team deep dive into the how to’s of Google Ads so you can start driving more website traffic today.
Getting Started with Your Google Ads Account
First things first—if you’ve just received your first Google Ads disapproval, we recommend making sure you have properly set up and verified your new account. This means having the appropriate user permissions to create and submit campaign drafts for review, updating and monitoring live campaigns, and, sometimes, handling an Ads account on behalf of your clients.
The step may seem basic—but not uncommon. Before diving into the detailed reasons as to why your submission or live campaign might have returned a ‘Rejected’ notification, we recommend checking:
- Ad account permission levels
- Ad account billing, subscription, payment methods
- Admin account
Know that you’re up, running, and allowed to be? Let’s move on.
Best Practices for Google Ads Accounts and Campaigns
When it comes to digital marketing best practices, how to best design and publish your Google Ad campaigns, and which search engine practices to leverage to best drive relevant traffic to your website, we appreciate there can be a lot to know.
If you’re just getting started running online ad campaign for your brand or business—or even an experienced marketing staying on top of industry trends!—some of the basic must-follows for every campaign include:
1. Use a PPC Planning Template:
Some of the factors that can influence the publication or rejection of the best intended Google Ads campaigns can be as minor as improper capitalisation, an irrelevant ad headline, or the wrong character count for your ad copy. We recommended using a PPC template when just starting out to stay within the required Google Ads parameters
2. Focus on Relevance:
If the ad you’re attempting to run has little-to-no relevance to the landing page or website you’re linking back to—Google will see. Instead of misrepresenting your brand, product, or service through catchy words or unrelated imagery, you should always focus on relevance to your website, offer, audience, and content.
3. Check Your Links:
From landing page links to your destination URL, having links in your Google Ad that direct viewers to 404-Error pages, broken links, or (worse still!) directing viewers to another brand or businesses website will fast track a disapproved ad. Make sure to double check all hyperlinks related to your ad before submitting for approval and publication—better yet, take the time to run a link audit on your full website to support user experience and SEO.
4. Sensitive Content and Kid-safe:
Whether you work in healthcare, with children, or speak to sensitive topics, Google tracks the types of content advertised on their platform. One easy way to meet the basic guidelines here is to tick ‘Made for Kids’ content before submitting your ad draft. While these specialised parameters will prevent your ad from collecting some user data (including select demographics and personalised ad features), it does mean your ad can be marked as ‘safe’ for minors and reach your intended audience. One caveat? Google is strict about advertising to minors and will quickly reject or remove your ad if its considered to be unsafe or inappropriate for any person under the age of 13.
We get it—when you’re new to online advertising you want to get your Google Ads up, out, and in front of the right eyes as soon as possible. Instead of dedicating the time and energy into campaign creation only to receive a Google Ads disapproved notice before you can go live, we always recommend getting to know the platform and best practices (and your audience!) before hitting ‘Submit’. Better yet, aligning your ads with website updates, landing page optimisation, and prioritising your website visitor experience can not only help convert new visitors, must keep Google on your side.
A Note About Google Ads AI-driven Review Process
Before we go any further, it seems imperative that we point out: Google Ads review system is machine-driven—meaning, there is no one person working behind the scenes to offer context into your ad. This means that software is reviewing all ads based on a given structure and framework that indicates what’s allowed, what’s not, and which ads meet the criteria to go live.
While this works for Google’s backend operations, it doesn’t mean that many Google Ads users have incorrectly had their well-intended and well-designed ads rejected by the platform when it otherwise should have been approved. To ensure that your ad makes it through the automated review process, following Google’s required principles, best practices, and guidelines is a must—because there is no one person who can see the full picture of your ad for context and approve it to go through.
Concerned about a disapproved ad? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. First, let’s look at some of the most common reasons why your Google Ad campaign might have been disapproved.
Common Reasons for Your Google Ads Disapproval
Facing a rejection notice? Not to worry—it’s more common than you’d expect. Below are a few of the most common reasons why your Google Ads submission might have been disapproved.
1. Style Guidelines—Capitalisation and Punctuation: Huh? Sounds confusing—but it doesn’t have to be. Google has its own set of copy guidelines that we recommend you adhere to. Not only will following their prescribed headline and copy text recommendations help boost your ads chance of being approved—it also cuts down on the gimmicky and unprofessional content that some ad owners try to push out into the online space. (A good rule of thumb–only one exclamation point. No! More! Of! These!!!) Into multiple exclamation points? Just know that failing to adhere to these set style guidelines has caused more than a few Google Ad disapprovals.
2. Trademarks: Not the trademark owner? Chances are you’re taking on a huge risk by trying to run a Google Ads campaign by using one. While some on-page SEO might include reference to another brand or business competitor, trying to name an otherwise trademarked product or organisation in your Google Ad text is a big no and will quickly result in “Google Ads disapproved.”
3. Copyrighted Content: Likewise to trademarks—if you don’t own the content, don’t try to advertise with it online. Google supports businesses by allowing copyright and trademarks owners to market with the intellectual property they own—and actively search out competitors trying to gain by appropriating the same. Again, if on-page SEO works for a product or business comparison and analysis, by all means—but paying for a digital marketing campaign with copyrighted ad copy is frowned upon and quickly leads to Google’s rules rejecting your ad.
4. Image Ads and Quality: Google wants to create a good user experience with relevant content for their users—and help businesses and brands marketing their solutions online with a means to drive new traffic. While done is better than perfect, your images should be of high enough quality and the appropriate resolution and size to maximise your Google Ads campaign. Trying to upload or publish images that fall outside of Google’s required scope is a fast track to having your Google Ads disapproved.
5. Misrepresentation: Thought you could attract new leads through a bait-and-switch campaign? Think again. Google is on top of malicious marketing practices and won’t allow businesses to advertise for or attract new leads that are not relevant to their product or service offer. From the ad’s landing page body text to your website’s overall content, Google places a high priority of relevance and will quickly fire off ad disapproval if you’re trying to entice new leads through misleading copy, images, and campaigns.
Another quick way to fast-track a rejection notice? Broken hyperlinks and broken URLs. If your site is down, landing pages are yet to be published, or you’re trying to drive traffic from the ad to an otherwise broken URL, Google won’t allow it. Again, search engines are trying to support both users and businesses by driving relevant people to related businesses and offer a good experience for both. By directing ad viewers to an otherwise offline site or broken URL, it’s a lose-lose for both the brand and potential buyer.
By following our best practice links above, you can avoid this final, common snag by testing all site and landing page links before submitting your draft ad for review and publication. While a site audit, ad design, and detailed review may add on to the time needed to create your campaign, we highly recommend putting in the time and effort before submitting your ad to Google instead of getting your Google Ads disapproved and having to start again.
When to Contact Google Support About Your Google Ads Account
If you’ve followed the best practices, verified your permission levels and account, designed your ad using a best practice PPC template, and checked all text, images, and hyperlinks but still received a Google Ads disapproved notice—it may be time to contact Google Support.
Like we said—Google Ads reviewed process is completed by machine-driven platforms that have a structured set of guidelines to follow when approving and rejecting ads. While this can streamline operations for the Google team, it can miss out on the context needed to approve an otherwise allowable ad.
The best way to connect with a person who can review your ad or point out additional factors that may be affecting your campaign is to connect with a Google Ads support representative. A potential hassle for teams who are used to working digitally and actioning their ads entirely online, having the support of a rep can mean the difference between getting your ad tweaked and live and having to scrap the whole campaign.
Stay on Top of Google Ads Best Practices with Edge Marketing
Edge Marketing is one of Australia’s leading digital marketing teams—and for good reason. Experts in website development, paid and organic ad campaigns, SEO, and ad optimisation, we work with businesses big and small to build and solidify their position online.
If you’re beginning to navigate the world of online marketing, follow along with the Edge Marketing blog to stay on top of industry best practices, How To’s, and how you can hack your own marketing efforts to boost your visibility online. For larger businesses and established marketing teams looking for extra support when it comes to building their brand, you can connect with one of our experts to discuss how our in-house end-to-end services can support you.
Interested in having your Google Ads approved, eCommerce, Google search ads, search engine optimisation, and how you can become a certified Google partner? Follow along with the Edge Marketing team today.