Is my website ready for PPC ads?
In order to satisfy Google, there are a few of their policies that we must abide by as advertisers in order to gain the full scope of the platform's capabilities.
Google's primary goal is to keep its users happy, and Google has a plethora of people wanting to advertise to Google's users. In other words, Google gets to pick and choose which ads they present to their audience.
The bad news is that we have to compete against those other ads. The good news is that Google doesn't discriminate as long as you follow their guidelines and rules.
Individual "Thank You" page For All Forms
Essentially, this means that after a user has completed a desired action on your website (e.g. a purchase has been completed, or someone filled out a form) a "Thank You" page needs to be displayed.
This is a big one. Have you ever visited a website on your mobile phone? We're positive you have. Have you ever visited a site on your mobile phone, only to have the end result be some "zoomed-in" portion of the main website?
Pretty annoying, right?
Google actually pays attention to these kinds of things, and classifies these seemingly minor things as "user experience".
Basically, the better the user experience is on your website, the higher your quality score for your advertisements. This, in turn, leads to happier users and better ad ranking for your advertisements (which oftentimes means more sales).
This is another factor that Google looks at heavily. According to a study done by the website Hubspot, if your website makes you an average of $100,000 a day, a 1-second decrease in page load time can increase your sales by about $7,000.
It seems like such an insignificant detail, but in the hustle and bustle of today's environment, people want things and they want them now.
Moreover, if your site takes too long to load, you run the risk of people bouncing off of your site. That means that they click on your advertisement (you pay for that click) and then they leave the website before it fully loads, before you have a chance to sell them your offer, all because it took just a little too long for the site to load for them.
Again a minor detail, but it has huge consequences.
Don't worry, you don't need to pay a lawyer the big bucks to write you one of these. You just need to explain to the website visitor, in a transparent way, where their information is being stored (if at all) and what is being done with that information.
Have A Physical Address On Your Site
This is something that Google looks for to see that you are a legitimate business and not some scammer who's claiming they're in California but really on the other side of the planet.
The benefit of this is that it satisfies Google, but it also makes your website visitors feel more at ease when they are considering purchasing your products/services. It instills trust in your website visitors, and often times more trust equals higher conversions and more sales.
Your Phone Number On Your Site Should Be Coded Text
This is a bit of a more technical detail. Google is very smart, but sometimes it needs some help. Having a phone number on your website is another thing that you can do to instill more trust in your website visitors, and possibly boost conversions.
However, from a technical standpoint, Google can't recognize that phone number if it's in an image and not coded onto the page.
If you have a web developer, they should be very familiar with the difference.
Have An Email Address Listed On The Site
Just like having a phone number and physical location, Google wants you to have a way for website visitors to reach you by email.
Again, just like a phone number, this needs to be coded into the webpage and not an image so that Google can read it.
These next two points are specifically for eCommerce websites that sell physical items.
Have A Published Return Policy
A return policy is standard practice for physical stores, and it should be no different for online stores.
A return policy can be very simple. It just tells the user what to expect should they want to return their item or get a refund. Questions that could be answered include: How long do I have to return my item? What's your policy if my item arrives broken?
Have A Published Shipping Policy
People want to know how long it's going to take for their item to arrive from the moment that the order is placed.
It's always a good idea to set expectation ahead of time. So be sure to tell your website visitors in your Shipping Policy how long it takes to process an order, and what kind of shipping speeds your business offers.
That was a lot! Don't worry though...
These are all seemingly minor things, but the devil is in the details. Not only are you satisfying Google's guidelines by having these things in place, but you are also boosting trust with your website visitors.
Higher trust with your visitors means higher conversions, which means higher sales.