Last summer while doing a lot of client-projects that included social-media-marketing I played around with Twitter-Bootstrap and instantly fell in love with it.
- nice look
- no cross-browser-issues
- fast development
I decided to do a landing-page for a random project just to get into Bootstrap a little more. I settled for a fan-dealer-site because:
- I knew that it has a fast-setup
- pretty good margins
- and a big demand if you knew where to look
(hint: I barely know a company that does not use this technique to boost their fansites, most have at least 50% bought fans)
This is what the site looked like after a couple of hours:
After integrating Paypal to handle the payments I did some keyword-research and set up a Google-Adwords campaign as one marketing-channel to drive traffic to the site.
As I have a lot of clients I use Google-Adwords for, I use the Google-Adwords-MCC (“My Client Center”) that lets you add new or connect to existing Adwords-accounts and manage them through one interface. I set up the Adwords-campaign for the fan-dealer-site on my private Adwords-Account that is connected to the MCC-Account.
After three days of good traffic from the Adwords-campaign I got the following E-Mail from Google:
At first look, this is not a big deal. You regularly get this kind of E-Mail when you set up a new Adwords-campaign. Most times the problem is that you use “too much punctuation in the title” of your ad or something similiar that does not apply to their ad-policies.
Followed by the email another one, this time a little bit more personal than usual:
The Adwords-policy he states is the following:
A couple of hours later I got the following E-Mail (now in German from a Google-Support employer, as I am located in Berlin, Germany):
What it says is that according to the Adwords-policy he stated in his last mail the ad-campaign has been shut-down AND due to the kind of violation (“Spam techniques”) they consider shutting down my entire Adwords-Account.
I instantly called the Google-Support. They again looked at my site and told me that it is not only the site that is the problem but my “business-model”. Since they were not sure how to handle it they said they’ll discuss and email me back later.
What I got the next day was the following (again in German):
What the E-Mail says is the following: “To undo this violation it is not enough to only delete the ad-campaign. Furthermore you have to redesign your website so that the next time we crawl your website there are no violations.”
In other words this meant: if I do not remove my website completely, they will not enable my Adwords-Account again, with the additional penalty of also shutting down my MCC-account. BOOM.
Luckily this was a fun-project, (but still took me quite some time) so I removed the website from the web and contacted Google.
Next up (in German):
What it says is that “no content on a website is again a violation” according to the Adwords-Policy and they can’t re-enable the account for that reason. Funny.
I called it a day, put up a tumblr-blog with some content really quick and wrote them an email. A week later or so they finally re-enabled my account which is what the following email says:
take some time to skim through the Adwords-policies before using Adwords.
- Lean-startup & landing-pages
According to the policies you are not allowed to advertise for an unfinished site. So depending on how much you rely on a functioning Adwords-account (e.g. for clients or future projects) you should pay attention to the duration you have these ads running and also to violations that the system detects. I didn’t have any particluar problems with (solo) landing-pages so far.
If a violation occurs in one of your campaigns you will receive an email-notification. Pay close attention to the reason of the violation. It is a bit hard to find, usually somewhere in the middle of the email, between a lot of other text.
This is a no-brainer but really do not rely on one channel to sell your product.
This post should not be a blame on Google in any way. I just want to outline the amount of power they have (even over your business) if you rely heavily on them.
But if you look at the amount of traffic they are able to drive to your site through Adwords and compare that to other search engines or marketing-channels, I am sure they can be so free to do that.
So don’t be evil and/or diversify your traffic-sources.