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Facebook Ad Landing Pages: What You Can and Cannot Do

March 9th, 2015 Posted by

Facebook Ad Landing Pages Rules

The Facebook Advertising Guidelines are long, complicated and often confusing. It’s often difficult keeping up with all of the things you can’t do — and even what is prohibited can often be determined at Facebook’s discretion.

A topic that has come up in the Power Hitters Club Facebook group recently is regarding landing pages. What are the rules that advertisers need to be aware of when using ads to send users to external landing pages to buy a product?

First of all, make sure that you read Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines. I know, those are confusing.

Even better, check out Facebook’s Help Center for examples and explanations.

The following tips apply strictly to the destinations of your ads and could save you some serious headaches down the road…

Destination URL

Let’s start with a lay-up. The URL you use in your ad must drive users to a destination that actually functions in all browsers.

Easy enough, right?

Geographic IP Address Restriction

Let’s say that your website is restricted to people in specific countries. You can’t then create an ad driving people to your website while targeting people outside of those countries.

Makes sense. That would be wasteful anyway.

Error Pages

Don’t create ads that leads people to an error page or a page that is under construction. And if you use a tracking URL, just be sure it redirects to the proper page.

This stuff is all common sense so far. Facebook is saving you from yourself by rejecting any ads that violate these rules.

Pop-Ups

Now it starts getting a bit trickier…

You cannot run ads that lead people to landing pages that trigger pop-ups or pop-unders that execute upon arriving or attempting to leave the destination page.

Now, this is open to a bit of interpretation. Facebook specifically mentions “landing pages” in this case. I can tell you that I regularly run ads that promote my blog posts. I have a pop-up that executes when users scroll to the bottom of that post or attempt to leave my site.

My ads never get rejected for this violation.

You could look at this one of two ways:

  1. I’m getting lucky, or
  2. My ads are falling within the rules

I’d like to think my ads are falling within the rules. Why? Because I’m not technically sending users to a landing page since I’m promoting blog posts. A landing page would typically be defined as a page that lacks navigation away from that page.

I typically remove pop-ups from my landing page — or I at least consciously remind myself to do this. I do it not because of Facebook’s rules but because it’s an unnecessary distraction. I sent them to a landing page to perform a specific action that is featured on that page.

Should you stop using pop-ups on blog posts or stop promoting blog posts that include pop-ups? Honestly, I’d consider that a drastic action — unless you are getting your ads rejected.

I get about 200 opt-ins per day on my website because of these pop-ups. It would be a bad business decision on my part to stop using them while Facebook continues to allow my ads.

Auto-Initiated Downloads

You can’t use ads to drive users to a page that automatically initiate a download. This of course includes malware and spyware, but that’s really an unnecessary point. You can’t automatically initiate a download of any kind, malicious or otherwise.

You also can’t link to a file that requires additional software to view the content you are promoting.

Auto-initiated downloads would just be bad business. It’s spammy, and I sure wouldn’t trust it. If you’re doing it, stop.

Facebook Destinations

You can use ads to direct users to Facebook content, but it can’t be private or closed groups, and you can’t send people to Facebook’s home page.

This makes good sense. You can’t target people who are in a particular closed or private group, so it wouldn’t be smart to run ads sending people there.

And really… Why in the world would you run an ad driving people to Facebook’s home page?

Web of Trust

Okay, so this may be the big one, and it’s actually something new that I learned while going back through this…

You can’t use ads that drive people to destinations that have a bad reputation according to Web of Trust. WOT is a third party unassociated with Facebook that rates the reputation of websites based on user feedback.

I’ve added the Web of Trust plugin to my Chrome browser, and I’ve also claimed my website through Web of Trust. I suggest you do the same.

Members within the PHC have mentioned that advertisers are not allowed to run ads leading to LeadPages domain landing pages. If you aren’t familiar with LeadPages, it’s a website that provides optimized landing page templates used most often for marketing.

I haven’t personally heard that Facebook rejects ads leading to LeadPages domain landing pages, and it would actually surprise me. But when I navigate to LeadPages.net, the site does indeed have an “unsatisfactory” WOT reputation.

LeadPages Unsatisfactory WOT

“Unsatisfactory” isn’t the lowest WOT reputation score, however. Is it low enough for Facebook to reject all ads sending users there?

Note that this doesn’t mean that LeadPages as a company has a bad reputation. Instead, you can bet that there are plenty of unsavory marketers who use LeadPages in dishonest ways. That’s not the fault of LeadPages, of course.

Also keep in mind that it’s highly unlikely that if such a ban on LeadPages exists that it wouldn’t apply to using the LeadPages WordPress plugin. For example, I have the plugin installed (I rarely use it), and it helps me easily create landing pages on my domain. Since those pages are on my domain, the WOT score should pull from my website.

Landing Page

Your landing page must clearly and accurately reflect what it is you are promoting. This may sound obvious, but many advertisers get tripped up here.

You can’t make any false claims. You can’t be dishonest or deceptive. And your landing page — and the product you are promoting — must follow through on what your ad promised.

This is just scratching the surface, of course. Your landing page also must comply with Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines regarding prohibited content, products or services.

Your Turn

Have you had ads rejected due to your landing pages? What were the reasons given?

Let me know in the comments below!

Category: PHC Blog Uncategorized

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