Google ads can be a great way to generate traffic to the affiliate offers you are promoting. That being said, there is the right way and a wrong way that can get you in a heap of trouble with both the platform and the brands. Here's what you need to know.

Can I Use Google Ads for Affiliate Marketing?

Google ads can be a great way to generate traffic to the affiliate offers you are promoting. That being said, there is the right way and a wrong way that can get you in a heap of trouble with both the platform and the brands. Here's what you need to know.
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Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.

Google ads can be a great way to generate traffic to the affiliate offers you are promoting. That being said, there is the right way and a wrong way that can get you in a heap of trouble with both the platform and the brands. In most cases, you’ll need a landing page and a specific type of campaign. Here’s what you need to know.

Avoid Bidding On The Brand Name or Product

As an affiliate marketer myself, who earns 6-figures annually through affiliate relationships, I’m clear on the importance of following rules of the affiliate programs and networks. You don’t want to start a major campaign, generate a lot of referrals, and commissions, and then not get paid because your strategy was against the terms of service of the brand.

Most affiliate terms of service specifically state that you can’t bid on their name, product, or brands as a keyword. Since Google ads target specific search queries, the act of including the brand’s names or product names would directly compete with the brand. It makes sense that they wouldn’t want to do that. There are a few, however, that will allow PPC bidding.

Take a look at your terms of service. In the affiliate network ShareASale, for example, there is a tab that specifically addresses PPC Keyword rules. In this example, the mattress company has made a list of all of the PPC terms that are not allowed in their program.

In this example, the mattress company has made a list of all of the PPC terms that are not allowed in their affilaite program.

If you are unsure if brand oriented PPC bidding is permitted, check with the brand directly.

Bid on Topical Keywords

While you may not be able to bid on the brand itself, you can certainly create landing pages and blog topics that are a “best of list”, or a “how-to” style blog, or an informational post.

While you can’t bid on the specific dog collar you are promoting, you can bid on “dog collars”, “best dog collars for (Y)”, “how to choose the right dog collar”, etc.

In this example, I typed dog collars into the Google search bar and saw a list of recent searches. These searches will inspire me on which kinds of blogs to create.

  • Best (X) for Y
  • Listicles: Best Dog Collars for (Year)
  • Question style Post
  • Comprehensive Guide
  • Informational

I also use SEMrush to pull topic research and get ideas for which content is performing well on the search engines, and social media.

In this example, I typed dog collars into the Google search bar, and saw a list of recent searches. These searches will inspire me on which kinds of blogs to create.

Create a Landing Page

It’s a best practice, and often a required one, to send links to a page you own rather than directly to the brand itself. While some brands will allow direct linking, you lose the opportunity to create a relationship between your website and brand, and the visitor. You can’t optimize for conversion rates sending them directly to the brand either.

Most affiliate marketers use their own website or a landing page funnel builder, or some combination of both. You’ll see software like Click Funnels, Deadline funnel, Leadpages, Thrive Themes, or another funnel builder.

I use WordPress along with the Astra theme and Elementor page builder to create pages from templates already provided, or that I customized. I also use the Thrive Architect page builder from Thrive Themes.

The page builders also include sections and widgets that allow you to create reviews, pricing plans, features, and more. You can even create your own video or use the video provided in the Brand assets in the affiliate program itself.

Here’s a sample of an Elementor Pro Template featuring the pricing plan.

The page builders also include sections and widgets that allow you to create reviews, pricing plans, features, and more. You can even create your own video or use the video provided in the Brand assets in the affiliate program itself.
Elementor Pro Template

WordPress Page Builders

Key Takeaways

Is it OK to use Google Ads for PPC in Affiliate Marketing?

It’s an acceptable practice to use PPC bidding and Google Ads for affililiate marketing provided that you follow the terms of service of the affiliate program and the budding platform.

It’s a best practice to bid on topics that are related to the brand rather than the product or brand itself.

Most affiliate marketers use stand alone landing pages, or a page on their website to send the paid traffic to rather than directly to the brand making the offer. Once the visitor is on the landing page, then they will see links to make a purchase or learn more about the offer.

Learn Affiliate Marketing

Whether you are just getting started, have some experience, or are an ultra-successful affiliate marketer, this forum is made for you!

Check out my comprehensive list of affiliate programs.

About Lori Ballen

I teach bloggers how to grow their blog, and make money through multiple streams of income. From affiliate marketing, to building courses, I share 7 income stream strategies through blogging.

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Hi! I’m Lori Ballen. I help content creators grow and monetize their channels. Are You Ready to Grow? Subscribe to receive my ebooks, video guides, and trainings.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to monetize your blog. And there are plenty of people who earn a good living from affiliate websites. However, you cannot merely throw a few affiliate links on a page and expect to make a fortune. And it wouldn't be wise to get too excited about the affiliate opportunities that suggest that you make millions of dollars with no effort. If you want to earn a steady income from affiliate marketing, it will take time and effort. Knowing a few affiliate marketing tips will help you. Here are eight tips that will help you increase your affiliate sales. 1. Pick a Niche and Stick with It People buy products from websites they trust. So, the best way to build an affiliate marketing business is to become an authority in your niche. Do not focus solely on adding affiliate sales pages to your website. Publish some helpful, informative posts as well. As an affiliate marketer, you will be recommending products to people. It would help if you gave visitors to your site confidence that you know what you are talking about to trust your recommendations. 2. Do Not Be Coy There is no benefit to be gained by hiding the fact that you will make a commission if someone follows your recommendation. Indeed, it is a legal requirement to declare on your website that you will earn a commission from affiliate sales in many regions. If you are reviewing a product on your website, people will not be surprised to learn that you may make money from sales of that product. Do not hide your affiliate links away inside a block of text. Use bold and easy to find call-to-action buttons that will tempt people to buy. 3. Be Genuine If every product you review or recommend is "awesome, amazing, and life-changing," people will not trust your opinion. There may be some products that you genuinely love and are excited to feature on your website. Still, every product mentioned on your site cannot be perfect, so do not be afraid to discuss some of the drawbacks or faults you find when reviewing affiliate products. People will want to see genuine opinions from you to weigh up the pros and cons of products for themselves. 4. Use Comparison Tables One of the most effective ways to create affiliate sales is to review a range of products in the same category. For example, you might write a review of ten of the best organic coffees or ten of the best mountain bikes. If you use this type of listed review format, you will increase your affiliate sales if you include a comparison table in your post. Product comparison tables make it easy for a visitor to see the products in one place to compare each product's features and prices. Comparison tables can also be situated at the top of the page, above the fold, which is the best place for your affiliate links. 5. Choose the Products that Maximize Your Earnings Choosing the most popular products is not always the best way to go with affiliate marketing. Often, the more obscure products will earn you higher commission rates. And fewer affiliate marketers will be promoting less popular products, so there will be less competition. When you select affiliate products to promote, weigh up all the factors, including the level of competition, commission rate, and the suitability of products for your website. 6. Target Keywords with Buying When you consider which keywords to use for an affiliate page, think about the search phrases that someone who intends to buy that product would use. A person planning to purchase something might use words like discount, review, or best, in their search phrase, for example. Affiliate marketers often target these types of keywords, so you may not reach the number one post on Google using them. Even so, if you only get a reasonable ranking on search engines, at least the people who visit your page will be buyers rather than browsers. 7. Do Not Recommend Too Many Products The highest performing affiliate marketing sites are usually those that provide useful information along with product recommendations. If you have too many products listed on a page, it will devalue the content's usefulness, and it will confuse the reader. If you are creating a list-style product comparison page, then 6-10 products will usually suffice. If you are including product recommendations in an informative article, then three products would be about right. 8. Build a Mailing List A mailing list containing the email addresses of interested people in your niche is a valuable resource for an affiliate marketer. If you have not already done so, you should encourage visitors to your site to subscribe to your mailing list. Once you have a reasonable number of people on your list, you can send them notifications when posting new content. And you can send them details of any special offers you may be able to promote. A mailing list can get you repeat business. And it is a means of getting more affiliate sales from people who did not buy anything the first time they visited your site. Conclusion If you implement the above suggestions, you should be able to increase your affiliate sales. However, the crucial point to take away is that you should be genuine in promoting products. Visitors to your site will not be concerned that you earn affiliate commissions if they buy something due to clicking a link on your website. They will, though, be less forgiving if you oversell products or you promote inferior quality products.
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