Legal Marketing 101

Google Ads Policies: Ep. 1: Introduction

February 19, 2024 Rosen Advertising Season 3 Episode 5
Legal Marketing 101
Google Ads Policies: Ep. 1: Introduction
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Introduction to Google Ads Policies

Join our host, Toby Rosen, as we start to navigate the complex labyrinth of Google Ads policies and ensure your legal marketing tactics stand up to scrutiny and deliver results. In our latest Legal Marketing 101 series, we delve into why adhering to these policies is a non-negotiable for lawyers and small law firms. In our journey, we'll also lay the bricks for creating ad campaigns that are bulletproof to compliance issues right from the get-go.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Legal Marketing 101. I'm Toby Rosen. We all know that Google Ads serves as a really powerful platform for lawyers and for small law firms, particularly to reach potential clients and to grow their practices. But success on this platform really hinges not just on effective advertising strategies, but also through understanding the Google Ads platform, and what that means and what we're going to be talking about today is the Google Ads policies. Today we're going to start diving into the fundamental policies of Google Ads and the significance that we need to sort of take from these policies and what that practically means in our advertising, because understanding and adhering to these policies is pretty crucial for maintaining a good advertising system and maximizing your performance. And then, ultimately, there's some bad stuff that can happen here too, whether that's avoiding penalties or account suspensions. We're going to talk about all of that and we're starting a series. Today we're going to be talking about Google Ads policies and how they encompass a really wide range of guidelines and restrictions that are designed to supposedly ensure a safe, transparent and user-friendly advertising environment. These policies govern all aspects of ad content, of targeting and user experience to help, again, supposedly safeguard the interests of users and advertisers and Google's overall platform integrity, and I think that one's really the key when you take into account those supposedly and that's Google's own image of its platform integrity. So we're not going to get into the politics of it, but that's why I'm going to make a caveat to some of the things I'm saying here. But throughout this series, we're really going to dive into the intricacies of Google Ads policies as they pertain to legal advertising specifically, and hopefully we're going to equip you with the knowledge and the insights you need to navigate the platform confidently and, most importantly, compliantly.

Speaker 1:

For lawyers, and particularly for small law firms, complying with Google Ads policies isn't just a matter of some sort of regulatory adherence. It really is sort of a cornerstone of being successful when it comes to the digital age. You have to be complying with these policies or doing some really fancy footwork to get around complying with them to actually be able to be successful. And a lot of people would say that this is for ethical or for professional practice reasons, and in some states that is becoming the truth. Google's policies are guiding what people are calling policy for the internet. They're creating this type of policy that is, defining ethics in a new generation of legal practice, but I will say that there are still again not to get political plenty of things that I disagree with in Google's policies. Despite their well-meaning intent, there are just a bunch of things that I disagree with in the policy, and I disagree a lot with how the policy is implemented.

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to stop editorializing and let's talk about what these Google policies are designed to do. So they're important for you and they're something you need to know about. But what is it that you're trying to do and what is the general sort of theme of the policy so that you can try and stay away from that? So, in general, google ads policies are trying to serve as a safeguard against deceptive, misleading or harmful advertising practices, and I know that's broad. They want to try and promote fair competition and consumer trust within all industries, really. So by upholding these policies, lawyers and law firms and now don't always go ahead and go only to their firms, to their individual shareholders also can demonstrate their commitment to transparency, integrity and all of this kind of client-centric service. So if you follow these policies, they actually will guide you into the right type of advertising.

Speaker 1:

But, beyond ethical considerations, the compliance is still really essential for maintaining a positive online reputation and, ultimately for fostering trust with prospective clients. If you start violating the policies, you're going to start to undermine your brand reputation eventually and that can start to jeopardize client relationships. It could take a while and that bridge can be a little bit difficult to see how it sort of connects, but it can be challenging business-wise. But non-compliance with Google Ads policies it also carries some tangible consequences when it comes to Google Ads. So first off is ad disapproval. That's something many of us have been through and if that gets too bad, we're talking about account suspensions or sometimes even permanent bans from the platform and these penalties. They can disrupt marketing efforts. They can essentially end businesses by impeding client acquisition and it's really an understatement to say that they're going to hinder the growth of your legal practice if one of these happens to you. So prioritizing compliance with Google Ads policy isn't just a regulatory or platform obligation. It is really actually a strategic imperative for lawyers and for any law firm really, when we're talking about thriving in today's digital marketplace.

Speaker 1:

So let's talk a little bit about the different types of ads policies and how those are sort of shaped and in the realm of online advertising, these Google Ads policies, they're kind of a regulatory framework that trickles down into other platforms as well. So they govern content format, behavior of ads displayed across this gigantic network of platforms and partner sites that Google operates. So understanding the policies that Google Ads uses generally is going to help you understand policies at a lot of other advertising platforms. And so Google Ads policies encompass three primary categories, that's, advertising policies, editorial policies and content policies. I'll say those three again Advertising, editorial and content. The advertising policies they outline the standards and restrictions governing the promotion of goods and services across the Google Ads network. These policies cover a really wide range of topics, including prohibited content, restricted practices, compliance requirements that are specific to various industries and to different business sectors. And then editorial policies focus on the quality and integrity of ad content and that ensures that advertisements are clear, accurate and relevant to users' interests Because, like I've said in previous episodes, really we want to be aligned with Google. So these editorial policies govern specific aspects of ads themselves, like specific language usage, punctuation, capitalization, formatting for consistency and for readability across ad campaigns. And then content policies are number three. They govern the nature and appropriateness of website content linked to by Google Ads. These policies aim to ensure that landing pages and destination sites actually do provide users with valuable, relevant and, most importantly, safe experiences. Content policies also address issues like prohibited content categories and restricted products or services, and user safety considerations. That's the less fun side of things. But by understanding the nuances of these policy categories and I highly recommend you read up if you're gonna be spending any significant time in Google Ads you, even as a lawyer, can develop a really interesting advertising strategy that is not only compliant but is maximizing what's possible on Google Ads, and by doing that we're gonna resonate with our target audience and do all of the cool stuff we wanna do with Google Ads.

Speaker 1:

But before we wrap up with our first episode, I wanna talk about a couple of common misconceptions about Google Ads policies. This is something maybe you've heard, but many advertisers, like lawyers and law firms and everybody else really we all have these kind of misconceptions or just misunderstandings about what Google's regulatory framework actually looks like. One of the biggest common misconceptions is that Google Ads policies are overly restrictive or arbitrary and that they can stifle creativity and stop innovation in advertising campaigns. But the reality is the policies are pretty well designed to safeguard user interests and they do kind of promote fair competition and they definitely do maintain the integrity of the advertising system, but sometimes they're implemented in ways that are a little bit aggressive, or sometimes they're implemented a little bit hamhandedly where Google isn't really paying attention, and that's one of my big beefs with these policies. Another misconception is that compliance with Google Ads policies is optional or secondary to other marketing priorities. But adherence to these policy guidelines is kind of the first thing we have to do. If we can't get ads approved, if we're getting our accounts suspended, we're not gonna be able to run ads in the first place. So while we do wanna be focused on how we can be creative and how we can reach our customers, we do have to do that entirely through the lens of what is the policy of the platform that we're running on, and that's true, not just on Google.

Speaker 1:

Some advertisers also kind of mistakenly believe that getting around the Google ads policies through what Google would call deceptive or manipulative tactics I'll tell you it's called cloaking. That is some kind of that in some way that this is a viable strategy for even just short term gains. But it really doesn't work. There are, every now and then, people who are able to do something in the advertising system and take advantage of a lapse in review policy, but the long term damage that most companies who do things like this face is severe and, in some cases, ones I've seen with my own eyes. People end up in severe legal trouble over things like this. So trying to get around the policy is usually not the way to go.

Speaker 1:

By having an understanding of these policies, firms like yours can help cultivate a compliance focused mindset in the advertising team. That's going to help you build actually sustainable campaigns that not only work well and resonate with the target audience, but you don't have to have any fear that something's going to be disapproved or taken down or reported for some reason. We're going to be talking more about Google advertising policies in the coming weeks. We're going to have a couple more episodes as part of this series, so stay tuned for those. That's it for legal marketing 101. Check out rosanadvertisingcom for more. Thanks.

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