facebook advertising

How to create a Facebook landing page that won’t get your ad account shut down

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top of post imageYou’ve probably heard by now that Facebook are actively shutting down advertising accounts that aren’t following their advertising guidelines. This is a good thing when the advertiser is clearly trying to do something shady by breaking the rules.

But what about those of us who do our best to adhere to Facebook ad policies and guidelines? How can we make sure we don’t end up having our Facebook ad account shut down?

I’ve never had an account shut down, but I’ve spoken to lots of people who have and I’ve heard plenty of stories where people thought they were doing the right thing & still got shut down.

It can be really damaging for people to rely on Facebook advertising to generate revenue, and trying to get the account re-instated can be a very difficult process.

Most people focus on making sure their actual ads on Facebook are compliant with Facebook ad policy.

The part that often gets overlooked is the landing page that those ads are sending people to.

One of the most common reasons I see for ads being rejected or accounts being shut down is due to the landing page, not the Facebook ads themselves.

Running ads that take people directly to a landing page, opt-in page, squeeze page, sales page, or whatever else you might call it is perfectly fine in Facebook’s eyes. You just need to make sure that, like your ads, the landing page is compliant with Facebook’s guidelines as well.

In this post you’ll learn how to create a Facebook landing page that won’t get your ad account shut down and will help you actually increase conversions.

Now I’ll walk you through everything you need to consider to make sure your Facebook landing page is compliant with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.

Note: I've also created a free one-page checklist for you to use as a quick reference instead of coming back to this massive post every time you create a new landing page.

Grab a copy of the free checklist here

1.     Maintain good ‘Ad Scent’

Ad Scent is the link between your Facebook ad and your landing page. Having good ad scent means having similar copy, images, headline, font, colours and/or language between your ad and your landing page.

In other words, you want to make sure that your ad looks & feels the same as your landing page.

There are lots of ways to maintain good ad scent.

One way is to use the same image that you use in your ad somewhere on your landing page.

You could use the same heading on both your ad and landing page.

Or you could use the same colour palette in your ad as you do on your landing page.

The idea is to make sure people feel like they have been taken to the right place after clicking on the ad. The last thing you want is for someone to click on the ad & then feel like they’ve been sent somewhere that they weren’t expecting.

Having strong ‘Ad Scent’ not only helps keep you in Facebook’s good books, it also helps increase conversions. This is definitely something you should always consider when running Facebook ads, no matter where you are sending the user.

If you’re promoting clicks to a blog post, one of the simplest ways to achieve good ad scent is to use the feature image from your post as your Facebook ad image.

Here is a great example from Sprout Social, taken from my news feed:

Below you can see the Facebook news feed ad.

Notice it uses the text ‘5 Habits of Successful Social Media Managers’. Also take note of the image they’ve used.

 

 

Sproutsocial FB Advertisement

 

Now you can see the landing page we are taken to after clicking the ad.

Notice that they’ve used a very similar image on the landing page as in the ad.

Also, the page heading is ‘5 Habits of Successful Social Media Managers’, which is the text we saw in the ad.

 

Sproutsocial Facebook Landing Page

 

It’s obvious as soon as I hit the landing page that I’m in the right place and I’m going to get what I expected when I clicked the ad.

 

2.     Links that take people away from the page

This might contradict advice you’ve seen elsewhere about optimizing conversion rates for landing pages, but you need to have external links on your landing page if you’re running Facebook ads to it.

Facebook don’t like you sending people to landing pages that are a ‘dead end’. They should be able to navigate from your landing page to your main web site or somewhere that they can find out more about you & your business.

The main reason for this is making sure that advertisers are legitimate. Not many legitimate businesses have only a single landing page and no other website or presence.

Make sure you include a link on your landing page to something like your homepage, blog, about page, sitemap, or anything else where people can learn more about you or your business.

 

Check out this example from Bing

This is a landing page that people are directed to after clicking a Bing ad on Facebook.

The Facebook ad promised a free voucher, and you can see the prominent button in the middle of the landing page to claim that offer.

But you’ll also notice at the top of the page there is a menu with links to help visitors get more information & learn more about Bing ads. These types of links are what Facebook likes to see on a landing page.

 

Bing Facebook landing page

 

You don’t necessarily need a full menu like Bing have used in this example, but I highly recommend including at least one link that takes visitors away from the landing page.

 

3.     Include a link to your privacy policy

In addition to including external links, you also need to link to your Privacy Policy.

This wasn’t always the case, but a privacy policy is no longer optional if you’re creating a Facebook landing page.

The privacy policy explains to people how you intend to use their data, how it will be stored, how long it will be kept for, how to contact the company & more.

Creating a privacy policy doesn’t have to be difficult. There are online services that you can use (usually for a fee), or you can use a WordPress plugin to generate one for you.

Personally I like the free WordPress plugin called Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You just answer a few questions and it will create a Privacy Policy and a Terms of Service document for your website. Really quick and easy!

 

Let’s look at an example from Infusionsoft:

As you can see, all it takes is a link to your Privacy Policy in the footer of the page to make sure you are compliant.

 

Infusionsoft Facebook landing page

 

4.     Disable all pop-ups for your landing page

Facebook doesn’t like landing pages that use automated pop-ups.

If you’ve got some site-wide pop-ups or welcome mats installed, you should disable them for your Facebook landing page.

Even the exit-intent style pop-ups are a no go if you’re running Facebook ads to the page.

 

Full Screen Popup

 

You can however use popups that are triggered by a button press.

For example if your landing page has a button that says ‘click to sign up now’ that presents a pop-up box for the user to enter their email address when pressed, that’s ok.

Check out the image below for an idea of what I mean by this.

 

Button triggered pop up

 

 

5.     Always put your Facebook landing page on your own domain

Facebook doesn’t like sending traffic to particular URL’s, particularly those owned by landing page services.

It’s not that these services aren’t legitimate, in fact most of the ones you’ve probably heard of like Clickfunnels, Leadpages, Instapage, etc. are extremely reputable, trustworthy companies.

The reason Facebook doesn’t like sending traffic to these domains isn’t 100% clear, but it may be because of a very small percentage of their users doing the wrong thing and getting the domain blacklisted.

You can however use popups that are triggered by a button press.

For example if your landing page has a button that says ‘click to sign up now’ that presents a pop-up box for the user to enter their email address when pressed, that’s ok.

Check out the image below for an idea of what I mean by this.

 

So what does this actually mean?

It means you should not send people from a Facebook ad to a landing page with a URL like:

http://andrewhubbard.clickfunnels.com/my-special-offer

Instead, place the landing page on your own domain. The URL should then look something like this:

http://andrewhubbard.co/my-special-offer

 

How do you place a landing page on your own domain?

The method varies depending on how you create your landing pages.

If you use a web developer to create custom landing pages for you then it’s extremely likely they will always be on your own domain. if you’re unsure, just double check with your web developer.

If you’re using a landing page creation service like Clickfunnels, Instapage or Leadpages, the method varies slightly for each but it’s always quite simple.

All of the services I just mentioned offer a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily put landing pages on your own domain. That’s the easiest way to do it and the way I recommend.

All you need to do is install the WordPress plugin and follow the instructions to ‘import’ you landing pages into your WordPress site.

6.     Make sure the offer in your Facebook ad matches the offer on your landing page

This is a fairly common mistake that leads to ads getting rejected, and often it’s unintentional.

Your landing page must closely match the offer that is presented in your ad. You should always make sure you aren’t misleading users by showing them one thing in an ad and sending them to a landing page that offers something different.

This is something that Facebook really don’t like because it damages the user experience. They do not want users to feel like they’ve been duped into clicking on ads.

Be careful to make sure your landing pages matches what you’re promising in your ad and you will be fine.

 

For example:

If your ad offers a coupon for a free movie ticket, but the landing page offers a coupon for a free iTunes movie download it’s not going to be compliant with Facebook’s guidelines.

The are similar, but the user expects a ticket to the cinema when they click the ad. However when they reach the landing page they are getting a digital download instead.

 

7.     Don’t include anything that prevents users from leaving or closing your landing page

You’ve probably seen those annoying pop-up boxes that appear when you try to leave a page or close your browser before.

The ones that usually say something like ‘Are you sure you want to leave? If you leave this site you will lose your special offer…..’. And they generally have a button to confirm you want to leave and one to stay.

They usually look something like this:

 

on close dialog

 

These are a big no-no if you’re running Facebook traffic to the page. Make sure you turn them off for your Facebook landing pages.

Honestly, they are extremely annoying and usually only used by shady websites anyway. I’d suggest turning them off on any pages you own, but that’s just my opinion.

 

8.   Don’t include any content that’s banned by Facebook

You know that it’s important to stick to Facebook’s advertising guidelines when you’re creating Facebook ads.

One of the things covered by the guidelines is the type of content that is prohibited.

It’s important to note that these guidelines don’t just apply to your Facebook ads. They also apply to your landing page. You should never include any content that is prohibited by Facebook in your landing page.

Even if your ad is free of prohibited content, if it’s on your landing page you risk getting your advertising account shut down.

Another thing to note is that Facebook update the advertising guidelines very regularly. Make sure you check them every time you are creating a new Facebook landing page.

 

9.     Your landing page must not trigger any automatic downloads or auto-play videos

This one is fairly simple.

When a person visits your landing page, it should not trigger an automated download of any kind.

Any videos on the page also shouldn’t autoplay.

If a person is presented with a request to save a file when they visit your landing page it’s a red flag for Facebook.

Even if it’s something harmless like an ebook you promised that downloads as soon as they hit the page, it’s not allowed. The user must be in control. They need to click a button to trigger a download or click play to start watching a video.

Again, you probably don’t need to worry too much about this one. This is something that the vast majority of people don’t do, simply because there aren’t many legitimate reasons to do it.

 

10. Make sure there is nothing misleading about your landing page

This is another rule that is in place in order to protect Facebook users from being deceived.

You should always make sure that your offer is very clear and people know exactly what to expect when they opt in or sign up for your product or service. There should be no surprises, no matter how small.

Your landing page needs to include all of the details of your offer, including the fine print (or a link to it).

Another important thing to note is your landing page must deliver EXACTLY what you promised in the ad.

If the ad promises instant access to a video, but your landing page requires an email address before the visitor can watch it, then it’s not instant. That means your landing page isn’t in compliance with Facebook’s guielines.

 

Here’s another example:

If you’re asking people to sign up for a free trial that automatically bills them after 2 weeks, you need to tell them clearly that the free trial ends in 2 weeks and they will be billed at that time.

Simply promoting the 2 week trial without telling them that they will be billed after 2 weeks will land you in Facebook’s bad books.

 

11.     Make sure the page has no errors and is not still ‘under construction’

 

under construction landing page

 

You would think that this would be obvious, especially when we’re talking about a page that you’re paying money to send traffic to. But it seems that some people still run Facebook ads to landing pages that have errors or aren’t finished.

Usually it’s just a bug or lack of testing that causes the problem.

To avoid this, make sure everything is up and running and working properly before you launch your ad campaign.

Triple check everything and test any forms with your own email address to confirm it all works.

Another tip is to test your page on all of the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) before running your ad campaign. It may look good on one, but not work properly on another.

Spending a little bit of extra time checking everything could save you from getting ads rejected & possibly getting your FB account flagged, as well as prevent you from wasting money.

If you want to take things a step further, you can work on improve the loading time of your landing page. This is a proven way to actually increase conversions because if a page takes too long to load, people just leave.

To check your site's load speed you can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool. You can also check how fast your web host is performing using this Server Speed Checker.

12.     Include the Facebook retargeting pixel

This one won’t help you protect your Facebook ad account, but it will help increase the performance of your advertising campaigns.

The Facebook retargeting pixel lets you retarget previous website visitors with Facebook ads. It’s an extremely powerful marketing tool that allows you to significantly reduce your ad costs if used wisely.

I’ve covered this topic in detail in a previous post about the Facebook retargeting pixel, so I won’t go into it too much here.

Basically you want to make sure you’ve added the Facebook retargeting pixel to your landing page before you start your Facebook ad campaign.

This will allow you to run Facebook ads just to those people who have visited your landing page but who haven’t opted-in, bought your product etc.

These highly targeted ads help to encourage people who have expressed interest in your product or service to come back to your landing page and sign up or buy your product or service.

 

13.     Make your Facebook landing page mobile optimized

This is another tip for improving the performance (conversion rate) of your Facebook landing page.

Not having a mobile optimized landing page won’t get your ads rejected or account banned, but it will affect the performance of your advertising campaigns.

To put this into perspective, 44% of Facebook users only access the service through a mobile device, according to this article from Venturebeat. That means they never use it on a desktop device at all!

So it your landing page doesn’t display properly on mobile, it’s possible that up to 44% of people who click your ad won’t see your landing page as you intended.

Most landing page builders like the ones I mentioned previously offer mobile optimized templates. Likewise, a lot of WordPress themes support mobile now as well.

That doesn’t mean you should assume your page looks good on mobile. Always check your landing on a mobile device (even a few different ones like iPhone & iPad if possible) before you run ads to it.

 

Conclusion

Make sure you follow these 13 tips for every Facebook landing page you create and you’ll be well on the way to keeping your Facebook advertising account safe.

Unfortunately like most things in life, there are no guarantees. At the end of the day Facebook use their discretion when deciding on which ads to reject and when an account gets shut down.

But by following these steps you’ll greatly increase your chances of staying on Facebook’s good side and keeping your ad account safe.

So you don’t have to come back to this huge post every time you create a landing page, I’ve created a checklist for you with all 13 steps.

Grab a copy of the free checklist and keep it handy to look through every time you create a new landing page.