Several of our clients have compliance teams that must approve each and every word the company uses to promote its services and/or products. According to Wikipedia, compliance is defined as:  “the goal that corporations or public agencies aspire to in their efforts to ensure that personnel are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant laws and regulations.”

It’s quite a tedious process to submit each and every PPC ad text to a team that will pick and poke at each word you use.  But what is more important than anything is representing the company in the best, safest way possible.

In this post I’ll give you five tips that we use that has made this approval process a little smoother:

  1. Be sure to ask your client before hand for words you shouldn’t or can’t say.  I would steer away from asking your clients about what you should say – then you’re really limited to testing capabilities.  But if you ask what you shouldn’t say in an ad text then hopefully you’ll only have a few restrictions that you’ll know to stay away from.  By requesting words you can’t say before hand this will save you time having to go back and make changes to your PPC ads and having to re-submit them again to your client for approval.
  2. Start working proactively.  Typically I would say most companies work within 24 to 48 hours in getting back with you on an ad text approval. Some companies even work in a week timeframe which is a really long time to get an approval for an ad text.  So start working in advance. Plan out your month ahead of time and know when you need to submit new ad text to the compliance team in order to make them live on time.
  3. Another tip that has worked for us in the past is to take notes on feedback your client gives you when writing your ad text.  If you take notes and keep those notes out when writing your next batch of ads you’ll be more likely to get approval the first round. This again will make your approvals go faster and you will sustain much less frustration sending your ads back and forth to be approved.
  4. A general practice for most companies is to NOT promote any guarantees or claims. For medical companies you typically cannot say ‘cure’, as this states there is a cure for a disease when their may not be. Also guaranteeing any kind of specific results or making any promises in an ad text can get you in trouble as well.  For example, a search engine marketing company should never say, ‘Page 1 Rankings Guaranteed’, or a weight loss dietary supplement company should never guarantee that you will lose weight using their product since everyone can react differently.
  5. And finally, we have found it’s much easier to make ad text changes in an excel spreadsheet over making them in AdWords editor. It’s much quicker to make changes via the spreadsheet rather than having to go back into editor and make the changes there.

I think the biggest tip I can give you on having to work with a compliance team is to just have patience. Don’t write you ads too quickly and think about them thoroughly before sending them off to be reviewed and approved.  Even if you’re not currently working with a compliance team for one of your clients, if any new client comes on board they’ll be happy to know that you are aware of how to manage a PPC account with a compliance team just from reading this post!

If anyone else has any tips on working with a compliance team feel free to let us all know!