Google AdWords does not have a policy the prohibits affiliate marketing. You can use it for affiliate marketing provided you follow all AdWords policies, which many affiliate marketers do not and end up with a suspended website or banned for life due to egregious violations.
The trouble most affiliate marketers find themselves in is that they fail to properly vet the affiliate merchant’s offer and try to advertise a website that fails to meet all of AdWords policies. Affiliate marketing attracts people that are lazy or are looking to avoid doing the work of creating their own offer. Those same traits often result in that same affiliate marketer avoiding the work of vetting offers for AdWords compliance, resulting in a suspended website or worse.
If you try to promote offers using websites that are not in compliance with AdWords policies you will get your website suspended and if the violation is bad enough you will end up permanently banned from advertising on AdWords.
It doesn’t matter if you are using banner ads on the display network, or text ads on the Search network, all of AdWords policies apply to all advertisers. Make sure you read, understand, and follow all policies.
I believe the assertion “Its true Google AdWords doesn’t allow affiliate marketing” is incorrect.
Let’s be accurate, Google has no policy that prohibits affiliate marketing. You just need to follow all of their advertising policies and many affiliate marketers are simply too lazy to read, understand, and comply with advertising policies.
I have managed numerous AdWords campaigns over the years for affiliate products. It’s true that AdWords has no policy against promoting affiliate offers, however, those offers must comply with all of AdWords policies.
Google holds you, the advertiser, responsible for any claims and/or business practices that might not comply with their policies. You cannot say, “it wasn’t me, it was my affiliate merchant that ripped off customers.” If you are the advertiser you are the responsible party, so vet your merchants well. Your merchant and your own reputation become one-and-the-same when you affiliate. So not only your practices but the practices of your merchant’s business must all comply with AdWords policy, else your account will be in jeopardy.
[ Native ads on AdBlade, RevContent or some other native ad network. We’ve found we get a higher click-through rate, and a little better conversion rates than banner ads on Google display .]
Sounds like you may need to improve your targeting segments. You can generally reach the same people on both networks, so if the Display network isn’t converting for you then you may need to improve your targeting methods.
You have many different options when it comes to targeting the Display network, You can get highly granular in your audience targeting. By segmenting and testing it shouldn’t be too difficult to get way better conversion rates.
CTR generally isn’t the best metric to judge banner ad performance in the Display Network campaigns. Typically, for the maximum branding effect, you want your CTR to be lower on the Display network. What matters the most is conversion rates. You should not be monitoring just last-click attribution, you need to also monitor view-through conversion and cross-channel conversions which Display is well known to drive those type of conversions.
Also, the effects of branding campaigns are cumulative, that means your conversion rate should rise gradually over time, across all channels, if you are doing it properly.
Another consideration is that you may need completely different landing pages for the different types of ads, native ads typically do best with advertorial style landing pages while landing pages for Display Network ads should be relevant to the targeting and message contained in them and work well with direct response offer pages. Perhaps you are using the wrong type of Landers for your Display banners?
While it takes a little longer to split test and optimize Display ad campaigns, due to the many possible targeting options and variations in ad formats, the payoff can be amazing if your work at it long enough.
The problem I see with most people that aren’t successful in the Display Network is that they never really go through a full cycle of campaign optimization before they quit. They really don’t know how effective a well-optimized campaign can perform, because the never close enough to one to asses it.