The Versa Blog

Affiliate Program Paid Search Restrictions

August 24, 2012

When launching or re-launching an affiliate program it’s important to structure paid search restrictions properly.  There are basic and then more complex ways to implement restrictions into an affiliate marketing program.  Below is a brief description of the typical paid search restrictions for the affiliate channel.
Approved Search Engines
This setting specifies the search engines that affiliates are allowed to use in their search marketing campaigns.
Direct Linking
This option allows or disallows affiliates from linking directly to your website from a paid search ad.  If this isn’t allowed the affiliate would need to link to their website and then direct the customer to the advertise site (usually after an offer, write-up, review, etc. is provided).
Ad Copy Content Recommendations
It is generally a best practice for advertisers to provide recommended copy for an affiliate’s paid search ads.  This guides affiliates into using copy that represents the brand properly and is shown to convert.
Restricted Ad Copy Content
This would be ad copy that publishers are prohibited from using in their search marketing campaigns.
Recommended Display URL Content
These are recommended display URL terms that affiliates can use in the display URL of their paid search ads.  Similar to Ad copy, this helps affiliates use acceptable and high converting terms.
Restricted Display URL Content
This is display URL terms that publishers are prohibited from using in their search marketing campaigns.
Keyword Recommendation
It is a good practice for advertisers to provide a list of high performing keywords that affiliates can use in their paid search campaigns.
Non-compete Keywords
These represent the keywords that affiliates are prohibited from outranking the advertiser in their search marketing campaigns.
Restricted Keywords
These make up the keywords that affiliates are prohibited from bidding on in the search engines.  Restricted keywords is one of the mostly commonly used restrictions.  Typically, advertisers restrict the usage of brand name and trade market terms.  It’s important to expressly list what is restricted.  For example, do you want to restrict the use of CompanyName or Company + term.  CompanyName + term would be CompanyName coupons.
After the paid search restrictions are carefully identified and implemented, it’s important to monitor the restriction.  At Versa Marketing we use a tool called BrandVerity to monitor our affiliate paid search restrictions.  This tool allows us to set up individual monitoring for our clients and their affiliate program restrictions.  We’re provided daily alerts and can act accordingly to stop the violator.
Please reach out to our affiliate marketing team if you have questions setting up your restrictions.

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