Buying a Good URL Ain't the Half of It

By Aaron Goldman, VP Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

The ranting continues on...

As some of you may know, when I’m not doing the “search thing” I’m out scouring ads for URLs to post to my Good URL Bad URL blog.

Jeremiah Johnston touched on this topic near and dear to my heart in his article, “What domain name is right for your campaign?”

Jeremiah lays out his basic premise in the subtitle -- “When launching a campaign, consider more than the website's content -- consider what URL will reel audiences in.”

He goes on to play up the importance of securing non-branded domains, giving the examples such as Russian Standard buying (for the cool price of $3MM) and Calvin Klein buying

Of course, this strategy works not only for extending the brand but there are SEO benefits as well when using keyword-rich URLs.

So where’s the rant, you ask?

My beef here is not disputing Jeremiah’s POV. In fact, I commend it.

Here’s the rub, though -- choosing a good URL is only half the battle. As readers of Good URL Bad URL know, many marketers fall down when it comes to promoting the very URLs they’ve spent so much time and money buying and building.

At, I share examples of some of the best and worst URLs in action. Check it out when you have some time to kill and if you come across and good or bad URLs, please send them my way.

As it relates to search, marketers need to take heed when creating display URLs for text or image-based creative. Remember to capitalize the first letter of each word to help it stand out and don’t use http or www -- it takes up precious space and distracts from the domain itself.

To illustrate my point, which display URL are you most likely to notice on a crowded SERP?


Good URL

Seem like a no brainer, right? Unfortunately, this aspect is often overlooked among the myriad optimization tactics at a search marketer’s disposal.

And when it comes to realizing the impact of the “non-click” as discussed in my previous post, only a URL that clearly stands out has a chance at being remembered.

For more tips, refer to my Do’s and Don’t on the right rail of

And be sure to check out my byline that ran Monday in iMediaConnection on this topic.


Anonymous said...

I completely see your point on the capitalization of words within your URL, and six month's ago I would have said the www is really better left out. However, I have since split-tested hundereds of ads across a half-dozen different industries. What I found suprised me. Without the www the CTR increased. With the www the CTR was slightly lower, but conversions increased. This happened consistantly across campaigns, industries, and ad platforms.

This was so suprising it changed the way I split-test ads. I do not look at the CTR or Average CPC unless the Conversion rates of the ads are with-in a small margin. This seems to be a leap for many PPC marketers and analysts, especially since Google bases part of the quality score on CTR.

So I use thw www every time. My cost per converion trends prove it to my clients.

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