An appropriately written PPC advertisement is one of the keys to success in search marketing, but how much does your domain name impact that success? According to a study by Memorable Domains, having an exact match domain can double your number of clicks.
The Specifics of the Study
The PPC–domain name behaviors study from Memorable Domains was fairly small in scale and geographically limited, but results are interesting nevertheless. The methodology used identical advertisements for three domains that were placed on Google AdWords. The difference was that the primary domain name being tested (ElectricBicycles.co.uk) was an exact match to the targeted keyword (electric bicycles). The other two domains were YourBikes.co.uk and InAHurry.co.uk.
The exact match domain saw a 42% increase in the CTR, but the success of the ad when presented wasn't the only benefit. The ad also showed more frequently and had a higher quality score, resulting in 105% percent more clicks than InAHurry.co.uk and 45% more clicks than YourBikes.co.uk. However, some variability (up or down) would likely be seen in long-term testing that took into account multiple industries, additional domain options, and other alternatives; the study's scope in total duration was fairly brief, with less than 2,000 total clicks achieved before the study was closed.
As reported by TheDomains.com, the success of the exact match domain was due to "The close match between the domain name and the product searched for (irrespective of the search keywords used)," "automatic bolding of search terms in the domain," and "the potential positive impact of the domain name on ad quality score."
All of this is common sense for those familiar with Google AdWords PPC, but the exact amount of benefit in both CTR and total clicks for the domain name alone is striking. This is also one of the first dedicated studies to examine how a domain name impacts the success of a pay-per-click marketing effort.