It is a common misconception that the URL to a PPC text advert does not hold any sort of importance to the success of the advert. The URL can be optimised in so many ways because it does not have to be your actual landing page’s URL. Already in the mini series ‘Understanding the Basics of Optimising PPC Text Adverts’, I have looked at how to optimise the title and description to a PPC text advert. However, like I have kind of already mentioned, a PPC text advert will not perform to its optimum without optimising all areas of the advert. For this reason, here is an understanding of the URL part to the text advert and how you can optimise it.
Like with my previous two articles, I am going to use real life adverts to support my optimisation tips. These adverts will be based on the search phrase ‘buy food':
The main area to point out with PPC text adverts nowadays is that the URL has switched places with the description while maintaining colours. This potentially could mean that web users will read, or, at least, glimpse, at your URL before the description making it more significant to the modernized PPC text advert.
The URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) part to your PPC text advert is an area which allows the advertiser to display a URL of any kind (real or made up). For search adverts, the URL will always be green. For display adverts, this changes as it is the publishers of Adsense that choose the colour combination of their text adverts.
The fact that you can make the URL whatever you want means it can be easily optimised. More freedom means a URL more specific to your campaign. For example, let’s take use of the above adverts in the image:
- Tesco PPC URL is ‘www.tesco.com/Food_Drinks’ with its real URL being ‘http://www.tesco.com/groceries/zones/default.aspx?name=search-shop&sc_cmp=ppc_g_buy%20food_e’.
- Asda’s PPC URL is ‘www.asda.com/Groceries’ with its real URL being ‘http://groceries.asda.com/asda-webstore/landing/home.shtml?cmpid=ppc-_-ghs-_-generic-dsk-_-google-_-groceries’.
- Hungry Horses’s PPC URL is ‘hungryhouse.co.uk/Order_Food_Online’ with its real URL being ‘http://hungryhouse.co.uk/?aid=75ab0d86&bid=a2a28789&gclid=CJ-dmOnCzboCFRMctAodwxsAZQ’.
This means that the tracking code you use for Google Analytics (or other similar porgrams) can be hid away from the text advert’s URL to make it look much cleaner.
Below are some ways you can optimise your URL:
- Include Keywords – Another way to make your advert generally stand out is to try and pack it with as many words that are the same as the search phrase (therefore, making more of the advert bold). You should always get at least one keyword in your URL relating to the search phrase so it is bold (like the above samples). However, I tend to find that two keywords works better bold in the URL.
- www. or not? – You can choose to include the www. in your advert. However, there is a rule with this. You would include www. only if your URL is not too long. If your URL is long without the www., leave it out. If it isn’t, include it because it will make your URL seem more like a web address link.
- Leave out http:// – This is a must. http:// is a waste of characters in your URL.
- Shorter, the better – The rule for PPC URLs is that if it is shorter, it is generally better because the web user will believe for it to be the real URL more. For example, the Hungry Horse advert does not seem as legit as Tesco and Asda’s advert – it looks like Hungry Horse is trying too hard.
A student in England studying a Masters in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created AskWillOnline.com back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as FreePoemAnalysis.com and RestoringMamods.com You can follow him @willGreeny.