Think of your finished PPC advert as a Lego building. Yes, it’s a weird way to think of a pay per click advert. Yet, a PPC advert is built up of small factors which make it what it is: just like a Lego building. These small factors are as follows (for a text advert) a headline, description and URL.  There are only three components that make up a text advert. Within these three components, it could be said the most important component is the headline (as it gains the most attention) and then the description and then the URL. This is the reason why many advertisers lose performance in their campaigns. They forget that as much as the domain isn’t as important as the other components, it still it displayed on your advert. 

There are different ways you can create a eye catching domain name for your advert. With these ways come rules. These rules will help you considerably to making your domain that bit more appealing. So that if the reader is still not convinced to click on your advert from reading the headline and description, the domain will make them want to click.


Rule 1 – You Don’t Have to Use Your Real Domain

Many advertisers make the common error that they have to use the actual domain of their landing page for their URL to be displayed on the advert. This is what Google AdWords have to say about custom domains for PPC adverts:

Display URL
This is the URL displayed in your ad to identify your site to users. The purpose of the display URL is to give users a clear idea of what website they’ll reach when they click on the ad.

Destination URL
This is the web page where Google will direct users when they click on your ad. Instead of choosing your homepage as your destination URL, consider choosing a sub-section of your site that’s directly related to your ad and keywords.

The domain of the URL that users reach after clicking your ad should match the domain of your display URL, so users know what to expect when they click your ad.

I have highlighted a few phrases in what AdWords have said – ‘identify your site’, ‘clear idea of what website they’ll reach’ and ‘should match’. You need to think of a custom domain that will identify your site. AdWords say you ‘should’ match your custom domain with the real domain. But, that isn’t a compulsory request. If you think it is better to have  a totally different domain name to your actual domain, do it! If it makes your campaign that bit more successful, then do it! An example of someone changing their domain name is and English Retail Store called ‘Littlewoods’. After googling ‘cheap laptop’, this advert appeared:

Cheap Laptops |

Leading Laptop Brands at Great Prices all with Free Delivery!

The ‘Laptop’ is in bold because that is one of my search terms. But, as you can see, the domain name displayed is:

Yet, the advert takes me to this page:,0.end?aff=google&affsrc=acquisition&cm_mmc=google-_-Electricals-_-Cheap+Laptops-_-cheap+laptop_KJqLOUTq_8449195936


Littlewoods have taken out all the rubbish they felt wasn’t related to their advert or would have made it less successful leaving it with the bits in bold. A small change to your domain like this can make such a difference.


Rule 3 – http:// and www. are not Compulsary

This links in with the above rule. You do not have to use http:// or www. at the beginning of your custom domain name. We all know what they mean and it just takes up space of your advert! The only reason you would use www. is if you wanted your link to look more like a link. The stereotypical web address,, is something everyone knows and is something that is click-able. Changing it may cause people to not associate it with a web address and therefore a potential click.


Rule 3 – Keep it Short and Snappy

Let me ask you a question. Which advert looks more appealing? Advert 1 or 2:

Advert 1

Cheap Laptops |

Leading Laptop Brands at Great Prices all with Free Delivery!


Advert 2

Cheap Laptops |

Leading Laptop Brands at Great Prices all with Free Delivery!


For me it’s advert 1. By the time I have read the domain, I have lost interest of the advert. For this reason, keep your custom domain to as short as possible. It should include your actual web address (i.e. for me, it’s ‘askwillonline’ from and have one or two at max keywords in it.


A few rules like these can have such an impact to your campaign. Remember, even if you think the domain isn’t important, it’s what makes your advert look more like a link, more click-able. It gives the reader that bit more information. A few easy five minute tricks and your domain is optimized for use in an advert. Simple!

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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