A common trick in PPC is to include keywords in your Display URL (the URL that is displayed with your PPC ad). The display URL doesn’t HAVE to work, but it should. I don’t have any stats on this, but if someone does a copy / paste of your display URL, and it goes to a 404 page, you just lost that potential customer.

Searching for Christmas lights shows the top 2 ads are using Display URLs with keywords in them.

Google AdWords Display URL

The first link, http://www.christmaslightsetc.com/lights, goes to a very useful 404 page. In fact, I’m sure most users won’t even see the error message and quickly click on the Christmas lights image, yet that’s one click further away from the sale.

The second link, http://www.1000bulbs.com/Christmas-Lights/, works just fine, and takes the user right where they want to go.

Bronners, another PPC advertiser on the page, shows users http://bronners.com/Lights – a very ugly 404 page.

Redirecting your Display URL to the proper Destination URL is easy to do with .htaccess. Here’s a quick example:

RewriteEngine On
Redirect 301 /save http://www.yourdomain.com/savings-page.php

So now your display URL can be YourDomain.com/save and the user will be taken to http://www.yourdomain.com/savings-page.php.

Every little bit helps!


1 Comment » for Display URL That Works
  1. I use to do the former a couple of years ago. Why would anyone type-in the green display url when the blue hyperlinked title is RIGHT THERE!? I still found out later I had type-in traffic. At least all my 404 went to my index.

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