I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
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.
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!