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  1. #1
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    June 8th, 2006
    Subdomains vs. Subdirectories with AdWords
    Not sure if this has been asked before.

    Does anyone have insight and experience into which is better in click/conversion volume for PPC campaigns to use as the displayed URL in the search engine: (subdomains)

    OR (subdirectories)

    Also, does capitalization in either case really seem to make any difference? I use mostly AdWords, with a bit of Yahoo Search Mktg for good measure.

    I should add that some of my AdWords ads go to real landing pages I made, while others get immediately redirected through my affiliate links (after my subdomain/subdir redirects them to the aff links) to the merchant's home page. Not sure if that makes a difference in terms of my original question, though.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 14th, 2006
    I haven't done any numerical calculations, but overall, it always seems that the subdomain display always attracted more clicks. Directory display URLs have never seemed to attract squat for me. Maybe it's b/c the user scan-reads, and never really makes it to the keywords in your directory name, who knows.

    To tell you the truth, I've done both ways thoroughly, but have found overall that if your base domain (i.e., matches the product you are promoting, you're CTR increases rather well. This means that you'll need quite a few domains for each merchant, which I think a lot here are opposed to doing.

    I tested this with two sites that were only getting like a 0.9% CTR. These were setup with a directory format. Afterwards, I put these sites on their own domain, to see if it would help, and sure enough, the CTR jumped to about 2.5% on average.

    Searchers are a lot smarter than they used to be, in part to all the crap they've learned to avoid (maybe it's the long URLs that scare them, or if they're searching for books, and see some blanketed URL like, it may be enough to keep them away)

    All of this is heresay to this point. Remember, I haven't sat down to do any serious number crunching to back this up. Just perceptions.
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  3. #3
    Newbie alt-j's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 11th, 2006
    down here
    Something else to consider and test is using a display domain without the www
    e.g. instead of
    I've seen places where one performs better than the other but it depends on the domain name and the market you're in.

    Regarding capitalization, I've seen mixed results usually depending on the domain length. Typically I've seen no difference with but with something like capitilization has helped.

    One of the beautiful things about adwords and msn right now is that it's easy to split test things like this and see what works best in your situation. I'm glad Y! will be adding that functionality soon.

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