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Looks like more and more companies won't allow you to directly push traffic to their own domains via PPC and instead make you create a landing page, no problems here (and also gives me a change to try googles new optimizer). However in terms of where you host this page just wondered what peoples thoughts were. The options I think would be:
1. Seperate Domains - Create a domain for each category of widget you are trying to sell, ie www.bluewidgets.com, www.yellowwidgets.com, www.wibbles.com. Benefits I can see is for the user gives them a nice warm feeling that the site is for that widget and creates a feeling of trust. Downsides is the sheer cost of all those domains and also the availability.
2. Generic Domain - Create a new word and put the landing pages in this domain. ie www.gobbligook.com/bluewidgets.htm. benefits is it is cheap and reletavly easy to maintain. Downside is the user might have a funny feeling about the domain (I know I would) and might be hesitent to click through in the first place when you display it in the ad.
3. Generic Domain with subdomains - Similar to above but using the product as the subdomain. ie bluewidgets.gobbligook.com. Benefits is it might make a user feel a little more comfortable. Downsides as above.
Or is there a magic fourth way I am completly overlooking?
But if you're doing the same niche like "widgets", then I'd find a general widget related domain...i.e. www.bestwidgetsever.com and then create new folders (bestwidgetsever.com/greenwidgets/), or use dynamic content (bestwidgetsever.com/?k=greenwidgets).
As far as displaying the domain, you can put any type of display as long as your root domain is somewhere in there, so I would just try to get a root domain that is relevant.
If you are promoting 100 products that are all in the same genre, you can get away with one domain and use relevant extensions in your display URL. For example, if you are promoting ringtones, you could probably get away with something like:
www.myringtonesite.com/artist, or www.myringtonesite.com/carrier
and create hundreds of targeted landing pages. I've had success with both methods, but you have to use the appropriate method for the appropriate products. It's something you have to look at and make an executive decision :)
I'd find a general widget related domain...i.e. www.bestwidgetsever.com
When finding this domain do you think the average user is concerned with it being .com, .net, .org etc? Also does your average user notice the domain might seem "cheap" to a more savvy user. ie www.cheap-blue-widgets-online.net to me screams "don't go near it!" or am I giving people too much credit?
i was also wondering about .com vs .net vs.biz etc
It all depends what you are promoting. If you have 100 completely different products, you'd be well served to have a separate domain for each of them. You wouldn't want to have:
The solution is to find a "generic" domain, like "qualityproducts.com" then any sort of folder or page name would work fine. (I have no idea if that's a working domain - feel free to check)
@jimp - You definitely want to be using very specific keywords to drive traffic to specific landing pages. Using PPC to send an untargeted user to a landing page is pure waste, since they won't find what they are looking for and aren't likely to convert.
@bateman - I've always had more success with .com names. I think the .com is a standard that is so integrated into the internet culture that it represents the ultimate domain extension. However, I agree that the hyphenated domain names look a little more sketchy. If it came down to using a hyphenated domain name or a .net or .org, I'd be tempted to go with the .net or .org, especially for PPC purposes. I would highly suggest putting some time in to come up with a good domain name. If I sit down and research synonyms and alternate ways of presenting the same terms in my domain name, I can usually get the .com for something that works and fits well to what I'm planning to promote. I like to use domainsbot.com and an online thesaurus for this kind of stuff.