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How Exact Match Domains Drive Revenue and Decrease Ad Budgets

Investing in an exact match domain adds concrete value and shaves the budget. Studies already show that exact match domains can increase traffic and drive revenue, but startups and companies looking for an edge should be aware that exact match domains can also decrease your online advertising spend.  

The most recent success story of this is CarLoans.com.au, an Australian domain name. DomainSherpa recently uncovered the most recent success story of this during an interview with CarLoans.com.au. Through switching to an Exact Match Domain (EMD), they decreased their Google AdWords spend by 35% and increased their sales from $60m to $100m in just five months.  The improvements were all possible because the exact match domain added value to consumer perception and their Google Quality Score increased when they upgraded their domain name from Beep.com.au to CarLoans.com.au.

An individual domain’s Quality Score directly influences how much money to bid for ads on Google AdWords and where the ads appear on the Google Search Engine Results Page.  Quality Score is based on three key sub factors:

  • Expected Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience

So, a particular domain’s Google Quality Score increases according to the more clicks an ad gets, the more relevant an ad is to the user’s search, and how well the landing page is tied to what the user was originally seeking.

In the equation below you will see that as Quality Score goes up, you can bid a lower Cost Per Click (CPC) to earn the same Ad Rank.  Through using an EMD, CarLoans.com.au CTR went up 45% compared to the ads which ran on Beep.com.au while keeping everything else the same.  What changed? The EMD earned the credibility to the user as being the best, biggest and oldest destination to choose from.  Despite being a short domain with a lot of power to pivot, the Beep.com.au brand name was a little too broad and the budget/SEO gap too wide. With the generic Beep brand, this startup needed the budget to explain to the audience “who we are” and “what we do.”  A one-time investment in the exact match domain name of CarLoans.com.au immediately conveyed the “who we are” and “what we do” to the audience, leaving the long-term budget open for further growth.

Ad Rank = CPC bid × Quality Score 

An added value to using an exact match domain is often overlooked: the ability to appear twice on the Google results page, once as an organic result and again as a paid Google advertisement.  Showing up twice on the same results page helps to drive a higher click through rate and allows for users to click the free organic result, preventing you from having to pay the CPC for the ad shown.

When CarLoans.com.au moved away from Beep.com.au, they saw a decrease in online search advertising costs due to an increase in consumer perception with a higher click through rate.  In addition to a better Quality Score which drove down the Cost per Click of their ads, they were able to also convert more customers once they landed on the site since customers felt they were working with the most reputable player in the online landscape.

Exact match domain name values are greater than just increasing click through rates alone. When choosing if moving to an Exact Match Domain is a good idea for your company, remember the decreased ad spend and ability to increase customer perception and the benefits that come along with that.

About Neal Resnik:

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