Use caution when buying domain names
His site ranks pretty really well and recently we were chatting away about Google Ads and their effectiveness.
Of course, I offered to help him out and create a campaign, get some ads up and running, and try and obtain some additional traffic and leads through the site.
Everything was going swimmingly; I'd created the account, developed some campaigns, some AdGroups, I'd done some keyword research and set some budgets.
The snag came when I drafted up the ads. His domain name was 36 characters long, which is one miserable character too long to fit in the 35-character limit for the "display URL" field.
The problem is that in Google AdWords, you're not allowed to have a display URL (the domain name displayed in the Ad itself) which is different to the destination URL (the domain name of the website someone visits when they click your ad).
There are things you can do to make your URLs shorter, such as removing the "www." from the front of the display URL. So for example, you can change "www.reseo.com" to "reseo.com". By the way, we often do this for client Google Ads so we can append extra text into the Ad. For example: "Reseo.com/90%-Off-Sale".
But even removing the "www" didn't shorten it enough.
It's funny that in all my years working with Google Ads I'd never come up against a situation like this before.
I went online and started to look for help. It turns out that as of last year, you could apply for an exception, but more recently, if you have a domain name longer than 35 characters, forget about using Google Ads.
The only solution we could use was to purchase a new domain name, replicate the site and send the traffic from AdWords there. Very expensive. Very time consuming.
So when you buy a new domain, you now know to keep it to 35 characters or less.
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Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.