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Ralph Paglia Presents Google Adwords Competitive Conquest at Internet Battle Plan

Ralph Paglia at Internet Battle Plan VI in Las Vegas presents Courtesy Chevrolet's competitive Conquest Google Adwords campaigns that captured traffic from Bill Heard Chevrolet in a cost effective manner.

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 31, 2011 at 10:15pm
Larry - Later on in this 90 minute presentation I displayed 10 slides of data from current competitive conquest campaigns in 3 different metro markets that are active and continue to generate strong ROI based on the dealer's own calculations.  The CTR's are above average for each of them... However, a competitive conquest campaign is far more likely to fail than most other types of Google Adwords campaigns, so they should be carefully conceived, planned and executed.  For example, going after the top dealer in a market is usually (not always) a mistake. A good illustration of this was the Northeast USA example I used in my presentation that is a live and current campaign.  2 of the 3 dealers we went after did not yield results, because of their strong brand in the marketplace... However, the third dealer was a home run! The fact that the third dealer worked so well for my dealer may be (possibly) related to the same factors which cause that dealer to have the lowest CSI averages in the zone.  This may be difficult to prove, the correlation to CSI and susceptibility to competitive conquest advertising, but i find it difficult to ascribe to pure coincidence.

Comment by Larry Bruce on July 26, 2011 at 9:07pm


I am sure keyword matching domains and quality score wasn't the topic of the entire presentation but it was the focus of the snippet of video in this post. 


I have no issues with the tactic of going after your competitors traffic with their branded terms. I will say that is one of the fastest ways for a dealer to spend a lot of money for nothing if you haven't thought through the plan and you cannot test easily build test and continue to improve where the user lands after you have paid for a click. 


Tom you may have been at this show and have the full benefit of the whole presentation, I only saw the video here and I have to say our tests and results don't match the claims in the video. 

Comment by Larry Bruce on July 26, 2011 at 8:58pm

Here is a study from Search Engine Watch that with similar results to our own tests.


Exact match domains can double click through rate on PPC ads 

Comment by Larry Bruce on July 26, 2011 at 8:18pm

Ralph I am not familiar with site or author of the link you placed below. Our tests do not support the conclusions that a keyword enriched domain will rank higher due to the correlation between the Keyword and the domain and I still maintain that the two are not directly related and do not directly effect quality score. 


That said, there is a correlation between CTR and quality score in-fact CTR almost exclusively drives quality score and there is a direct link between CTR and a clear domain name that is relevant to the user. 


This does not have to be a Keyword enriched domain just a domain that says to the user you will likely find what you want here. We are getting CTR's at 10% plus with domains that have no keyword in them but spell out what they will get when they land. 


The higher the CTR the higher your quality score. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 25, 2011 at 11:29pm

Conclusions and Discussion

These results lead us to draw several conclusions about the value of a keyword enriched domain name for PPCSE campaigns.

A keyword domain name outperforms a non-keyword domain by delivering a higher CTR and an even higher number of total clicks.

The exception is likely to be where the non-keyword name is an established brand or website with a strong awareness and trust factor for the product or service search terms in question.

Even in such cases, a keyword-enriched domain name has potential value in targeting very specific product or service search terms with an appropriate keyword rich domain. Established brands should consider a generic name for microsites associated with a particular product, service or ad campaign.

The choice of keyword-enriched domain name itself is also important. An "ideal" domain name was able to produce 45% more clicks across all keywords than a "reasonable" generic alternative.

Keyword-enriched domain names perform particularly strongly where search queries and domain keywords match closely. This suggests businesses might do well to isolate keyword groups within their PPCSE campaigns, and use an appropriate keyword rich name for each group (thus maximising the total benefits).

AdWords does not provide the kind of data that would allow us to draw clear conclusions on exactly why an "ideal" keyword-enriched domain name performed so well relative to the alternatives. We believe it is due to a combination of factors, notably:

  1. Domain name closely matching the product or service being searched for (irrespective of the actual keywords used in the search).
  2. Bolding of search terms in the domain occurring more often.
  3. Impact of domain name on ad quality score.

As such, the benefits are likely a mix of an inherent "greater clickability" (factors 1 and 2) and higher ad positions (through factor 3, and through factors 1 and 2 driving better CTRs).

Whatever the explanation, we would expect to see the ads featuring the winning keyword rich domain name appear higher up the PPC ad listings on search result pages.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 25, 2011 at 11:15pm


-> Domain Name:


Use domain names as keywords and bid on them. For example, if you want to bid on keyword "Diet", then use the domain name "". The trick here is to locate the domain names related to your keyword that gets a ton of traffic. This is not that easy, and requires some testing.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 25, 2011 at 11:06pm
Quote: "Boost Your Click-Thru-Ratios with the Right Domain Names

One of the best ways to boost your click-thru-ratios is by using domain names that contain the keywords being searched on. When a domain name in AdWords contains the keywords from a user's search query, Google will bold them, often attracting the user's attention and resulting in more clicks."


Comment by Tom Gorham on July 25, 2011 at 10:01pm
Hi Larry One of the things I love about Automotive Digital Marketing is that it allows for civilized debate, not only between the "experts" but those who work the front lines everyday. It's great!

I never said that Quality Score was not a big thing but you are right that it is the source of much debate. What you said about domain name weight IS a source of disagreement and controversy. So I am grateful that you allow for disagreement there. We have no problem with that, I can see.

I still maintain that this is not what Ralph's session was about. You seem to be dwelling on that. I really don't know you, so I don't want to criticize but I think you chose the wrong venue for your argument. Ralph was talking strategy here, and you seem to be boiling it down to one tactic. Sorry but I don't get it.

After 13 years as an Internet Manager (I don't mean sales rep, I mean Manager) I work in the trenches everyday, and what Ralph said to me in this video and in person at Internet Battle Plan VI resonates. I don't have the priviledge of hypothesizing about minutia, I have to deal with my competitors, day in and day out. So, I appreciate Ralph's advice.

Comment by Larry Bruce on July 25, 2011 at 8:17pm


Not sure this a battle as much as it is a discussion on PPC & quality score and we have not seen domain name have anything directly to do with quality score. This is supported by the links and studies in this thread. 


Quality Score is not a small  thing and it is the source of much debate more outside this industry than in so I'm not picking on one small thing. Secondly there are a lot of dealers who are jaded on PPC because they did get hurt trying to manage their own adwords account, in fact there are a lot more of those than there were successful ones. So when someone makes those kind of statments I will disagree with them offer up my solution and back it up with data as i have done here thats all. 


If someone disagrees with me I would hope they would do the same. Tom you may think its small but I don't and that's whats great about a blog is everyone can share and you get to decide what you feel is best for your store. 

Comment by Tom Gorham on July 25, 2011 at 7:44pm
Hi Larry, No offense, but I think the domain name weight is debatable. At the sasme time, I fail to understand your criticism of Ralph's video. It all seems valid to me. It seems you picked one small item that MAY seem controversial to invalidate what he was saying. Again, I think his strategy is VERY valid and can only strengthen those who pay attention. I say this from past experience. You're (again no offense) nitpicking while he is talking strategy. I'm sure you are very knowledgeable about SEM, but you're in the wrong battle.

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