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Your landing page subdomain: a conversion optimisation opportunity?

By Jennifer Esty  |  August 1, 2018

Every letter counts in a paid search ad. With only 140 characters of copy to play with in the main part of the ad – 80 characters for the body of the ad, and two 30-charcter headlines – it’s a constant challenge to craft an ad which achieves its marketing objectives within such tight copy limits.

So, we are always on the lookout for ways to squeeze a bit more meaning into a search ad. One component of the ad which is usually overlooked is the landing page subdomain.

Although the landing page subdomain is invisible in many types of advertising, it WILL normally be visible in a search ad – Google shows the landing page subdomain as part of the ad copy. And it will often also be visible in the user’s browser after they have clicked.

It’s a subtle feature, and many users will not notice it, but some will. Choosing an appropriate subdomain helps to build user confidence and will increase conversions. Conversely, choosing a subdomain that is confusing or distracting will undermine user trust and harm conversions.

A Subdomain Case Study

Recently we set up a new subdomain for one of our clients, YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, in order to test a new set of marketing landing pages.

For technical and analytical reasons which I won’t go into in this post, setting up a new subdomain was the best way to ensure we could get good, clean results from our test.

The test itself was unrelated to the search ads in anyway so the only difference that users could see in the ads was the display URLs—and the only difference in the display URLs was the subdomains.

In this case our original subdomain was the generic ‘info’ and the new domain for the test was ‘catalogue’ – which we chose as an alternative simply because receiving a free YPO catalogue was the call to action for the campaign.

The test campaign, however, resulted in an unintended but extremely interesting outcome: changing the subdomain for the lead generation campaign resulted in a significant increase in the click through rate from our paid search campaigns.

And by significant, we mean very significant. The new subdomain had a 51% higher relative CTR on a like-for-like basis.

Now I would love to say we intended to achieve this impressive conversion improvement—but actually we were testing something entirely different at the time.

However, we’re now reviewing our use of subdomains across campaigns and looking at them not simply as part of the technical set up, but as a conversion optimisation opportunity.

Maybe you should too?

Conversion Elite CRO Conference Information
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What is the biggest change in CRO in 2017?

By Jennifer Esty  |  June 15, 2017

Conversion Elite, an organisation dedicated to CRO best practice, interviewed Sharp Ahead’s very own Dr John Woods on the changes and trends in CRO in 2017.

John discusses the biggest changes from 2016, looks ahead to 2017, and offers some advice to people considering a switch to a career in CRO.

Conversion Elite – A CRO Conference

Interested in finding out more about how CRO can help your B2B organisation?

Join John at Conversion Elite on July 6, 2017 in London for a day dedicated to CRO best practice, delivered by the best in the business.

Why come to the Conversion Elite Conference?

  • To learn how to be a world class CRO practitioner
  • Because you want to increase online profits for your business
  • You want to provide great CRO for your clients
  • You want to network with world class CRO practitioners
  • You want to meet Dr John Woods!

About Conversion Elite

Conversion Elite is a one day, one track conference delivering pure practical content with eight actionable sessions designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to strengthen your CRO skills.

There is no nonsense and there are definitely no sales pitches. If you want to improve your skills and industry knowledge, discover the best CRO tools and become a finely tuned CRO machine, then Conversion Elite is for you.

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Lead generation CRO for niche B2B propositions: how to shoot in the dark

By Jennifer Esty  |  February 21, 2017

Join Sharp Ahead’s very own Dr John Woods at Conversion World 2017 on March 10 at 17:45.

John joins a stellar lineup of CRO specialists during the two day virtual conference.

He will be discussing how to optimise your B2B marketing when you’re targeting a niche audience, including:

  • Why b2b and b2c optimisation are different
  • How to succeed at b2b optimisation
  • How web analytics can still be relevant for b2b

Register for Conversion World 2017

Attending the event is free and places are still available. Register here.

If you can’t make the event but would like us to send you a recording of John’s talk, just let us know.