Are .Com domain names truly better than the new gTLDs? Well, I have had my suspicions, but there was no way I was going to base my opinions. I decided to put some newly acquired domain names to the test, and use Google AdWords to reveal the results. While there’s no really easy way to test the organic search results, using Google AdWords to drive traffic and test conversions was much faster and more reliable.
I set up two tests. One test used a .Com and a .Diamonds domain name. The other used a .Com and a .Menu domain name. In the first test, I was able to secure two keyword rich domain names: one with the keyword in the domain name, and the other with the keyword in the domain name and in the new gTLD.
I chose these domain names for the primary test:
and I chose brand-related keywords for the second test. I chose these domain names for the second test:
I set up two separate landing pages. One landing page for the “diamonds” test and another landing page for the “menu” test. In this case, it was important to make sure that everything was the same for each test. So, everything was exactly the same, including the ad copy used, the landing page, and even the conversions. The only change between each test was the domain name being used.
For each Google AdWords campaign, it was important to us to not only use the same ad copy in the ads, but also to make sure that we used the same keywords in each of the campaigns. We did some preliminary keyword research, and decided on a list of keywords that had enough searches per month to give us enough data to work with.
For the diamonds Google AdWords campaigns, we used 50 keywords total, all priced at $1.00 per click (that is what we bid, but not what we ended up paying for each click). We also bid $1.00 a click on the .Com versus .Menu domain name test.
For the .Diamonds versus .Com domain test, the average cost per click was $.81 cents per click on the .Com keywords. However, it cost us on $.77 cents per click when we used the .Diamonds domain name.
Average Cost Per Click: CPC across all keywords:
It ultimately cost less per click for a .Diamonds domain than to run the same keywords on a .Com domain name, and the total campaign cost was lower. With a higher CTR on the .Com domain name, it appears that end users favored the .Com domain name over the .Diamonds domain name.
The .Diamonds domain name, however, was given quite a few more impressions than the .Com domain name, giving the .Diamonds domain name more visibility. In fact, it appears that Google AdWords actually favors use of the .Diamonds domain name, giving it more impressions and even better positioning. The average position for the .Diamonds domain name was better. If we look specifically at CTR, the .Com domain name appears to be the winner here.
When it came to conversions, we saw a higher overall conversion rate for the .Com domain. It was nearly 20 percent higher than the .Diamonds domain name. But those conversions came at a higher cost, as the cost of the .Com campaign was higher.
Here are some other key takeaways from our testing:
- The effective CPM of a .Diamonds domain name is essentially half of what it was for the equivalent .Com domain name. So, if you’re in the jewelry industry (specifically diamonds), there may be a great opportunity to get twice the impressions for your money.
- In the .Diamonds versus .Com test, the Average CPC was $.77 cents and $.81 cents per click. However, we got more conversions using the .Com domain name.
- It appears that Google AdWords tends to favor the New gTLDs, especially because they gave the New gTLDs more impressions for a cheaper cost, and gave ads better positioning overall (.Diamonds vs. .Com).
So, at this point, consumers prefer the .Com. Google AdWords, on the other hand, prefers the .Diamonds domain name.
We’ve published all of the results, including all of the ad copy, landing pages, conversions, and even the keyword data in our report, available on Globe Runner’s website.