How to Set Up New Domain Names
to Make Split Testing Possible
By Bryan Todd
Co-Author of The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords
You’ve probably seen ‘Disapproved’ notices in your Google account if you’ve tried this: since 2008 Google hasn’t allowed you to post a display URL in your Google ad that is not your own website’s real domain name. No automatic redirects (unless they’re tracking links).
But split testing different domain names for various campaigns is one of the most valuable things you can do. So is there a way around this problem?
Yes, there is. From now on you can simply assign additional names to your website’s current IP address. I’ll explain that to you below.
But first, let’s be clear on one thing: This is not trickery, or some sort of black-hat thing designed to “game” the Google system. Not at all. What you’ll be doing is legally assigning multiple names to your site, not unlike the fact that your business account at your local bank can have more than one DBA (doing-business-as) name.
(Important note: In our experience, this has not hurt our organic search engine rankings for perrymarshall.com, our main site. Others have, however, reported differently. There is disagreement on the subject, so you will have to research this question yourself. We are not able to give any advice on SEO issues.)
The ultimate point of doing all this is to allow you to go back and ask a very fundamental question: “Have I chosen the right names for my website?” Having the right website name can make a colossal difference to your business. A well-chosen domain name that gets better clicks could potentially be worth tens or hundreds of thousands, even millions more dollars to your business over the coming years.
For my learn-Chinese website www.TheLanguageExpert.com, I’ve found that www.MasterChineseFaster.com gets me better clickthrough rates in my Google ads. So I’m going to add that as my website’s second name, or its alias.
So here are two examples of how you do this:
Example #1: Your website shares the same IP address with other websites (which is very common, especially with low priced hosting accounts):
You edit the DNS settings of your www.newdomain.com and point the DNS to the same place as the olddomain.com. So if your web hosting company was www.webhost.com the name servers will need to be set to something like
You then contact your web hosting company and request for them to point your new domain to the same IP address as the old domain. After
that you’ll go into your web host manager and set the new domain so that it’s parked under the old domain. In other words, newdomain.com
becomes an alias of olddomain.com.
Example #2: Your website has its own dedicated IP address:
First, I want to know what the IP address is for TheLanguageExpert.com. I can find that by going to ZoneEdit’s LookUp tool:
Just enter your original domain name in field #1, and it will give you your IP address further down the page:
In order to make sure this is going to work, take this number (i.e. 126.96.36.199 in this example) and paste it into your browser address bar. Your website should come up. If some other website comes up, this method will not work – go back to example #1 above.
Next, I want to go into my hosting account and change the necessary details there to make this possible. Since I host with GoDaddy.com, I’ll just log in, ignore the Danica Patrick photo, and click on “Domains,” and then “My Domains” in the upper left hand corner:
Your domains may be hosted by another service. That’s not a problem; the principles here will still be essentially the same.
This tells me that I’m already forwarding MasterChineseFaster.com to my original LanguageExpert domain. I’m going to cancel forwarding now. I’ll click on the link just below “forwarding”:
Now I’m going to disable the automatic forwarding:
When I click OK it will take me back to the previous screen,
where I’ll click on “Total DNS Control and MX Records”:
Now I’m in the Total DNS Control Panel. I just click on the pencil graphic to the right over the IP address listed at the top:
Now you just put the IP address of your original website in the box, and click OK.
You’re done! It may take several minutes to several hours for this to “propagate” to all the necessary servers, so give it time and check back later to see that it works.
From here on, I shouldn’t have any difficulty using MasterChineseFaster.com in my Google ads where necessary.
To Your Success,
Click Here to make an appointment to talk with Bryan 1-on-1 about how to improve your own Google Adwords advertising.
A huge Thank You to Mark Ingles of WillyWalt.com for his help in researching this.