In my recent post “The Four R’s of Choosing the Right Domain Name“, one of the factors for choosing a Domain Name was Ranking. Ranking with the search engines to be displayed highest in the SERPs. I received a few comments about how having the Keyword in your domain name is dead for SEO and Google had stopped ranking based on EMD’s (Exact Match Domains).
I do agree with the primary notion of Keyword being useless to increase your search rank, but there are some secondary aspects that do influence your rankings. Google had long time back stopped ranking for EMD’s and had instead focussed on displaying content and user experience based results. But surely there are some advantages with Keyword based Domain names and with the emergence of Social Media as Content discovery platform your Domain name becomes more important.
Advantages of A Keyword Domain
Many SEO strategists would purchase exact match domains (EMDs), which are domains that exactly match the keyword phrase they are targeting. For example, if they want to rank for “buy green widgets” the person might purchase BuyGreenWidgets.com. EMDs offered two advantages.
- The presence of the keyword phrase in the domain was itself a ranking factor.
- The presence of the keyword phrase in the domain encouraged other webmasters to include the keyword phrase in the anchor text when linking to the site.
However in light of recent Google updates (especially the “EMD update”), EMDs are no longer as helpful as they once were.
What Recent Studies Indicate
- High Position’s study indicated that the “average EMD ranking went from #13.4 down to #26.6,” and the “average top 10 EMD went from #3.2 down to #11.9.”
- SEOmoz data shows that EMD correlation with ranking has dropped from 0.34 in 2010 to 0.18 in 2012.In light of the trend since 2010, many SEOs feel that EMDs and other keyword domains may become even less beneficial in the future.
This does not mean that you should necessarily avoid or abandon keyword domains, but it does mean that keywords shouldn’t be the primary factor you consider when choosing a domain.
Keyword Domains and Increased CTR
In some cases, owning a premium keyword domain can increase click-through rates on ads and SERP listings:
- A study published by Memorable Domains found that “ads featuring a generic domain name with an exact match to the product (ElectricBicycles.co.uk) performed significantly better than identical ads featuring an alternative generic (YourBikes.co.uk) or non-generic (InAHurry.co.uk) domain.” It is worth noting that YourBikes.co.uk looks very generic, and InAHurry.co.uk doesn’t appear to be relevant to the query. Sorry does this support the EMD or premium domain?
- A study titled “How generic domain names impact SEM campaigns” shows that ads with the display URL DivorceLawyer.com achieved a 298% higher CTR than ads with the display URL VladimirLaw.com. However, this study was only based on 34 clicks, which is not enough data to accurately measure the performance difference.Sorry does this support premium domain or EMD?
Does the CTR advantage make buying a premium keyword domain a smart choice?
Factors to Consider
- What is the search volume? Use Google’s keyword tool to find the exact match search volume for the keyword phrase the domain matches.
- What is the cost? Most premium keyword domains are already registered and are difficult to obtain (read: very,very expensive).
- Is it a .com? For example, a keyword.info domain will be far less valuable than a keyword.com domain.
The Smart Choice
With Social Media as content discovery and marketing platform the smart choice would be to select a Domain Name that is Brandable. A Brandable Domain Name enhances products/brands outreach as well as improves CTR and social conversion of your Posts and Promotions. Having higher CTR on SERP’s and Social Media conversions greatly influences search result rankings and Google as well as other search engines surely like what is trending and what people are visiting.
Here are some tips to Create a Brandable Domain Name
Over to You
With the availability of new primary domain names like .it, .ly, .social, .club and many more, one can be highly creative while choosing a Brandable domain name and one does not have to choose a .com for default. With so many options available, put your creative hat and get the best Domain name for your Blog or Website.
Give it days if required, Don’t Rush. You can do it only once! Choose Wisely. Divorce is Pretty Costly.
You can use GoDaddy or Hostgator for searching the right Domain Name for your Blog and they would generate a list of other Domain Name ideas that you can select from. Hosting with any of the two also entitles you for free domain name, no need to buy one.
Another great tool to get domain name suggestions is to use Spinxo User Name Generator. The tool is for getting suggestions for cool usernames but can be used for finding some cool Domain name suggestions.
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