Can the Right Domain Name Help with Search Engine Marketing?

I can recall the first time I heard of a domain name selling for $500,000. It was Computer.com and although it sold for $500,000 back in November of 1999, it later sold again for $2.2 Million in 2007. One may ask what makes a domain so valuable and while there are many factors, it often comes down to exposure in the search engines.

Back in the day (before Google was even on the radar of search) people would simply type in “whatevertheywerelookingfor” and then add a dot com to the end of that. For example, a lot of people shop for computers online, and so typing in computer.com was a common occurrence. If you sold computers, that would be a great domain to have, and you would be able to capitalize on those searching in that manner. The same goes for just about any one word name, representing an industry that can be monetized (i.e. cars.com, investing.com, etc.).

Today, the one word domains are all registered. You might be able to find one through a domain broker, but there are certainly other options. You can go to GoDaddy to do a search to see what is available and if you find something you like, you can register it for about $15 for a year. So with all of the “good” domain names gone, what should you look for? Here are some tips.

  1. A DOT COM Domain. There are so many extensions out there and many more coming, but the DOT COM is the king of the hill and if you have anything other than a dot com you will be helping to send business to whoever has the dot com version of your domain.
  2. Think About Keywords. Similar to the one word domains, people search in phrases. You should learn what phrases are relevant to your business and seek to find a domain with those keywords in them.  For example, if you sell mattresses, a great domain would be buymattressesonline.com because that contains a term that people use to search for mattresses. Google has a free tool called the Keyword Planner that can help you find keywords relevant to your business if you need help with that.
  3. Think Location.  Another way people search is by location.  If you have a local business, consider selecting a domain name that includes your location. For example if you run a law firm in Phoenix specializing in personal injury, a domain such as PhoenixAZPersonalInjuryLawyers.com might be a great investment.
  4. Think Niche. A great online marketing strategy is to develop niche websites for your business in addition to your main website. It’s something we do for our clients and it has worked well for us.  As an example, if you run a music store that sells saxophone straps, a great domain for you would be Saxophonestrap.com.

The upside to having a keyword rich domain name is that it really can help with your search engine exposure. As long as you build a website to the proper standard of website optimization, your site should have a slight advantage since the domain contains the keywords you are looking to rank for.

If you feel that you need professional help with choosing a quality domain name feel free to contact me.  I would be happy to discuss the matter with you. I have bought and sold dozens of domains through the course of my online marketing journey.


All About Anthony

Anthony Kirlew is the Chief Marketing Officer at Infinion Marketing. He has nearly two decades of experience in the field of digital marketing. He launched his first SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Firm in 1999, and has worked with some of the largest brands online including The Knot and iUniverse.com. His resume includes founding several online businesses, as well as leading business development efforts for the Search Marketing Division of Web.com. He is a frequent guest blogger, speaker and author on topics related to Digital Marketing, social media, and website best practices.
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2 Responses
  1. Colin Stead says:

    The “right” domain name can also be a hinderance now. A few years ago, people bought exact match domain names and optimised their URL’s to also contain keywords. Now, that may get you punished for over optimisation of a keyword!

  2. Anthony says:

    Colin, I don’t believe it’s a hindrance at all. As long as the content on the website is relevant to the targeted keywords, one would not be penalized for having the same terms in the domain names.

    The difference is that the domains themselves don’t have the value they used to. If sites with exact match URL’s dropped in ranking, the rankings most likely dropped not due to a penalty but because people failed to build relevant content.

    ~ Anthony

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