Does it help your ranking to have your top keyword as a part of your domain name?
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No, total old school
I've actually tested this recently. We acquired a business a few years ago which included several aged domains which which we have sat on.
However at the beginning of the year we wanted to build out a new site and used one of the domains which included our primary keyword.
So far the site has ranked much quicker for highly competitive terms in the finance niche than any of the other sites we have launched.
So I think in some niches it can defo be beneficial!
Definitely helps in case of exact match keyword
As Dennis said, it still helps, especially over long term. It's not the magic of years ago, but the stronger domain will ALMOST always have keyword in main url.
Google has said that exact match domains (EMD)s don't help at all but in SO MANY NICHES there's that one site, that bucks all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) stats and ranks right there in the top five…called EMD.com
So, while Google flat says it doesn't help, I beg to differ.
As for one of the keywords – in most cases half the industry will have one keyword in there. BlahPlumbing.com etc So not unless you're the only one I would suggest?
It helps to have the keyword somewhere – anywhere – in the URL. You're stuck with ONE domain name – so if all you have is one page and you're trying to rank it for one keyword, then sure. It will help. But if you have a larger site with multiple keywords – then just put the keyword into the URL where it should be.
So the keyword in a subdomain or subdirectory (for a local city keyword) would be a better idea?
Sure. Imagine you want to service Los Angeles and San Diego. Los Angeles is bigger so you buy LosAngelesMySite.com – now… how do you optimize for San Diego?
If you think LosAngelesMySite.com/San-Diego/ would be good – then it might be – but now you're confusing things… is it about LosAngeles? Or is it about SanDiego?
Your only real option at that point is to buy another domain SanDiegoMySite.com. And then build and entire new website for that domain. And then create an SEO program with link strategies and tech SEO strategies, and content strategies each unique to the individual sites.
Whew. That sounds like work. A lot more work than any benefit I might see from it.
Simple. And heck, even nowadays with the knowledge graph, you don't even really need to make individual pages for each targeted town either – but that's an even more advanced strategy than I can go into here.
Thanks. Would you recommend a subdomain like San-Diego.MySite.com or would the Sub directory be better for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
AVAILABLE – MySite
AVAILABLE – MySite
AVAILABLE – MySite
Sub directories are easier to manage. The results would ultimately be the same if you did it on a subdomain – just a lot more work – both to set up and maintain. So go for the easy one. Just build a normal damn web site and don't overthink it too much.
OK, so… honestly answer.
But, caveat… this is not a good idea unless its your company name. Your domain name should 100% be brandable and easy to spell. Forget SEO when it comes to your domain name, consider it marketing. If you can't spell it, or your email is too long it isn't good marketing.
For as much as domain keyword can matter, long term business plans matter more. Especially if your stick in ine service and you try and diversify into another. You're stuck then.
mostly it only helps in confusing Google between exact money term link anchors and branded anchors. Normally too high a % of "money" anchors looks artificial and natural link recruitment is heavily weighted towards brand / domain variations. When your primary keyword is "black friday", your site/brand name is "Black Friday" and your domain is blackfriday.com, the algo is going to have trouble telling what is a branded anchor and which is a "keyword" anchor and give you the benefit of the doubt in the link graph that you don't have an "unnatural" % of keyword anchors.
tl;dr: it makes it easier to build more links with exact match anchors that look "natural"
This is a very good point, too.
I have a client that has a single product. That product has the same name as the company. We'll call it "Mega Slurp." The product also requires Federal Compliance programs to be in place in order to use it. The trick is that the "Company" Mega Slurp offers those services to get compliant, but the "Product" Mega Slurp itself doesn't provide compliance without the program.
So… saying something like "Mega Slurp makes you compliant" is ambiguous – if I'm talking about the product, then that statement is a lie. If I'm talking about the company and the services it offers, then it's a true statement. The trick, of course, is that when trying to establish the Product Name entity and the Brand Name entity – they are impossible to tell apart. It affects the client in a legal sense, but it's also confusing the hell out of Google.
Now, people searching for "Mega Slurp" – Google can't tell if they are looking for the company or the company's product of the same name. So it's unable to decide which page to send folks to unless they qualify the search.
So in that situation – with the keyword of the product and the brand in the domain being the same word – it is putting us in an SEO hell pit trying to go up against the really big players in this particular market.
So much bad advice. The path is to do your Top Level, meta and silos. So many people subscribing to this mindset and its not good for the internet community. If anyone tells you top level url anchors are not important for topical entity they are not educated. This is basic SEO principles. Bang the box with Top level entity association acquired with URI so you can push the bots into silos. Basic S**T
Bang the box
Think in terms of brand. It's good to have a keyword in your URL but that won't help you in any way if you don't educate the search engines about what your page is about. Furthermore, if you're going to incorporate content marketing, it's your job to create content that will talk to your target audience.
Just having the keyword in the URL won't help 🙂 Lastly. branding for keyword-specific URLs is very difficult.
Hope that helps 🙂 Feel free to get in touch in case of any queries.
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