What are the strategic SEO advantages of having a relevant keyword-rich domain name? Is it a temporal search engine loophole or viable long-term ranking strategy?
They say what is but a name, but in reality, to search engines having a keyword present in your domain name can tremendously cut the time it takes to reach the top 10 for a cluster of relevant keywords.
Less Time to Market, Lower Barrier to Entry
Keyword-rich domains require less links, less content and less time to market. The hard part is finding a prime “exact match” domain such as “the search term.com” (since most are long gone or ridiculously overpriced).
However, one alternative is resorting to domain names with affixed search modifiers (which are still a very effective SEO strategy) that can be skewed to communicate a primary marketing message such as “Affordable-IPhone-Gadgets.com”, etc.
Aside from the obvious advantage of being relevant and memorable, on a landing page / keyword by keyword basis, punchy keyword-rich domains can significantly impact the degree of impulse purchases from searchers aside from other typical barriers to entry.
For example, if you are selling red flags, the purchasing the name redflags.com as a pseudo name makes it a Top 10 search engine “candidate” for any variation of multiple lucrative key phrases associated with the root keyword.
While this tactic is not always guaranteed to work (as more competitive keywords require additional metrics meticulously synchronized for optimization), the impact it has on SEO provides a significant ranking factor.
They Are Perfect for GEO Targeting
It is no secret that entire search engine optimization strategies are often devoted or predicated entirely based on the creation or acquisition of keyword-rich domain names by purchasing an array of related modifiers as prefixes or suffixes for domains if the “exact match” spelling is unavailable.
In addition to adding relevance as a base URL, tactics such as (1) using relevant naming conventions (spell-it-out.html) (2) relevant h1 tags (3) relevant keyword usage (on a page by page basis to mirror the other metrics) is a sure-fire tactic to quickly conquer keyword verticals in search engines.
They Are “Game Changers” for Affiliates
While this method is widely used for squeeze pages, affiliate offers or mid-tail keywords in conjunction with “action verb” / pain killers such as “crm software” via crmsoftware.com or other keyword / domain parrot-like metrics mirrored throughout the web as an echo of relevance; this tactic can also be accomplished through deploying keyword-rich subdomains.
We are not suggesting you hang your hat on this method alone, but when considering (a) the time spent optimizing a website vs. (b) purchasing or creating a website which already has these type of attributes, it is a tangible consideration of budget, ROI and market share. The real advantage is realized by monetizing multiple web properties as a tiered ranking strategy for an array of keywords and phrases.
The question arises frequently, when is the right time to consider a subdomain vs. a new domain? This depends on a few critical metrics, however the inclination for consideration also depends on the volume of content present in the primary domain and how you intend to leverage the potential subdomain.
If your website is sagging under its own weight and losing relevance and / or rankings fast or simply unable to keep up with the competition, then employing a targeted keyword-rich prefix (leading, deals, affordable, etc.) for a subdomain can produce significant momentum (if you keep the content in that subdomain themed and siloed to gel continuity).
They Work Perfect with Subdomains
Using the same search above for “crm software”, by scrolling to the footer of a Google search, there are some additional stemmed variations which would either serve as potential site segments or a potential subdomain (depending on the size of the site).
- crm software review
- crm software small business
- crm software comparison
- open source crm software
Since the thresholds are rather low for these keywords, you could potentially keep these types of phrases “close to the root” in exact match (add a hyphen to separate the keywords) and implement targeted landing pages and feed those pages with relevant internal links from articles, white papers and / or a blog within the site.
On the contrary, they could be used as subdomains to target a specific variation such as business.crmsoftware.com or taken a step further business.crmsoftware/open-source.html or reviews.crmsoftware.com/comparisons.html
With so many ways to generate rankings and results, it is not surprising why affiliates use this tactic through creating a network of sites based on this simple, yet effective model. Even though it may not knock the most competitive keywords out of the park and into the top 10 results, it’s not always about targeting “the most competitive or the most trafficked phrases” it’s about owning the conversation through context – and keyword rich domains are just another tool in your toolbox to capitalize on a plethora of organic search traffic.