in SEO Marketing by

keyword-rich domain or subdomain?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?

Is Using Keyword-Rich Domains a Solid SEO Strategy?

Is Using Keyword-Rich Domains a Solid SEO 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” (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 “”, 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 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

In certain circumstances, such as GEO targeting for local search, keyword-rich domains can be a definitive and successful marketing tactic.


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 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 or taken a step further business.crmsoftware/open-source.html or

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. 

Read More Related Posts
SEO and Applied Keyword Research
Keyword are important for search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), but the real fact is that key phrases are what provide your website with the ability to ...
Google's Love Affair with Authority Sites
In short, Google's love affair with authority sites is based on the premise of reciprocity, relevance and commercial viability. It’s no secret, that Google’s search engine algorithms are stacked in ...
How do Term Frequency and Inverse Document Frequency Determine Relevance?
To understand SEO, you need to understand two things (1) the search behavior of motivated buyers and (2) what search engines deem relevant. Common sense coupled with insight to the ...
Consolidating On Page SEO with Content, Navigation and Links
The first and most powerful source for SEO and rankings is your own website. A website deploying topical content, tiered site structure (keeping hops to 3 or less for critical pages) ...
Alternatives to PageRank Sculpting
PageRank Sculpting is, essentially, the practice of targeting PR by limiting link flow to other pages within a website. Adding a nofollow attribute to one link so that it will ...
Don’t Let Broken Links and Errors Devalue SEO Efforts
When making viable shifts to your website or site architecture, here are a few things to take in consideration that can affect existing SEO. Like Murphy 's Law, anything that ...
Avoiding SEO Errors
Despite the notion that SEO is simple, one mistake from syntax or a flawed setting could take weeks for a website to recover. Be warned, SEO is more than just ...
10 Tactics for Top 10 Rankings
In the spirit of the old top 10 list, here are some of the top SEO tactics we use to topple top 10 rankings... Domain Level Domination Content, Title and Tag Ranking ...
SEO is All About Page 1
Statistically 91% of all searches in search engines abort in the first page, meaning if your website is not listed in the top 10 results, then your chance of your ...
Your website design is the first and possibly last thing your visitors will see when assessing your business. So, it is important to put your best foot forward and (a) ...
SEO and Applied Keyword Research
Google’s Loves Affair With Authority Sites
SEO and Search Engine Algorithms
Consolidating On Page SEO with Content, Navigation and
PageRank Sculpting vs. Designing LinkFlow
Don’t Let Broken Links and Errors Devalue SEO
Avoiding SEO Errors
10 Tactics for Top 10 Rankings
SEO: Getting to Page One
Website Design – Designed for Traffic & Search


In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

13 thoughts on “Using Keyword-Rich Domains and Subdomains for SEO
  1. Pluto says:

    So much for an Esoteric Industry. :-)

  2. Speaking of toolboxes, this is for those who only have hammers. Crude, yet effective, but who knows for how long?

    Thanks for breezing through Pluto.

  3. Dan says:

    Thanks for the post.

    You forgot to mention something under the subdomain section. If you choose to go down that route, then you have to do seo for each subdomain separately! link building, etc. This is one of the major drawbacks of subdomains.

  4. Marc says:

    Very good post though I’m abit confused with respect to the following comment.

    “The real advantage is realized by monetizing multiple web properties as a tiered ranking strategy for an array of keywords and phrases.”

    I don’t follow the concept of multiple web properties being tiered unless this specifically is directed towards sub-domains. If not, would you elaborate a bit more?

    As a rule, I do follow this process as an affiliate and would have to agree that the domain alone has helped in my case with some sites that I have propagated. Having said that, there’s no question that the other SEO techniques must still be adhered to along with quality content.

  5. Frank Motola says:

    Great Article. Thanks

  6. Frank Motola says:

    Anyone have experience with keyword rich geotargeting giving benefit in Local Search, that is Google Places? I am testing using a masked domain with geotargeted meta info as GoDaddy allows to see if we can break into the top of some map results. Not sure if it will work better to unmask and just 301 it, or mask with limited meta info as allowed. We will try both ways and see what happens. Any input will be appreciated.
    Frank in Orlando

  7. Jerome says:

    this is the one that i want to do next. i don’t know if it will be effective to use subdomain. i want to go into accomodation affiliate in thailand and every province i will make as a subdomain. i am going to do this one so i don’t have to buy lots of domain.

Comments are closed.