Exact match domains
There was a temptation some years ago and still now for web newbies to buy what is called an ‘exact match domain’. These are domain names which include your target keyword. These were/are bought as a quick way to drive SEO. Wrong.
In 2012, Google launched Exact Match Domain Update and pushed all those domains using keywords in their domains to all time lows.
Advice from SEO experts
We and other SEO experts encourage the use of the brand name in the domain name.
Google use ‘brand signals’ to differentiate low quality websites from big company brands.
What are brand signals?
Brand signals are mentions of your brand name on the web.
Here are some ways you can develop your brand signals:
- Ensure you have a physical address – and promote it prominently on your site (better if you have more than one office location)
- Start social accounts and build them up – not just Facebook, but Twitter and Google+; and you will need to work on this daily with posts and origonal content
- Build out a wide range of traffic sources for your site
- Promote your contact details – various ways to contact your business, including verifiyable phone numbers
- Build up brand search query volume
- Run a range of offline branded campaigns
These factors will register with Google and how it ranks your site
Where do target keywords sit in all this?
Promoting your keywords on your site is becoming far less important for ranking. Google now learns how to rank by associating your brand name with your target keywords.
What about the TLD?
The choice of top level domain matters. Some TLDs are associated with spam (like .biz and .us).
The .com is the safest route.