There is a debate over which is better: brandable versus keyworded domains. The debate seems kind of moot, given that the two are diametrically opposed (in most respects) and that, given their differences, they require very different marketing strategies to utilize. Whether one is better than the other is not the focus of this article, however. This article’s focus is on how best to utilize keyworded (or keyword-based) domains.
First, a definition of what a keyworded domain is. Keyworded domains, which are also called keyword-based domains, are domains that incorporate keywords into the domain name itself, as implied by their name. If a website sells socks and has a keyworded domain, it would have a domain name with words such as “socks” or “knit” or even “tube” in it. A blog focusing on movie reviews would likely have a keyword-based domain such as “moviereviewblog” or “movieblog.”
Keyworded domains have two major advantages in online marketing: they communicate to the visitor right away what the site is about and they are a huge boon to SEO marketing. A visitor going to “tubesocks.com” will definitely understand that this site sells tube socks. A search engine, when indexing a site, will likely see the words “tube” and “socks” in the domain, marking them as keywords.
Every search engine marketer knows that search engines love keywords. They literally eat them up. Having keywords in a domain name makes it a bigger meal to the search engine, pumping up the site’s potential search engine optimization (SEO) marketing potential. Provided the site has content to match the domain name, of course.
One of the big disadvantages for keyworded domains is in their relatively narrow focus. This can shut them off from being utilized for other searches. For instance, if a business is affiliate-based and it’s focus is on book and software sales, having a keyword-based domain such as “software4u.com” will more or less eliminate the use of book sales keywords for SEO. An attempt to combine two keywords or phrases into a domain name like “booksandsoftware4u.com” is definitely too long to be utilized for radio, print, or other advertising and is going to be hard for potential customers to remember, failing to capture those all-important return sales. A balance would have to be struck, with either two different domains registered and the products separated on two separate sites, which doubles the marketing, or having one domain forward to another, which will knock SEO potential.
There is one more reason why keyworded domains are so useful in online marketing that has not yet been mentioned. That is backlinking. When one site links to another (through a “buddy” page, article posts, as reference, etc.) that is called “backlinking.” This is very important to search engines and backlinks with keywords in them (i.e. a keyword-based domain) is a double-whammy in this regard.
Keyworded domains have some great advantages and many marketers are utilizing them as part of their overall marketing strategy. Keyword-based domains can provide better SEO, better customer retention, and higher overall search result potential.