Domain name proper pre- research
by Bruce, Performer
- Created: January 22, 2011, 7:50 pm
Recently a domain name thread was stopped because of link abuse. I hope that this does;t happen here, and that spammers get banned, down to their IP address.
The reason I brought this topic up again, is that I come from an analysis background, and while I have struggled with many seo principles such as effective link building. I understand quite a few things that were missing from the previous thread regarding choosing a domain name- at least in regard to estimating visitor volumes.
YES, domain name and keywords in it can be very important.
Age of domain is important, and if you can buy an old one go for it.
Branding, good sounding words etc are important, but the URL does-t need to align up exactly with your business name.
The thing i wanted to stress is that Google is very secretive on what weighting it puts on each on page SEO factor, but many people believe that having keywords in the URL is still important and will remain so for some time. In fact many small operators make an entire living out of either buying and selling domain names or buying mid tail keyword rich domain names, making small sites around them and getting adsense revenue from them. The fact that this process still seems to work, when they may not be regularly adding content, or have as rigorous link campaigns suggests that keyword included URLs must add some very useful weight when trying to rank high in the serps.
Now there are side issues such as is the keyword phrase you are considering a buying term in your industry or just an information search phrase' which probably wo't lead to conversions. There are site tools to check the proportion likelihood of what a give URL is likely to be (info or buy).
HERE is the PRE research I think was missing from the other thread. Sorry if i am giving away a big SEO secret, but here it is. The Google external tool is a good starting place, and all that i used to use. But it gives you old data (usually repeated for months at a time), gives you double the actual search numbers (because it includes the google network as well) and is for BROAD match only.
This is why people buy such tools as market samurai or pay someone who has this tool. What these analysis tools do is extract data from search engines, combine them all and give you the option of seeing the daily search value for a country, in a specific language, for BROAD, PHRASE and EXACT search terms.
If you base your business on getting a given percentage of searches of the broad match as described in the google external tool, you are likely to massively over estimate what you will end up getting. Broad match counts your keywords in any order in the search term. More useful is exact match, that counts searches only for your keywords in their given order. This is really targeted information and often more realistic of what you can achieve.
After you find a keyword string that you know has a good past history (stable) as well as acceptable daily volumes, you can check on the seo stats for the sites that currently compete for that term. Not only are you looking at total search results you can see by entering the term into google, but you can compare the top ten sites for the number of links to your chosen keyword page, links to their homepage, age of domain, etc etc.
Then you have a genuine idea quickly as to whether you may be able to compete. For instance, do you think you can get 30 dot gov or dot edu links (as recognised by Google) to your site, should you buy that domain name?
Now if you cant buy an exact domain name string such as my_cat.com you may consider my_cat_4u.com or something that includes your analysed keywords at the start of the URL.
There are many more factors affecting keyword name choice, but as the above suggests, aiming for a vanilla core keyword phrase that you know pulls regular searches in EXACT terms as well as broad is the preferred option. For most professionals who know they have a limited amount of resources for link building etc. it just gives you an edge before you start. Then you have to work out how long it will take you to get to what ranking and what percentage of that exact or broad match traffic you are likely to get with compelling page title and description and against leakage to google adwords.
Even if you get to rank position five, and expect 10% of the total searches for a term, you may find rank one has a bunch or links for its pages under the standard search which pushes your site below the fold. Or google local search or the top google adwords push organic search results down so that on the first three appear on the page without scrolling, meaning you may be lucky to get 2% of the volumes.
There are many things that can go astray'
I hope i did't waffle on too much and that i included some things that I think are really the CORE requirements in analytically selecting a domain name, along with everything else the others said in the other thread.
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