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Branding Vs. SEO
www.companyname.com or www.keyword-keyword.com?
ibiza




msg:237255
 7:41 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll be launching a website in a month or two. I've been working on it for the last 3 months, and I'm extremely excited about it.

My biggest competitors are PR8's and a few PR7's, and one PR9. Needless to say, I'm competeing with the big boys.

A very large portion of my success will depend on offline marketing. This led me to choose a website name thats easy to remember and sounds relevant to the topic of my site.

However, all I've been reading lately is that one should choose a domain name with keywords in them to improve SERP.

So I'm caught in this dilemma. Sacrafice SEO for a brandable domain, or sacrafice a brandable domain for SEO.

Again, this isn't some quick spam page where people are just going to take one glance and leave. It's somewhat of a portal(but not). haha.

Thanks.

 

Shak




msg:237256
 7:44 am on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

A good SEO strategy does NOT worry what the domain name is.

Go for a brandable domain, and get the best SEO on board.

do not please go for cheap-ibiza-flight or similar...

Shak

lorax




msg:237257
 2:22 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Sacrafice SEO for a brandable domain, or sacrafice a brandable domain for SEO.

SEO is here and now. The worth of your website is dependent upon you and your knowledge of SEO. Branding is for the long run. If you sold your website you'd be selling something more tangible and liquid and thus more likely to secure a higher price. Focus on the brand and use SEO as a means to achieve the visibility but don't sacrifice the brand for SEO.

heini




msg:237258
 2:38 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

There are many areas where personally I automatically filter out all serp listings with keyword domains, at least multiple hyphenated keyword domains.
I don't click them anymore.

Seeing that SEO steadily looses ground in favour of SEM the value of keyword doamins for longterm operations gets more questionable by the day.

For any web presence built for longterm plans the guideline should be to get to the point where you don't need search engines anymore.
Use search engines to get started and growing, and then outgrow them.

agerhart




msg:237259
 2:43 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

For any web presence built for longterm plans the guideline should be to get to the point where you don't need search engines anymore.

Use search engines to get started and growing, and then outgrow them.

I have to disagree with this. I understand that many large businesses can survive without the search engines, but many, many large businesses, in many different markets, all rely on a certain amount of traffic/visitors coming from search engines.

It might be the edge up on your biggest competitor......

Terrier




msg:237260
 2:48 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brand is Best

I used to worry about not having a keyword domain untill I hung out at webmaster world, now I like millions of others have brand success.

heini




msg:237261
 2:51 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

agerhart, I agree, that's why I said ...don't need them anymore.

The point being that SE traffic then should become just one source among many for traffic/revenue.

There is definitely no easier and cheaper way to get there as with search engines, which also implies a site is by then well established, has an abundace of quality links, and is structurally SEO enabled.

Smiley




msg:237262
 4:04 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>www.companyname.com or www.keyword-keyword.com?

Branding aside, which would *you* click in the SERPS?

companyname.com wins on every count for me, even for the SEO it’s better as you look more professional to other webmasters.

sem4u




msg:237263
 4:08 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>There are many areas where personally I automatically filter out all serp listings with keyword domains, at least multiple hyphenated keyword domains.
I don't click them anymore.

I completely agree with you here Heini. If loads of keyword-stuffed-domains appear I often start looking at the second or third pages of results first.

georged




msg:237264
 4:35 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

However, the fact remains that there is a difference between your company name and your domain name. I would say pick a company name that contains a keyword or keywords. This does not mean that you have to have a keyword laden URL. It does mean that when people link to you, they will probably use your company name and the directories definitely will. The way things are currently, this WILL give you an edge.

Terrier




msg:237265
 4:47 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

An edge yes, but good seo can compensate for this, do not jeopardize a good brand name to fit a keyword.

heini




msg:237266
 4:59 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not to be mistaken, there will always be a place for multiple domain/multiple keywords here today gone tomorrow operations.
as long as the user gets what he wants that's okay too.

But I seriously think that slowly a swing towards more traditional values in Online commerce is settling in.
Watching the media coverage over the last months e-commerce and especially search engines are increasingly seen in the same neighborhood as UCE.

Brand names as domain names are definitely a way to work with that trend.

For online only companies however having a "talking name" can be a real winner, provided it's chosen carefully.

jimbeetle




msg:237267
 5:11 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think branding is definitely the way to go. That said, I think besides a discussion of 'keyword in url' we get back into the "it all depends" territory and maybe a discussion on branding in general. It might be that the more narrow the focus the more people would expect to see a keyword in the url or at least in the company name.

Let's try the analogy of specialized stores vs department stores: Carl's Widget Emporium only sells widgets and "widgets" are an integral part of his branding. On the other hand, SuperPalace sells widgets and cogs, other hardware, household appliances, electronics and a full line of softgoods. Here, "SuperPalace" is the important part of the branding because it implies quality, good price, convenience or whatever other qualities shoppers attribute to it.

The more general the line of goods or services offered the more acceptable a non-related or even nonsense (Yahoo, Google) brand is.

But then again, it all depends.

heini




msg:237268
 5:19 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

But Google is the prime example for branding, eventhough nothing in their name pointed to what they exclusively did when that branding took place.
Google did search in it's simplest, most reduced form.

Similar Yahoo: in the beginning they were a directory only.
To this day you find descriptions of directory software reading: Yahoo-style directory
Not to speak of the Google lawyers trying to forbid the verb "to google".

Did they ever have any problem with not having "search" or "directory" in their domain name?

trillianjedi




msg:237269
 5:31 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

The more general the line of goods or services offered the more acceptable a non-related or even nonsense (Yahoo, Google) brand is.

That's a very good way of looking at it.

TJ

eWhisper




msg:237270
 5:38 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just because keyword-keyword.com works now in the serps, doesn't mean it will in a year. Why go for short term tricks that put you at the mercy of the search engines suddenly changing their algorithm instead of long term branding and hard work to climb the serps where you'll be listed no matter how the algorithms change?

ibiza




msg:237271
 6:42 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your comments

For online only companies however having a "talking name" can be a real winner, provided it's chosen carefully.

This was really important to me when I chose the name of the business. It's one word. It's easy to say. It's unique. And without knowing what the company does, one could infer what industry it's in just by the name.

For any web presence built for longterm plans the guideline should be to get to the point where you don't need search engines anymore.
Use search engines to get started and growing, and then outgrow them.

I'm happy to hear this. The industry I'm competeing in is somewhat dominated by some massive sites.. So I'll have a rough road ahead of me. But as I stated earlier, if I succeed, a large portion of my success will depend on offline marketing/branding. Thus, I'm not too worried about serp. In the beginning I will be, since thats where most of my traffic will come from. But over time, I hope to become a common name in my industry.

Thanks.

[edited by: agerhart at 9:35 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2003]
[edit reason] removed URLs [/edit]

jimbeetle




msg:237272
 8:05 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is the prime example for branding

That's kind of exactly what I'm saying (except I didn't quite get my thinking across). I was looking at Google and Yahoo not as places where you get one specific thing (search), but as places you go to find many things. Not the best examples, but what my muddled mind came up with at the time.

It's one word. It's easy to say. It's unique. And without knowing what the company does, one could infer what industry it's in just by the name.

Sounds just about perfect.

Small Website Guy




msg:237273
 9:32 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I personally know that a www.keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com site is likely to be a spammy affiliate site with no real information.

BUT, I bet that people who manage to get a top ranking with those domain names get to make some money.

Hey, I know a guy who has a real brick and mortar type business who gets a lot of sales from people finding his website, and the website has a keyword1-keywore2 domain name. Actually, he has three or four differnet websites with bogus names like that.

It works for him. It's a pretty niche business so his keywords aren't very hard to get to the top with.

Herenvardo




msg:237274
 10:56 am on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Branding Vs. SEO?
It is an easy question: Branding is more important.
You can work on link popularity to fast boost your site in SERPs, so don't worry for it when choosing domain name. You will have more ways to improve your SERPs than branding, so take branding everywhere you can.

In my case, I've a two months old personal page, and I work on four keywords. Searching for all four gives my page #1st of 144 (there are very targeted words).
any combination of three keywords puts me in 2nd or 3rd place of 2000 (aprox)
I only have two reciprocal links and PR1,
and my domain name does not contain ANY of my keywords. Searching for my domain name- page tittle abreviation, or for my page tittle, gives me the 1st SER Page: the first 10 results are pages of my site :P

So:get a brandable name, make some offline marketting and peolple will search for your name instead of keywords. And you will already be able to SEO your page for keywords for people who has not been reached by your offline marketting.

Hoping this will be usefull, my best regards.
Herenvardö

trillianjedi




msg:237275
 12:07 pm on Nov 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

My current strategy is to do both websites, where possible. So you have a non-branded keyword.com domain which is a purely informational site - no sales of widgets, just truckloads of information about widgets and some user interaction (forums are great), widget reviews etc

That site then links to the brandname.com online widget shop.

This provides SEO (easier anchor text inbounds) for the informational site and from there follows highly targetted traffic to the shop site when the informational site is established.

You promote both seperately. If you have non-competitive sites in your widget market you can also compliment the shop site by putting something like AdSense on the informational site.

TJ

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