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2) Memorable Domain Name .com
The first consists of keywords that are very frequently searched as a pair in Google (e.g. "buying widgets"); the second one is catchy and relevant but would never be typed in as a search term.
My question is: which domain should I use for the development of a website?
Should I use both and if so, what strategy should I adopt?
The memorable domain is beautiful and the website I am developing is close to my heart, and yet at the same time I do not want to miss out on the traffic that can potentially be generated by the presence of the powerful keyword pair in the other domain. How can I synergize between them?
If it is of any help, I foresee search engine-generated traffic being dominant in the first year, with loyalty and brand recognition taking over in the future (no direct type-ins expected for either domain). I am in the pre-launch stage and have prepared some high-quality, search engine-optimised content.
I look forward to your suggestions.
[edited by: Webwork at 5:03 am (utc) on Feb. 21, 2006]
[edit reason] Charter [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]
Your dilema is a common one: Brand vs Keyword.
If your work is going to be a work of heart and likely to be valued by many then you have your choice - as it's the content that will matter - but in the scenario you describe I would lean towards the more original memorable made-up word. Why? Because it all hangs together, if you know what I mean.
You can still develop a related site at keyword-keyword and build it as a traffic feeder.
Just remember: Don't build a business plan based upon search engine love. Build a website people will love/value and let the traffic build naturally from links. Let the search engines get it right or wrong based upon many peoole linking to you. Hopefully they'll get it right, but you'll always have that link traffic and link traffic tends to grow exponentially.
I have a question: will Google get upset if I develop www.keyword1-keyword2.com with a single page of content that, with contextual links, leads to several pages of the main website? This is to make the most of the www.keyword1-keyword2.com domain as a traffic feeder, as you suggested. Does Google frown on such practices?
Set it up to make sure your bases are covered, but spend your main energy developing your main site.
The significance of the feeder site is that if people do a Google search of "keyword1 keyword2" and find the www.keyword1-keyword2.com site, I want to direct them to the main website. I want to make the most of the SEO value that is intrinsic to hyphenated keyword domain names.
I say that because I have noticed that Google seems to give a high priority to domains that have the keyword you searched in them, even when the pages themselves have very little text and are definitely not search engine-optimised. I am under the impression that having hyphenated domains with keywords gives you a significant head start with search engine results, but it does mean that you have to sacrifice the prestige associated with a branded name. I will try and benefit from both if I possibly can.
Perhaps I am optimistic in assuming that Google will give it a decent priority, but I have a strong feeling that the www.keyword1-keyword2.com domain will come in very useful in some way or another. I suspect I might create an original and incredibly useful page of content that is unique to that domain.
All in all, I agree with Webwork that outstanding content breeds a large user base, and that loyal users will never betray you, whereas relying on search engines is all a bit hit-and-miss.
I am under the impression that having hyphenated domains with keywords gives you a significant head start with search engine results
I'd say it can give a small head start but be realistic in your expectations. I have a site whose domain name is in the format "three-blind-mice.com". It's a phrase commonly used in the industry, not just keywords strung together. The site has some respectable rankings at the moment, but it took a year to get to the front page for "three blind mice". The domain name on its own was not enough to give a competitive advantage until I'd done a bunch of other things right as well (a lot of tightly themed link development).