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Keywords in domain .VS. Branded domain

12:58 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Here's a hypothetical situation: I am entering the online "shoes" retailing niche. I have products that include; shoes, trainers and flippers.

Domain choice: either a domain with 'shoes' and/or 'trainers' OR a new brand name such as 'epinoux' or something.

It's purely an e-commerce venture, and the website will be it's sole sales point. I want to target mid-long tail shoes and trainers related keywords. Ideally, getting as much Seach Engine traffic as possible.

Given the above, would you choose a domain with target keywords or a general brand name that you could develop over time?

My dilemma is that it seems in the short-run, keywords-in-domain seem better, but in the long-run, brand development may be more effective. Any suggestions? Thanks
1:52 pm on May 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Building a brand requires a lot of work - unless you have a marketing budget in the range of 5 to 6 figures, I would start with a keyword domain.
If you don't want to miss out on the brand approach, buy a second domain and try in parallel to set up a brand site, too. If you do not have the resources to build 2 domains, you will probably not have the resources to build a successful brand anyways...

3:28 pm on July 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Personally I prefer a brand in a domain.

For example dpreview.com is a type in for me now, it has become something I don't need to remember.

Sure WebMasterWorld.com has also but it is much less imaginative than to promote a brand.
5:53 am on July 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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well zappos will be the best example in this case :)
you can create some brand with the relation to your business model. It sure needs some hardcore research, for instance what's your product name in some other language which is also compelling. And I go with the mike suggestion. Start with keyword based domain and then when it starts ranking, you can always 301 it to you brand site :)
8:18 am on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yup - you'll definitely rank for the keyword domain faster - but you might box yourself in after a while, if you want to sell something other than 'sports widgets'. The idea of doing the two in parallel may work, eventually doing a 301 redirect to the branded domain.
4:01 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)


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A keyword domain can be a mixed blessing. As Eatcarrots points out, why box yourself in?

My opinion: think "keywords in URL" rather than "keywords in domain name".

My choice would be to go with a brandable domain name, then choose file and directory names with keywords in mind. Aim for URLs that are concise but meaningful.

Support that with skillfully-worded internal cross-linking and external link development. Combine it with the best on-page SEO that you're capable of, and you'll have a site that gives the best of both worlds: strong SEO potential AND strong branding.

Just add savvy promotion!


6:05 pm on Aug 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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delete posted in error

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