Domain Names and Anchor Text
Branding vs Naming
Anchor text is extremely important to search engines. What a link says is as important as who is saying it. When I link to your site with the words "I eat cats" as the link text a search engine will evaluate that link and assume you eat cats.
You can't control all the links you get (meow), but you can help control some of them. People often link to you using the words in your domain name as the link text (also known as anchor text.) If your domain name has your primary keywords in it then you have an extremely powerful business advantage over your competitors.
Using Dashes in Domain Names
Most of the benefit of dashes in the domain name have eroded in the last year or two. Domain names themselves have been greatly devalued in search engine algorithms, and most links use the site name vice the domain name as the anchor text.
I am of the opinion that you usually can pick out a keyword rich domain name without needing dashes. It may take a bit of creativity and a bit of time, but it is possible. If you are aiming to sell products vice become a consultant you may be able to do well making a living from search engine traffic and not need as strong of a branded name behind your domain.
Brandable Generic Domain Names
Sometimes they do still exist!
I wanted to write an ebook about SEO. Less than a year ago the domain name SEObook.com was still available. It will not always be that easy to find a domain name, but if you think hard enough you should be able to find a brandable domain name which is also keyword rich.
High quality directories usually prefer to list sites by their name vice "insert keyword phrase here."
Having a domain name like mine makes it very easy for me to get inbound links with "SEO Book" or "Search Engine Optimization Book" as the link text. This allows me to rank better for those search phrases, and eventually it will allow me to rank good for "SEO" and "search engine optimization."
Creativity in Domain Naming
If the domain name with your keywords is already taken you still have many other options. If my domain name was taken odds are I could have still got a domain name like seo-ebook-book.biz, but that seems a bit too generic and lacks the creativity to keep it somewhat brandable while still making it keyword rich.
Usually you can add other words around the main words in your domain name to keep the keyword rich words in there without making it overly long. TheSEObook.com is one example of an alternate domain I could have used. I could also try synonyms. I just looked and SEOreport.com was gone. My next guess for a name was SEOsecrets.com, and it was still available. There are a ton of good domain names still on the market.
Domain Name Summary
- by Aaron Wall, owner of Search Marketing Info and author of The SEO Book
- Search engines such as Google heavily weight link text in their relevancy algorithms.
- Soft innovations drive most successful businesses. It is highly unlikely that my business or your business is going to be the next Google.
- Often times keyword rich domain names are available which will give you a considerable competitive advantage over your competition.
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