Keywords were at one time the most important thing in determining site ranking. Now, with greater focus shifting to content, the power of the humble keyword is on the decline. A keyword domain is a website name that directly ties in to your business, for instance if your company is a publisher, then publishing.com will be the apt keyword domain.
This helps convince people to click to your site, to a tune of nearly double that of other sites, but it does not mean they will be staying there. Here are some things to consider when choosing to use a keyword domain.
Potentially High Cost
Back in the early days of the Internet, it was not uncommon for people to quickly snag a web address and sale it for thousands, if not millions, of dollars. This still happens today, though the price is often lower. However, the cost of the domain name can still be at least one order of magnitude higher than another name (i.e. $10 verses $100.)
You have to weigh the potential of increased sales with your current budget and site goals. If your company only exists in person, say you are a dry cleaning firm, then it may not be worth it to shell out the extra cash.
Only Helps When Paired With Useful Content
As mentioned in the introduction, web search engines have increased in power to the point where companies are now focusing on content, rather than keywords. That means the content of the site matters more than the name, in the rankings.
That means you will need to have a talented writer on staff, regardless of your choice of domain name. If you do succeed in creating unique, easily understood, and informative content, then the keyword domain name will help boost your site presence greatly.
It Does Not Help With Branding
By using a keyword domain, you are giving up on the opportunity to promote your company name to the customers and general public. The name of the site is what people will remember, creating a situation where you can provide clients with goods and services for years, and they have no idea what your company is called.
If your firm is not well established, it may be wise to have an additional site with your corporate name as the domain name. This will give you the best of both worlds, though at a higher cost.
It May Lead to Trademark Issues
This happens more often in the United States than anywhere else, so those abroad can safely ignore this bit. Companies have a habit of filing trademarks on everything they can, and with the appropriate government agencies swamped, more than a few weaker applications pass through. That means you may purchase a site name that you cannot legally use, with the threat of civil penalties hanging overhead.
Make sure to have a legal advisor verify that you can use a word or phrase first. The additionally upfront expense may save your company a great deal of time, resources, and hard capital later on.
A keyword domain may seem like a good idea. However, it is only useful in a limited number of circumstances and potentially opens your company up for litigation by the competition. Instead, the best course of action is to use your company name, and create effective and engaging content that is more highly prized by modern search engines.
Whatever you decide, make sure to weigh all of the variables carefully. A domain name can stick with your company for years, becoming a valuable asset.
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