Domains are the digital real estate that represents your brand online. Choosing the right one has a huge impact on your SEO success.
In the early 2000s, businesses realized that including their target keywords in their domain name was a ticket to ranking top of Google. However, this practice became too widespread and Google released an update to penalize EMD websites in 2012.
But despite the algorithmic penalties, exact match domains still offer some major benefits.
Increased Search Engine Visibility
When it comes to search engine visibility, businesses are constantly pursuing ways to improve their rankings and get their brand in front of as many people as possible. This can include everything from content marketing to social media optimization. But, one often overlooked strategy is the use of exact-match domains (EMDs). EMDs are domain names that feature the exact keyword that a business is targeting in their SEO efforts. In the past, this was an effective way to boost SEO rankings and get more clicks on PPC ads.
EMDs first came into play in the early 2000s when businesses started discovering the potential of using their brand name in their domain name to help them rank higher on Google SERPs. This was a time-tested and effective SEO tactic that worked well for many businesses, especially when it came to ranking on local searches, as this was the main focus of their SEO efforts.
However, over the years, search engines have developed and evolved, and exact match domains now enjoy little to no significant ranking benefit, unless they are also supported by high-quality content. In fact, if a business uses an EMD and posts thin, un-optimized content, it can actually hurt their search engine ranking.
Despite this, some brands still choose to use EMDs for their online presence, as it provides instant credibility and trust from the perspective of the audience and can result in a more attractive search result listing. Additionally, having a brand name in your domain can make it easier for your site to appear in autocomplete data and suggestions for search queries as well as in the Knowledge Panel on Google SERPs.
A business can also implement semantic SEO tactics to support the exact match domain and ensure that all relevant query types are covered by a topical authority and contextually consolidated. This includes evergreen informational keyword searches, seasonal product search queries, and frequently demanded product queries. By implementing semantic SEO, the business can overcome any issues with dilution and cannibalization of ranking signals that may arise from using an EMD.
2. Increased Brand Awareness
Using an exact match keyword domain name is often seen as a way to gain SEO value for a website. This is because it will tell search engines what the site is about and may help it rank higher for the specific keyword that’s included in the name. However, this isn’t always the case. Some search engines will not give an EMD any sort of boost and they can even penalize the site for having a keyword in the URL.
Despite this, many businesses still choose to use exact-match keywords in their domain names for branding purposes. They want to make it clear to searchers that the brand offers a product or service that they are looking for and that it’s one of the best options out there. In addition, an exact-match domain name can also be easier for users to remember, which can increase their click through rate.
Some businesses even use partial matching domains to get the most out of their SEO efforts. They might have the main keyword in the domain but then use other words to create a unique and memorable name for their brand. This can allow them to rank for a wider range of terms and increase their visibility online.
A lot of these types of sites are comparison or review websites that can rank highly for competitive keywords. They might have the word “compare” in their domain name or a similar phrase to show that they offer the most up-to-date and accurate information on products and services. Examples of this include Forces Compare, MoneySuperMarket and Funding Invoice.
Exact match domains have a reputation for being a bit of a spam tactic but they can work well if used correctly. They can help you to rank more quickly for a particular term and can improve your user experience by giving you a more relevant result. However, they are not a magic bullet and should be used alongside a great marketing and SEO strategy that delivers massive value to searchers.
The most important thing to remember is that exact-match domains are not necessarily a good idea for all businesses. They can be risky and should only be used by those who have the resources to create a strong SEO campaign that will deliver high-quality content and user experience.
3. Increased Traffic
Domains are the unique addresses that identify websites on the internet. Exact-match domains are domains that contain exact keyword phrases that search engines match to searches for relevant information. Exact-match domains have been used by affiliate marketers to guarantee traffic to their sites by ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs). Some SEO professionals believe that exact-match domains are still a viable strategy for increasing website traffic.
The advantage of using an exact-match keyword domain is that it enables a website to rank quickly for a specific keyword. This is particularly useful for businesses that rely on online marketing strategies to drive revenue. However, there are many factors that influence how well an exact-match keyword domain ranks for a particular search term. It is important to understand these factors before attempting to use an exact-match domain to increase web traffic.
In the past, exact-match domains had a significant impact on search engine optimization (SEO). However, since Google’s 2012 update that targeted exact match domains as an example of spam, these domains have lost much of their power to influence SEO rankings. However, if an exact-match domain has quality content and is not associated with spam, it may be able to rank for a keyword.
Exact-match domains can also be a useful tool for brand recognition. By including keywords in your business’s name, you can connect with a target audience and establish a solid reputation. In addition, an exact-match keyword domain can help you rank in local search results, which is especially important for small businesses that rely on local customers.
The key to using an exact-match keyword domain effectively is to ensure that your site’s content is highly relevant to the search terms you’re targeting. This means that your website should contain a good amount of relevant keywords, but not so many that it appears spammy or unnatural. This will help your site rank higher in search engine results pages, which will lead to more traffic and sales. In order to increase traffic, you should focus on creating content that is both informative and engaging.
4. Increased Revenue
Domain names are a valuable asset that can generate millions of dollars in revenue. Exact-match keyword domains offer new ways to reach an untapped customer base and connect companies to their target audience without expensive advertising.
For example, a search for “casino bonuses” results in around seven to eight websites on page one that have the word in their domain name. This type of exact match domain SEO strategy can provide a competitive advantage and help businesses rank above competitors that aren’t using this method.
The value of Exact-Match Keyword Domains has increased since 2012 when Google updated their algorithm to reward brands in search results by looking at factors such as brand queries, social engagement, and the presence of keywords in the domain name. This update essentially removed the disadvantages of using exact-match domains and improved the ranking power of those who had the right marketing strategy and were truly relevant to their targeted market.
Even so, the use of exact-match keywords in domains is not a foolproof SEO tactic and it does come with risks. A few years ago having keywords in a domain name was a major factor in SEO and it would give a website an instant boost in rankings. This was especially true when the domain was the exact keyword that someone searched for. In addition, having a keyword in the domain name also allowed for instant link building as people naturally linked to websites that had the same keywords in their URL.
However, as time went by many EMDs saw their rankings deteriorate, particularly after some black hat SEOs started to take advantage of this and built thin content affiliate sites with exact match keywords in the domain. Later Google updates nerfed this and it’s now rare for a site to achieve top rankings with an EMD.
For most businesses, it just doesn’t make sense to buy an EMD for the sake of having a keyword in the domain name. Instead, it may be more beneficial to choose a domain that is a smart partial match or uses synonyms. For example, price comparison sites such as Forces Compare and Funding Invoice are both smart uses of partial matches that still offer a significant branding benefit.