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Companies understand what SEO is. They know its value and why it’s needed. One thing many people undervalue is a good domain name. A good domain name can be very valuable from an SEO perspective. Companies like GoDaddy don’t really do anyone a favour other than themselves when they talk about registering a domain name for $10. They’re just trying to get you to spend your money with them.
It’s just a domain name
This is not the right attitude to have if you’re serious about starting a business and helping your organic search rankings. If your domain has not been registered and you can pick it up for $10, it’s because nobody else wants it. It’s not worth anything and nobody has ever heard of you or your new $10 domain name. Which means people are going to have a hard time searching for you, your products, or your services.
You are going to be spending additional time, money, and effort on things like social media marketing, Google AdWords, and many other paid platforms just to drive traffic to your site. This will be over and above what you would be spending normally on those things had you just invested in a decent domain up front.
What Makes A Good SEO Domain Name
A “good” SEO domain name will usually end up being purchased on the after market for thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.
It comes down to a bunch of things, but these are a few key factors in what makes a good domain name:
- .com is king and always will be. Unless you are targeting a certain location (i.e.: Canada using .ca)
- Does it have the keywords people are looking for and describe what your site is about?
- No numbers or hyphens.
- Spelled correctly.
- Short as reasonably possible.
I will probably write another blog post entirely on what makes a good domain name because I’ve only scratched the surface here. I could go into far more detail than I am now, but that is not the point of this post. The point is to tie together the use of additional domain names from an SEO perspective.
SpencerMcLeod.com Is A Bad SEO Domain Name
Let’s be honest. SpencerMcLeod.com is not a great domain name. Nobody knows who I am, what I do, or what my site is about. I am driving traffic to it through YouTube videos, social media, and job applications. Meaning it’s kind of a “boots on the ground, knocking on doors” method. There’s nothing organic about it. If I stop doing these things, my traffic will dry up.
So Why The Hell Are You Using A Bad Domain Name?
When I started building this site, I knew I wanted to talk about music, web development and some various subcategories. Two different things entirely, but I didn’t know how best to tie them together under one domain name or website. So, I chose SpencerMcLeod.com to start building my site fully knowing I would be making a change in the coming weeks. I just didn’t have a clear picture at the time. I needed to see how this site would turn out, design wise and content wise.
I’m posting blogs about recording, music, WordPress, web development and many other things. However, SpencerMcLeod.com does not contain any of those things within itself. It doesn’t mean anything. What the hell is a Spencer McLeod? You don’t know and neither does Google.
The Only Advantage To Using My Personal Name
If there is one advantage I see to using SpencerMcLeod.com it’s this – it does protect me from someone else using my name for any reason, even a different Spencer McLeod.
Domain Names & SEO
Google considers the keywords in your domain as well as the content of your site when ranking your web pages*. From an SEO perspective, having a domain with the right keywords in it, as well as having fresh, unique, related content will give you a leg up in the eyes of Google. This will help to improve organic search results over time. For example, having a webpage rank for the keyword “recording” will likely rank higher with “recording” in the domain name.
I know using SpencerMcLeod.com for any lengthy period was not going to get me anywhere. The longer it takes me to make the modifications, the longer it was going to take to see results. Not to mention the extra time it would take to reorganize content across three sites as I continue to create more content.
*Google does not rank websites, it ranks web pages.
The SEO Strategy
Three domain names, three websites, but it all looks like one. I’m not claiming to be the first person to think of this. In fact, I know this is a strategy other people and companies use already.
What this means is I will split the content as appropriate between three websites. However, from the user’s perspective it would all look like one site. The only thing that would change is the content on each site. The design would be the same, the navigation menu would be the same, the sidebar would be the same, but they all link to the relevant content on each site.
For example, if you come across this article on WebsiteBuilt.com but click on the “Contact” button, you will be redirected to SpencerMcLeod.com. If I decide to write a blog post about music & recording, I’ll put that under the domain I choose for music & recording content. However, the only noticeable difference would be the address in your URL bar.
I can now organize content based on the niche and have it on a domain all its own that more accurately describes what you would expect to find on such a site. The keywords in the domain name and their synonyms would be all related to the content on the site, which are all things Google looks at when ranking a web page.
This is part of my SEO strategy over the next few weeks to generate organic traffic as it relates to music and the web on a long-term basis.