Q. Which is better?
A. Either is fine.
A keyword domain looks something like:
And a branded domain looks like:
The domain, or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is lingo for a Web address. No two are alike. The reason you always have to pay for your own is because of the ultimate registration costs with a central registrar, regardless of what agency is used. For instance, ICANN is the registrar for the USA and Nominet is for the UK.
Domain Marketing: Divergent Aims
If you want to attract search traffic as quickly as possible, use a keyword domain:
You’ll have a greater chance of ranking for search queries for the best ejector seats – provided you also follow other SEO practices.
I should note here that just having this domain alone will not guarantee you a high rank for an exact-matching search query!
Your site might appear on page three of a Google search, for example-wholly depending upon the SEO of other sites ranking for these terms. But over time, if you really laser focus on these keywords, then an exact-match domain will be all the more powerful for attracting those legions of people who search for the “best ejector seats.”
If you are building a brand – even as a solo act – branded domains work just fine:
After all, you’re building SEO and marketing channels in so many other ways than organic search traffic alone. Over time, your content will propel you to higher rank, regardless of your domain name. And your content is seeded with keywords.
You want something catchy that describes your business character, and something people can easily remember. The generic “Best Ejector Seats” name is too commonplace and easily forgotten. You want something people buzz about.
For example, a sub-niched blog that exists as an affiliate marketing platform would rely more heavily on search engine marketing, or SEM. This includes SEO and PPC campaigns (Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click).
These techniques help lure organic (SEO) and inorganic (PPC) traffic.
If your business model hinges on promotion of your unique brand value, it’s more important to reinforce your brand name, whatever it may be.
This will take more time, since you’ll be relying on the propagation of your unique value message – in referrals, reputation, networking, and the like.
Domain SEO: Choose Your Strategy
Do you want a network of anonymous sites? Use keyword domains.
Do you prefer an eponymous flagship site? Use a branded domain.
Can you nab a cool domain that does both? Go for it!
The good news is that, ultimately, the domain won’t help or hurt your site, when it’s taken with more vital SEO factors:
- Relevance – Keyword implementation
- Authority – Social linking
- Recency – Dynamic activity
- all of which merit their own books.
With Domain SEO, it’s more important that you don’t impede your value message, by misleading or confusing traffic.
Whether you employ a short term or long term domain marketing strategy, your domain will work in conjunction with deeper, more authentic factors. But I’ll leave you with a rule of thumb for naming your domain:
The simpler, the better.
This message will self-destruct in five seconds.