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Should You Buy a Keyword-Rich Domain for your Site SEO?

I’ve been asked this by a few clients recently, and the answer is yes. And no.

The wording in our domain is just one small element that contributes towards your website listings. If your domain is spot-on but the rest of your SEO is useless or non-existent, you’ll get nowhere. If your domain is useless but the rest of your SEO is spot-on, you’ll be flying.

The most important time to consider your domain is when you are first setting up your website – then you can choose a domain featuring one of your main key phrases, and it will contribute to your over all optimisation efforts. Ensure, of course, that your domain is easy for people to read, understand and type in too – you don’t want to sacrifice usability for SEO.

However, once your website is listed in the Search Engines and you have visitors coming in, it no longer makes sense to consider keyword-rich domains. In order to take advantage you would have to change your main domain to a keyword-rich one, and changing your domain raises its own issues in Google. Google attributes your SEO listings to your domain, so moving domains has to be done very carefully to ensure all that reputation you have built up moves with you to the new domain. It can be done successfully with no problem, but you want to make sure it’s worth the work.

Some clients have suggested the idea of buying keyword-rich domains and pointing them in to their main website. This is a technique that was commonly used maybe 8 years ago, but no longer – it’s considered a dirty tactic now, and the Search Engines (especially Google) take a dim view. You risk being penalised.

The only time when choosing a new keyword-rich domain might apply is if you decide to set up a separate website dedicated to just one of your products – say you produce a range that has really taken off and you want to produce more elements to it and give it a dedicated site you can advertise. Or you want to create a site dedicated to just one particular area of your business, in-depth.

So when you set up your site, give it due consideration, but after you site is settled and established, you are better off focusing your energy in other areas (such as that blog you have been meaning to write for weeks – you know who you are!).

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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