Domains - Keywords vs Branding

Last Update: February 09, 2014

I was hoping to get some insights as to what others think and also share a post I wrote to help the newbies on my website learn a little about buying a domain.

Thanks for any insight you guys have.

http://howtobecomeawahd.com/how-to-buy-a-domain-effectively-keyword-vs-branding

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mama2karsten Premium
Enjoyed the post... very informative for people starting out and very helpful... even for those that aren't new. Nothing tells it better than a successful voice of experience!

For those that are new, I might add how important it is important for one's first impression to the world with their site, to also look professional so that people do want to click and explore further... it is that first click that gets the ball rolling, as you likely know better than most, a site will not thrive if the bounce rate is high. The content must connect the dots with the domain, Keywords or branding.(which you learned early on).

I would say, most don't know, on the average, that a site has 3 seconds or less to grab the attention of a visitor... it must be easy to scan and connect with what they were searching for in order for clicking to occur. When when there are clicks... it confirms to google and others that the site was a good match for the term searched.

And by the way, we miss you in the hangout... the last one with you was great because we got to see your new son... already showing signs of following in Dad's footsteps... So amazing! I know you are very proud.
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ramccracken Premium
I have so much knowledge from WA and people like you and craig it's hard to know which page to include it on and when to mention certain facts like the 3 second rule. It's all very relevant and I'm sure it will find it's way into a post about presentation of the website with all those other facts about mobile friendly themes etc.

You know me though. Act now to get the traffic rolling and work on conversion and presentation as I go. Google bots can't see, lol.

Are you guys free for a hangout for a bit tonight?
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mama2karsten Premium
yes... we will be there around 8 or 9 does that work for you? If not let us know what time... I will have Craig send you the link
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ramccracken Premium
I'll keep my googler open as I'll probably still be working at that time so I can catch up with you guys.
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mama2karsten Premium
ok... gave Craig heads up... he will drop you a note in a bit...:)
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Karyskis Premium
Thank you for sharing!
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ramccracken Premium
thanks for reading
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coolcity Premium
I'm not sure the domain name is that important unless you're already a well known brand. Even then it doesn't necessarily have to be relevant to what you do. Many of the world's biggest companies do not have names that are "relevant" - for example, would you know what McDonald's, WalMart or Chevrolet sold if you were not already familiar with the brand? None of those names describes what they actually do, their names are therefore not keywords related to what they sell.

For example, Tesco and Argos are two of the most well known brands in the UK but do any of you in the USA know who they are?

I would go for a short, easy to remember name but again it's not necessarily going to mean people are going to remember it and many big businesses are using catchphrase-style website names that they hope people will remember better than a short name.
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ramccracken Premium
All the companies you mention were built before the internet though, they all had a well known name before they were introduced to the internet. My thoughts were more about building a company from the internet up like cnet...... If I would have known that the domain does not have that effect in Google I probably would have branded my first website versus using a keyword.

This is pretty much the point of the article. A keyword domain can help you in a week but a brand can help you in a year.

Do you think I got that message across?

I know argos but not before I was an IM.

From the perspective of a newbie I want them to understand the difference between how a keyword domain will effect them versus a name that could mean anything and be used as a business name like Google

A keyword phrase domain name can be found in Bing and Yahoo a week after it is founded like my last site and the one I'm building for a local law firm.

Do you brand your websites or use keywords?
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coolcity Premium
Yes I think you probably got the message across. The most important thing is getting traffic to the site, then engaging your new found audience and in that respect I think the name of the site is largely irrelevant. I guess some people may be put off by a silly or overly-long name, but there again a lot of big companies are now using longer names for sub-sites to promote new products - though I have been trying to think of a recent example and have failed to come up with one!

My own site, which I have reasons for not wanting to publicize here, is a branded site in that it uses the name of my business but that name also indicates what the site is likely to be about. It's a word that if anybody typed into Google search, will come up in the number one spot (and the number 3 spot via Yelp). However because I am an unknown entity to the rest of the world, it is likely to be keywords that lead people to the site rather than my business name.
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ramccracken Premium
Makes sense. I usually just write off of my own experience and have seen value in both instances. I think smaller sites gain more value off of a keyword domain.
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coolcity Premium
Yes I would agree with that last sentence. In my case I was lucky enough to find a good name for the website and it effectively became my business name too. I got a logo design and use the same name and design for my ebay shop. The website is in the very early stages of being revamped, but I think branding it will prove to be effective as it implies a professional image for the business rather than just a small niche site that somebody has knocked up in a couple of hours.

As was mentioned earlier, a website has an average of 3 seconds to grab the visitor's attention. I heard it was 7 seconds, but whatever it is, you either have to have some seriously engaging content or portray a professional look and image that will want people to remain on site. I prefer the latter to grab the visitor's attention and initial impression of the site. Visitors are not going to read very much in a few seconds!

My current figures - I have literally just looked - show that my visitors stay on site for an average of just over 3 minutes and look at 2.42 pages. That's an awful lot longer than I got from the "old" (pre-revamp) site which, given that the name of the site hasn't changed, shows how important the new appearance and content is.

I get very few visits at the moment because it is very early days into the project but those who are visiting are clearly showing some interest in what they see.
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ramccracken Premium
I also just read an article about how older adults care more for the look but says only about 5% will actually make their final decision to purchase a product from the site on that basis. So ultimately it comes back to content.

However more important to younger generations is the site load time. We have a hurried younger generation that just wants they are looking for 3 seconds ago. Again this why you mix videos with written content because a lot of them are to lazy to even read if they can get the answer from a video, lol.

That is a pretty impressive ave time and page time for any site. Most people just go to the first page for an answer and only read more if they think it will add value to their visit so hats off and keep up the good work.
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coolcity Premium
"I also just read an article about how older adults care more for the look but says only about 5% will actually make their final decision to purchase a product from the site on that basis."

To be honest I'm not sure who comes up with all this stuff. Interview 1,000 people and you will probably get 999 different answers. Or another, similar survey might come back with completely different results.

But I believe the key is to make them feel comfortable as soon as they arrive on site, first impressions and all that, then the job is to make sure that the content makes them want to stay and hopefully purchase. I have yet to see any evidence that good content alone leads to high rankings though.
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ramccracken Premium
It was an Google Anlaytics report. Some info is unreliable. I have always wanted to get some themes that look more structured but have yet to find any that I'm completely happy with but I'm not ready to learn to code yet.
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Rick Jantz Premium
I think your post covers it nicely, Ryan. I like a simple yet memorable domain name. I've had no issue getting almost immediate access to my site when I purchase at Namecheap and point the DNS to WA at the point of purchase. I think this is hugely important for someone just starting up a website they've bought. You want to build it here right away. Sounds like you have the same speedy service with GoDaddy.
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ramccracken Premium
I just want to say I miss you Rick. We need to hangout if you know what I mean.
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Rick Jantz Premium
Oh, my apologies. I've been writing regularly for the past 6 weeks and with work going crazy I've been busy. K&C gave me lots of advice I've been trying to work on. Are you still doing the Wabby's with Craig? Not sure I'll be on this week cuz of Valentines Day.
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ramccracken Premium
Not really. My internet connection has been very iffy with the weather and having satellite. I still try to talk to everyone regularly though.
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DC574 Premium
Well written and informative, top marks!
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ramccracken Premium
I'm glad you like it. It will probably be edited several times as I like to think of each website and page as a living organism that grows.
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DC574 Premium
My thoughts exactly, a few of my pages are permanent fixtures that have slight mutations now and again as evolution of subject matter changes.
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