Domains

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In a marketing forum I recently stumbled across a post asking about what was the best thing to do with the keyword domains that centered around a product to be marketed. All things being equal for three domains about dog food, DogFood.com will rank better than FreeDogFoodSamples.com which will both rank better than JuansPetFood.com for the search term ‘dog food’.

The options offered up were:

  1. Point multiple domains to a single site and store.
  2. Create a separate site or blog with content for each domain all linking to one central store.
  3. Create multiple sites and stores, one for each keyword targeted domain name.

These weren’t the order they were originally submitted in, they have been re-arranged in order of increasing effectiveness with number three being the most effective. Interesting enough they are also in order of increasing effort and time requirement.

If we want to sell dog food, in the example above option #1 would be to point all of our domain names:

  • Healthy-DogFood.com
  • HealthyPetFood.com
  • OrganicDogFood.com
  • CheapDogFood.com

At our main site and store 1800dogfood.com. There is no content under any of our other domains. These domains can not get ranked in Google. A user happens to click on one and gets redirected to the main site.

Option #2 would be similar to having a separate blog with unique content at each of the keyword rich domain names. They would each have unique content related to the domain keywords with possibly some syndicated content from major sites. Each blog contains advertisements, promotions and information pieces about the products at 1800DogFood.com and links to the site.

If you do it right, you’ll end up with four decent blogs with some traffic and a shop with traffic from multiple sources and a stronger page rank.

Option #3 would take everything from #2 but also add a targeted micro-store on each additional domain with products related to its niche. The blogs would inter-link to each other for products outside of their niche. They would all link to the flagship store for the largest selection of products.

Not every market can turn a profit with that can of initial time requirement up-front. You have to be able to do some volume from the get-go or sell a high profit item. But you should be able to see the value in the additional time to get it right. All things being equal, if you implemented each equally well, with the final option, you end up with four super-targeted niche ecommerce/content sites with a good page rank and one large super-store with a built-in supply chain of traffic from the blogs.

In all cases like this, I try to get the low hanging fruit first. Maybe do #3 for two domains and try to get really good content and a super targeted shop on each. Then take another domain or two and create just a blog with a small amount of fresh content, updated less often than the main two. I wouldn’t build a store on one of these until they started to show some traffic promise, but they are there for a while putting in the months building up a little bit of page rank just for age of domain and basic content. Better than starting from a spanking new domain name if it starts looking attractive again.

Of course start with your most promising domains first and spend the most amount of time on them!

Domain name optimization does not make sense for every online store, especially those with large brand identity. Properly implementing a keyword rich domain name scheme can help smaller mom and pop shops compete more evenly.

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