Ever Wonder What Your Business URL or Domain Should Have Been?


local seo nj

Small Business SEO NJ

URLs or Domains are necessary, a business has to have at least one. They are also marketing tools; however, they do not correlate to competitive search engine rank or visibility unless supported by other highly important factors. Generally speaking, a business URL or domain name can be the exact name of the business; it may only be related to the name of that business, related to its service or it can be both the name and service. But mostly it will serve as where the business is located on the web. For local service-based businesses, there are generally 3 types of domain names:

  1. Branded Domain
  2. Keyword Domain
  3. Hybrid Domain

See more detail on these 3 below.

Domains Matter Little When It Comes to Competitive SEO

Regardless of the business URL or Domain your business chooses, it is always important to understand that you cannot game Google’s system with your choice. Google only prioritizes the best answers to a search or a question. A domain, no matter how close to the subject, does not equate to a ‘best answer’.

“Just because keywords are in a domain name doesn’t mean that it’ll automatically rank for those keywords. And that’s something that’s been the case for a really, really long time.” – John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst – Google

Unless there is no competition for the answer to a search and that is 99.99% completely unlikely in a world gone online, a website or a website page’s status as the best answer will have to be earned. And that is going to be based on up to 200 competitive signals, starting with the content of the page itself.

Given the choice of A) an unrelated domain name page with great content, great use/presentation of its keywords, trusted backlinks, supportive outbound links, lots of user activity (competitive measurable examples), and B) a keyword-based domain without, the latter option or B) stands no chance. Sure a unique and memorable domain is good, but a unique and memorable domain that also supports people with the information they seek is infinitely better.

1. What Is A Branded Domain Name?

A branded domain is the use of a brand or business name itself. Like, for example, Kinetic Knowledge is both our companies name and our business URL.

Our name reflects a theory we had when we got started about 17 years ago. That was related to our belief that success online starts with and is directly related to knowledge-based content. If that knowledge could be published then moved out through different channels like search engines, social networks, and email then it could be ‘Kinetic’. Kinetic meaning ‘… of, related to or produced by motion’ and in our view relating it to and supported by the nature of the web. If so a business could, in theory, build visibility with and hopefully attract traffic to where it could be converted to leads.

And so ours is an example of a “Branded” domain name. Please note that kineticknowledge.net or kineticknowledge.org, for example, are also branded domains. In these cases, we are only referring to the root domain and not the “TLD”. The ‘root’ domain is the part before the dot. What comes after the dot is the “TLD”, or Top Level Domain, like “.com”, “.net” or “.org”.

2. What Is A Keyword Domain Name?

Many local businesses will serve one geographic area for a particular service. For example, consider a theoretical local contractor in Belmar NJ named ‘Jones Construction’. It might be common for this business to try and purchase a domain like “belmarnjconstruction.com” and this would be a keyword-based domain. An “Exact Match Domain” (EMD) would match a targeted keyword exactly, like maybe “construction.com”, if that was was even available.

The domain “belmarnjconstruction.com” might be the best idea in terms of a Keyword Domain used for identification amongst local prospects.

3. What Is A Hybrid Domain Name?

A hybrid domain name, obviously, is a mix of the two or ‘Jones’ and ‘Construction’. So a brand and a keyword in the domain like, for instance, maybe “JonesConstruction.com.”

Ask us about local SEO and getting your business set up to compete online successfully!

Does SEO Work?Small Business SEO NJ

We receive calls from business people dangerously uninformed about their web presence, they want to know “Does SEO work?”. When they decide to look into SEO service, it is inevitably because they realize their website has no traffic. Nothing is coming in, no visitors nor leads, no one knows what or who we are or where we do it. The question they ask is, “does SEO work?”

Just because you build a website does not necessarily mean that someone will visit it. And while various types of website software, for instance, WordPress, offer different on-page SEO tools – it is only the actual use of them that is going to matter. Ultimately we must have the attention of search engines first in order to then gain the attention of qualified (by their search) consumers.

How much competition there is will determine how many signals are necessary to even become competitive for target keywords. Website pages have to be optimized for search engines to notice, but off-website signals will also be necessary to rank them high.

When in panic mode we often want a resolution fast and, unfortunately, that’s NOT how SEO or search engines work. Granted some keyword targets are less competitive than others and can happen more quickly, but we’ve got to schmooze Google for the hyper-competitive keyword targets; we’ve got to impress with the useful content and various on and off-website signals Google uses to compare!

Realistic Expectations And SEO

There are many areas of SEO: you may build the most beautiful website ever, but it’s not enough. That’s not how it works. Worse, search results never stop changing (see: What is the Google Crawl). You must combine best practices and techniques including keyword-optimized content, internal page-linking, quality inbound links from other sites, quality outbound links to supporting content, accurate listings & citations, and depending on how competitive for the keywords in a particular business discipline, quite possibly more.

Search engines are way ahead of you! They look for compliance with a set of quality guidelines, not to mention use and popularity versus the competition. And popularity is not paying someone to build 1,000 backlinks anymore, which is likely going to be identified as spamming and do more harm than it ever will good. For example, it’s actually being chosen from a set of results and then time spent on a page once chosen. 

Should My Business Invest in SEO?

You may be asking, Why should invest time or money into SEO if it’s going to take time to produce results?” You may decide not to implement an SEO strategy, but serious competitors certainly will. Genuinely qualified people are not waiting for an advertisement, they are searching for exactly what they want AND you offer. No SEO and you won’t be there for them … but some of your competitors will.

If you want immediate visibility for a sale or special- get the word out by advertising it. If you want to have the type of web footprint that will allow consumers to find their way to your website often and on their own terms & timeline, you need SEO. Whether you are a brick and mortar business or 100% web-based, your web presence needs to be available for the people already considering your product, service, and/or brand.

80% of all consumers research businesses online before every buying. So those of us who fail to implement an SEO strategy … ultimately plan to fail.

About Kinetic Knowledge

monmouth county nj seo services


Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full-service digital marketing firm offering small business SEO,  website design, website fix & troubleshooting, website host & management, social media, graphic design, content, and custom webmaster service solutions. Give us a call to learn more about our services. We can be reached at 732-722-5915 or visit us online at www.kineticknowledge.com

Why Bother With A Business Listings Directory?

Getting your business’ Name, Address, Phone number (NAP), and any other details into business listings can not only improve visibility to random searching leads but improve local SEO for a website. NAP (including hours of operation) information is routinely cross-referenced against a website’s own NAP information for local info-consistency by search engine algorithms. And while backlinks are only one ranking signal for websites and their pages, according to Moz research listing directories and local citations are still a ranking factor that can matter competitively for the local business.


Business Listings Local SEO

The Top Local Business Directories ( 18 ) 

 * This list is part research, part our experience, and therefore part our opinion 
  1. Google My Business – Simply the most visible listing information, bar none and by far
  2. Bing Places – A lot of people use MSFT devices and they are being pushed towards Bing Search, Bing Images, and Bing listings
  3. Facebook – FB business pages are a lot of things, including important contact information and website back-links
  4. Apple Maps/ Siri, unless you register directly which can be a headache, draws on a few databases including its own Apple Maps, also Google for the lion’s share, and Bing for image-related search data
  5. Amazon/ Alexa – not so much a directory and really for when folks use an Alexa device, but Alexa draws upon its own and also Bing search results, but is believed to trail in terms of its’ local search results
  6. Yahoo – still relevant!
  7. Yelp – they developed a bad rap for using bad reviews as a sales tool “quid pro quo” if you will, but ‘bad rap’ and all and they still matter
  8. Yellow Pages
  9. Chamber Of Commerce
  10. HotFrog
  11. Superpages
  12. MerchantCircle
  13. Better Business Bureau
  14. Nextdoor
  15. eLocal
  16. DexKnows
  17. Alignable
  18. Local.com

Concerns With Business Directories

  1. Some directories will already have the business listing in their database, but even if not it will require registration and then some form of verification process that can take a lot of valuable time;
  2. There are so many local business directories the value (in general) may be diluted to irrelevant with the ‘people that search’;
  3. There are so many directories that search engines may not value the listing content or its’ backlinks;
  4. Very few directories get big traffic, so it is hard to know which directories truly matter or how much;
  5. The directory business model is typically to sell upgrades & advertising, potentially leaving a free registered listing in an obscure place;
  6. It is difficult to know which directory will value the listing content and which will abuse it as an opportunity to redirect visitors to other content AND 
  7. In order for folks to give you a review, they will be forced to register personal accounts … discouraging many. 

Listing Services And Local SEO

With Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Small Business, we’re talking about getting visible to qualified shopping consumers in a locally specific geographic area, including voice-driven search. Kinetic Knowledge is a small to medium-sized business digital marketing agency offering expert SEO, Copywriting & Blogging and Social Media Marketing and Directory Listings Management. Ask us about getting your business listings under control and completely optimal today!


Business Citations And Directory ListingsCitations And Directory Listings | Google Listing Local SEO

For your business information, citations and directory listings are off-website references that typically include name, address, phone number (e.g. NAP), hours of operation, website URL, and more. In many cases, depending on the directory, there are options for enhanced detail information.  These references will support a business’s competitive SEO and entry into both the ‘map pack’ and organic areas of a search results page.

What Citations And Directory Listings Do For Your Business


Have you ever wondered why competitors rank high in search results for local keywords? For many local businesses, SEO is undermined by its listings because the owners have either ignored or simply allowed these references to become inconsistent.

Sure, there are an enormous no. of signals that Google counts when comparing your business to the next one so listings are not the only signal, but one important detail the serious local small to medium-sized business can use to improve its local SEO is by getting its listings and citations under control, detailed and fully accurate!

Wait, what was that? People search and find business websites on Google, SO WHY would a business owner with a website bother chasing other directory listings & citations? Or better yet, how many people ever search for a “Home Builder” on Topix.com, yellowpages.com, or Yahoo.com? Mostly, they don’t; however, Google is a search engine (albeit it also offers a business listings directory of its own) that is looking to satisfy every person’s search in the best way possible.

Google & Bing actually scrape these third party business directories in order to take the consistency & accuracy of your citations and directory listings into account when determining whether or not to include your business in locally relevant search results. They mean to find and then compare the most relevant information available on any subject, locally. When there are lots of accurate references to a particular business, especially when those references are consistent with the website’s info, that is where citations can add a great deal of value.

Logically, a business with a lot of accurate citations online will have a far better chance of ranking high in Google local search results because those references help to demonstrate an accurate local presence. And while Google isn’t disclosing which listing sites they trust or value the most, you can certainly do a quick business-specific search and draw your own conclusions. Many of the ‘search and directory site listings’ for that business are going to be there, especially Google!

Getting Your Business Listings & Citations RightLocal Ranking Factors Directory Listings And Citations


But who has the time to register, then manage verification and a per-directory learning curve of options in order to get more listings? Who has the time to update them, for instance, when a phone number changes? It’s even more challenging when you consider that no one knows which citations truly matter to Google, so where is an investment of time best spent?

It’s where a service like ours shines! It is also an easy way to build back-links safely, without running the risk of raising red flags. And while Google doesn’t necessarily count all listing back-links, its algorithm certainly counts some of them!

Our Listing Citation Service Benefits

For some, the management of listings is welcomed support. We can add a business’s information to most of the large meaningful search & directory listing sites, accurate & detailed. It will not only support a better competitive set of signals needed for higher Search Rankings but potentially more leads and customers. Check out our service, which can add that all PLUS a great deal more for your marketing mix! Also note, our Local Business SEO plans include Citations and Directory Listings!