Ever Wonder What Your Business URL Should Have Been?
URLs or Domains are necessary, at least, if a business wishes to have a live website online. A Business URL or domain is also a marketing tool and it can support the business brand; however, URLs do not correlate to competitive search engine rank or visibility unless they are supported by many other important SEO signals. It is important to understand that Search Engines prioritize ‘the best answers’ to a search or a question! They will scrutinize so many other things (up to 200, depending on the level of competition) to rank a website’s pages. A domain, no matter how close to the ‘subject search’, does not equate to a ‘best answer’.
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, or to its service. 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:
- Branded Domain
- Keyword Domain
- Hybrid Domain
See more detail on these 3 below.
Business URLs 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 it. Google, Bing, and the other engines only prioritize the best answers to a person’s search (or their question). A domain, no matter how close to the ‘subject search’, does not amount 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 MUST be earned. And that is going to be based on up to 200 competitive signals, none more important than 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 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!