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Do Keywords In Url Matter?


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89 replies to this topic

#31 mcanerin

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 02:25 PM

Of course, having said all of that....

What the heck do you do when all the :censored: names are taken? You can't name your domain after your company name if every variation of it has already been registered...

I got lucky, my last name is so unusual that I was able to register it. I was also an early adopter for some of my other domains so I have some nice ones....

BUT, have you tried recently to register a .com domain that doesn't sound spammy? It's pretty hard! Many times, you pretty much have to go with a hyphen just to have a hope of getting something like your company name or main product. And good luck if it's in a technical, travel or computer related field.

Yes, you could go register as a .biz, .us, .web, .ca, .co.uk, or whatever, but it's only recently that people would actually pay attention to that - the habit is often to remember the main url and then automatically type .com at the end. Which is often your competition or some spammer / cybersquatter that makes YOU look bad if the visitor thinks it's you!

Ian

#32 mcanerin

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 12:35 PM

Answering my own question, since everyone else is ignoring me <sniff>, and having had the weekend to think about it, sometimes it's also OK to have a domain that has NOTHING to do with your product or service, and is simply memorable.

What! You disagree with me? Well, ok. Maybe you're right.

Sites like that are probably just a flash in the pan anyway - I mean, really - who would click on some dumb name like Yahoo or Google when they have a perfectly good domain like Search King sitting there in front of them :embarrassed:

If you think about it, many of the companies you buy from, deal with, and trust everyday have names that are not "keyword rich" and in most cases nonsensical or just last names or initials. IBM, McDonalds, GM, Kodak, Gateway, and many others.

That's not to say it always works, but sometimes it's better to have a domain like www.myname.com/keyword/keyword.htm than worrying about the domain name itself.

And if you were REALLY smart, instead of having a dynamic URL that looked like www.domain.com?fksjhae987 you would have one that looked like www.domain.com?keyword

Ian

#33 Jill

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 12:52 PM

Okay, Ian...I'll talk to you... :embarrassed:

I'm a firm believer in making up memorable company names and then using the domain to match. I think that's waaaaaaaaaay smarter to do than use some stupid domain name that is just keywords separated by a dash.

Who remembers blue-widgets-with-curved-edges.com when they could be thinking Blidgets.com (or whatever!)

It's fun to think of new names, and if you do a good job of branding it (which is also fun), you're all set. Not to mention that you can still optimize the site the usual ways to rank highly for any relevant keyword phrases you want to.

The best part is when anyone thinks of those blue widgets with curved edges, they ALWAYS think of Blidgets first! :)

Jill

#34 webstream

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 06:01 PM

Interesting topic, which lured into this forum. :drunk:

Most of the sites I create are all dynamic with querystrings attached. I have actually created large sites with only a few page templates. Do querystrings play any importance to SEO?

Also, you talk about keywords in title and content, which I totally understand and do. But how do you handle sites that sell numerous products in a variety of different categories? Do you try to make URLS apply to that category?

How much weight is given to the home page versus those linked URL pages?

Thanks,

Webstream
(the SEO Newbie)

P.S. - If I need some SEO help with some clients where would you look?

#35 Jill

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 09:24 PM

Welcome, Webstream! :drunk: Glad we lured you out of hiding!

You should probably post your question about query strings in our Dynamic Site Issues Forum, and your other questions deserve their own new topics too. I'd split yours off, but you have a variety of questions. Would you mind posting them in the other topic areas so that they can get the consideration they deserve?

Let's keep this thread going on the keyword in URLs issue...

Carry on!

Jill

#36 webstream

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 09:52 PM

Sorry, Jill. You're right and I know better. :drunk:

#37 webstream

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 02:29 PM

Does Keyword In Url Matter?


My question is: If all is equal, would keywords in domain name (URL) influence an audience's click preference?

I am looking for "monkeybars"? Which name would get my attention the most (if domain names matter)....

monkeybars.com, cheapmonkey.com, imonkey.com, aaa-monkey.com, etc...

I personally believe it might. Thoughts?

Webstream

#38 Scottie

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 02:33 PM

monkeybars.com

If all else were equal...

#39 Jill

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 02:37 PM

The audiences click preference? Yes, perhaps, if they notice that sort of thing.

The rankings, only if all else were truly equal, imo.

Jill

#40 webstream

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 03:15 PM

Okay, now let's examine this some more and remember our focus is just keywords in URLS, nothing to do with titles, meta tags, etc....

You sell "monkeybars" and your store name is "Zurks". Most consumers are not familiar with all the monkeybar brand names and most resellers, (which is true in many industries) , so do you recommend they "Zurks.com", or "MonkeyBars.com", or both? Will MonkeyBars.com in the URL get Zurks more web traffic?

Webstream

#41 markm

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 07:46 PM

Well keywords in the URL do indirectly matter as has been pointed out.

How important may vary quite a bit depending on the business, the competitiveness of the keywords and the number of keywords you target.

If your search strategy is to get results across 100 keywords because you have a broad product line then a keyword or two in the URL won't make a huge difference.

But if you have a single product, then you might need the edge.

But then again, it depends on your overall marketing and branding strategy.

I recently read a good book about company names. The best ones are memorable and evoke strong reactions. I am sure many people thought Yahoo was stupid. Who remembers now?

One naming technique which also might help you get keywords is to put together 2 words which don't normally go together - Hot-IceCream, Liquid-Cars, Slow-blazer - things like that


Mark

#42 mcanerin

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:05 PM

webstream,

For the example you used, I would probably choose both :poof:

There are many sites that have their main URL as the company.com and also park or 301 product.com.

The last public company I worked for used company.com as their "Company" website (aimed at the stock market) and product.com for clients, and it solved a lot of problems with regulators, etc.

For most people though, what you really want is for people to learn your brand by searching for your product (it's hard to do it the other way around). Once they know your brand, they will often type it in directly, without the need of a search engine.

Therefore, you use the brand, but promote the product(s). Remember - people use search engines to look for stuff, not companies. But they trust companies when it's time to purchase.

It's best therefore to optimize for your product, and then present your company. It's been my personal experience that people looking primarily for information tend to click on product.com, but people looking to buy like to click on company.com, all other things being equal.

Yes, you can do this with just company.com, or just product.com, and sometimes you may have no choice but to use one or the other. Given a choice, I'd go product.com redirected to company.com. The saved favorite is then your company.com , but the search choice was product.com Remember most people don't buy on the first visit. They come back, and once they trust you, then buy.

My humble (and occasionally wrong) opinion,

Ian

#43 webstream

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:37 PM

I recently read a good book about company names. The best ones are memorable and evoke strong reactions. I am sure many people thought Yahoo was stupid. Who remembers now?


Branding a name on the Net to me is a whole different issue. How many companies have the deep enough pockets (or crazy enough investors) to try branding a name like "Yahoo" or "Amazon" today? But I won't go there on this thread.

I have a great real example (I think). Today, I got a call about involvement on something with some of my clients. After the call I could not remember the exact domain name, so I typed in my address bar "www.SmartFAQ.com". Now this took me to a "http://smartbot.com.au/" (redirect). Wrong web site! <arghhh!!>

So I went to Google and typed in the search box "Smart FAQ". What became very obvious to me was the guys who own www.SmartFAQ.com (http://smartbot.com.au/) are not to be found in the first 30+ web sites listings! Also, the company web site I was looking for "www.SmartFAQ.net" isn't there either!

Having the keywords "Smart" and "FAQ" in their domain names did not help me in doing a Google search. But the names helped me only when I was trying to enter the URL (guess) through the address bar.

Webstream

#44 Jill

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:44 PM

You sell "monkeybars" and your store name is "Zurks". Most consumers are not familiar with all the monkeybar brand names and most resellers, (which is true in many industries) , so do you recommend they "Zurks.com", or "MonkeyBars.com", or both?

I would most definitely, 100% use the domain of zurks.com. No question!

Jill

#45 Jill

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 08:47 PM

Yes, you can do this with just company.com, or just product.com, and sometimes you may have no choice but to use one or the other. Given a choice, I'd go product.com redirected to company.com. The saved favorite is then your company.com , but the search choice was product.com


Ian, if I'm understanding what you're saying, this doesn't make sense.

If you redirect product.com to company.com, the search engines will just pick up company.com, no? That's what they're supposed to do, at least.

Jill




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