Is it Wise to Own the Domain Name that is One of Your Big Keywords?

One of my philosophies in business is ‘once a client, always a client’.

This probably seems a little counter-intuitive.  Trust me – if nothing else this is quite unconventional.  I’ve shared this credo with many colleagues and industry professionals – which is typically greeted with a ‘bless your heart’ type of response.  The problem is, once a client stops paying, or declined to renew a contract, it’s all too commonplace to leave them in the dust and move onto the next prospect.  After all – everyone needs help with this stuff, and there is always another opportunity right around the corner.  The reality though is that the client may still need your guidance, even if they are no longer in a position to afford your fees.

It’s more than just a pitch – I actually mean it.  And occasionally I hear from a past client who has a question or needs a little assistance.  Such was the case last week, when out of the blue, I heard from ‘Jake’, whom I literally hadn’t spoken to in over a year.

*Slight modifications were made to the conversation to preserve anonymity.

Jake sent me an email out of the blue with the title ‘quick question’.  His question was “Is it wise to own the domain name that is one of your big keywords?”  He went on to provide an example of the domain he was considering for purchase.  He already has a 10+ year old domain and a site pertaining to his business.  Here is my response:

The answer to your question depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it.  There is basically no SEO value in owning a domain simply to redirect it to your main site.  It would be a good domain name to own if you’re planning on building out a site on it, or if you’re planning on moving your site to it (although I don’t know why you’d want to do that).

Another reason to buy it is so no one else can – even if you’re not planning on developing it.  Exact match domain names are a premium – I’m actually a little surprised that one is available.  I’d snatch it up if I were in your position if for no other reason.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

He followed up with:

I do not plan to change my name to the keyword in question but I was thinking about building an informative site about the topic and build links back to my site.  Is that what you would recommend?

To which I replied:

No I wouldn’t recommend that.

Creating valuable content is the best SEO strategy.  Publishing it on a separate domain dilutes the value of the content with respect to your site.  If you want to blog, do it on your main domain.

Search Engines like authority sites.  The more valuable content your site contains, the better this purpose is served.  The more your content gets liked and shared on social networks and such is also a big ranking signal.

Linkbuilding is a different game now.  Google’s latest algorithm change (called Penguin launched in April) has made traditional linkbuilding tactics such as directory submissions, forum participation, blog commenting, content distribution through article farms, etc. virtually irrelevant, and can actually have an adverse effect on your SERP rankings.  Anchor text is also something to be very careful of.

The best link-building tactics involve getting content to authority blogs and publications on the web with links back to your site.  This has to be done manually, and the good publications out there will likely ask for 100% original content and a period of exclusivity.  As you can probably imagine, this is extremely time consuming and challenging.  In other words, links for links sake is a bad practice – link-building in many respects is no longer a numbers game.  Focus on links from sites that are relevant to your site, and are likely to send some traffic because of their relevance to that site’s visitors.

Have  question about link-building, SEO or the like?  Drop me a line by using the contact form linked above – I’d love to hear from you!

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