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Good Local Business Domain Name For Seo


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#1 Pete

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 05:19 AM

Perhaps I'm out of date, but I'm assuming that good keywords in a domain name are still relevant for SEO.

I have a client who wants a site that ranks well for his locality and business, e.g. an electrician in Manchester. If these are good keywords (which I think they are for a start) I have suggested we look for a relevant domain name with those words rather than his business name which is something like John Smith Solutions and not going to help at all.

Of course the following domains are not avaialble:

www.electricianmanchester.co.uk

www.electricianinmanchester.co.uk

www.manchesterelectrician.co.uk

(neither are .com available)

My questions are:

1) Are .biz, .info, .net etc as useful as .co.uk for SEO?

2) Am I missing some other very obvious domain name for a nice combination of the words?

3) Is the order of those words important?

TIA

#2 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:15 AM

The majority of folk see mto be of the opinion that alternative domain name tlds are not particualrly good (people assume .com etc. and don't really "look").

Same sort of views go for using a hyphen as well (apparently people cannot understand the use of the word "dash" or "hyphen" when "spelling out" the domain name!).


Getting 2 or more dfomains is always useful.
So get one for the business name if possible AND get one for the are/locality and bussiness type.

Good alternatives could include the use of "the"...
. the manchester electrician . com
. the manchester electrician . co . uk
...(without the spaces!) are both available :)

So that is one problem potentially solved.


Not sure about the order... but I would "guess" that the order of typing might make an influence.
If the name is "manchester electrician".... I think results for "manchester electrician" would be higher than "electrician manchester"... though probably not by much (again, just guessing there!).


So, possible Domains include...
. a manchester electrician . com
. a manchester electrician . co . uk
. an electrician in manchester . com
. an electrician in manchester . co . uk
. the electrician in manchester . com
. the electrician in manchester . co . uk
. the manchester electrician . com
. the manchester electrician . co . uk


And if you set them up right on paperwork.... you could have something nice like...
www . TheManchesterElectrician . Com
...which makes more emphasis and improves readabilityu somewhat.


Hope that helps ;)

#3 Pete

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:24 AM

Yes, that's very helpful and confirms what I thought. I like "The" in the domain, good idea. I'd thought of best Manchester electrician, but you "THE" is great, especially when you say it with an emphasis.


How does it work with two domains? Just put the pages up on one of them and use a 301 redirect?

#4 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 09:32 AM

Actually, I'm not sure... I have a site admin for handling that... something like parking domains?
Basically you can have multiple domain names pointing to the same site (some of my clients have 4 or 5 per site).

You host could probably provide better info...

#5 Ron Carnell

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 09:35 AM

Sorry, but I'm going to disagree. On a couple of points.

Personally, I avoid trying to make small changes to an established domain name that I know I'm going to be competing against. If you register and subsequently promote TheManchesterElectrician.com, how many people down the road are going to use a search engine as a navigation tool to find your site again? How many people are going to forget to type in 'The' first? I really, really don't want to be spending my promotion dollars to send traffic to my competition.

(For the same reason, I generally don't mind if people try to build on my domains once I've established a market lead. I don't register a dozen different variations of every domain so long as I feel confident I've registered the FIRST variation of a domain name and can establish my lead. There are, of course, a lot of factors to consider when deciding if I can compete, but being first is a biggie for me. The search engines, especially Google, seem to be leaning in that direction, too, I think. I'm sure not going to register TheAmazon.com and spend a lot of money trying to promote it.)

More importantly, however, while keywords in a domain name help some in rankings, they really don't help a whole lot in most instances. Definitely not enough to ignore the potential of good branding!

Let me say that again.

The value of branding should far, far, far outweigh any relatively minor ranking advantages. While those two facets of a domain name can sometimes coexist peacefully, it's much more typical that you have to make a choice. I would very rarely suggest choosing transient rankings over a potential long-term asset no one will ever be able to take away from you once established.

#6 Pete

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:46 AM

The value of branding should far, far, far outweigh any relatively minor ranking advantages. While those two facets of a domain name can sometimes coexist peacefully, it's much more typical that you have to make a choice. I would very rarely suggest choosing transient rankings over a potential long-term asset no one will ever be able to take away from you once established.


Agreed, but in this case the brand name is established, and it's not very good IMO.

John Smith Solutions is verging on the embarrassing.

God to get the others side of the coin, I see your point about "The" being forgotten and potentially handing customers to the competition.

Maybe I can suggest some creative rebranding.

#7 Guest_Autocrat_*

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:59 AM

:rapidly running towards previous discussions:

Again, the branding statement is perfectly correctly, but this is a fine case in point - there is already and established brand, it is not particualrly strong and the potentially matching domains are already taken.
So this leaves us with either tackling the most likely search terms and competing against those using them, or comming up with the weid and wonderful stuff again... which as I have previously suggested is of little use to small companies as they lack the finances to really push such a branding/image based campaign.

Yes, the points are valid - but I went with the requests.
using "the" is not optimum, but nor is using some unheard of name.
If htere are 100 sites all using much the same key-words/phrases, then every little helps.
It's not like their is going to be much of a link war (I'm guessing), so bang goes that line of value.
From there, that leaves the ever important content, and the little incremental value qualifiers, such as the use of good titles, good H1 wording, good ratio of key-word/phrasing etc... and domain names (which in many cases seem to have some influence and is suggested as such by many).

So what are the other alternatives?
Out of those, which ones are viable to a small, independant business with a likely limited budget?
Further, how is a company such as theatto generate ever improving content?
Is there to be an electrician blogg? What about FAQ etc... it's at this level when such thigns are not likely to be warranted or wanted by the client... so that leaves us with the nitty gritties only.


I suppose the easiest one is to examine and pray that the existing market has a large sector for "hip" clients and go for www. da elektrician . tld - and pray that people don't think he's moronic or illiterate :)


I apologise if that seems like a snappish response - but I get the distinct impression that people believe clients have almost endless wads of cash, and/or are going to use the site as a major promotional tool.
In many cases, they lack funds and simply want the site up as little more than a mini-calling brochure and general details base.
From there, if they are willing, you can expand upon it - but it takes time that small companies seldomly have, and the same for funds.

Edited by Autocrat, 14 December 2007 - 10:59 AM.


#8 AbleReach

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 06:37 PM

I'm going to step out on a limb here and say that the primary advantage for the site has to match up with the primary advantage for the user.

This is a local business, yes? So, if you do re-brand the domain, look at how to get into locally oriented results with a domain that is easy to read, remember and type.

Any scraper or adsense gamer from anywhere in the world can register and fill a domain named location+keyword.

What can your Manchester electrician do that a location+keyword domain can't?

Is s/he involved in the Manchester community in some way that could garner thankyou and admiration links? If not, that's your problem.

Locally oriented results come from relationships with concerns local - local-to-Manchester individuals, organizations, causes, etc. Look at adding a link building strategy to a readable and typable domain.

A domain name alone is not going to do much.

Edited by AbleReach, 14 December 2007 - 06:38 PM.


#9 A.N.Onym

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 08:56 PM

Since I doubt your client will be hosting in the UK (though he might), he'll need to use a co.uk domain to appear local to the UK search engines. While this isn't , it should help, if the client targets UK.

Registering a .com domain with the same name and redirecting it to co.uk should be helpful, too. However, I think that most island-living people enter co.uk as default for the sites they want to visit.

Secondly, if you register a domain without a hyphen, registering domains with a hyphen or two doesn't make sense, unless you want the competition from building on them. But Ron said, that'd be great, since they'd be building branding for you instead of simply having the domains parked for you.

Btw, listen to Ron, he speaks the truth :infinite-banana:

Edited by A.N.Onym, 14 December 2007 - 08:57 PM.




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