An Exact Match Domain (EMD) is a domain that exactly matches a basic keyword or phrase that someone is searching for. For example, if someone were to search for “buy shoes”, an EMD would be a website called “buyshoes.com.”
The idea behind an EMD is that it can help improve your ranking in search engines because it is an exact match for the keyword that someone is searching for. However, this is not always the case and it is possible to rank well without an EMD. In general, having a relevant and targeted domain name is more important than whether or not it is an exact match.
Do Exact Match Domains Still Work?
Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) September 28, 2012
This update caused a lot of people to lose their rankings and traffic overnight. However, there are still some people who believe that EMDs can be helpful, although the jury is still out on this one.
One example where an EMD can help you is using a location-based keyword. For example, if someone is searching for “plumber in Los Angeles”, an EMD called “losangelesplumber.com” might have a very small advantage in ranking higher for that search if all other SEO factors are equal. Just don’t count on it.
The only other area where an EMD is advantageous is the company name and branding. This seems pretty obvious, though. Your brand name is the keyword. Therefore, the EMD advantage is moot because you’re already ranking high for your brand name.
Should You Buy an Exact Match Domain?
If you are thinking about buying an EMD, you should keep in mind that they are not as valuable as they once were. In general, you are better off spending your money on a domain that is relevant to your brand and easy to remember. However, if you find an EMD that is available for a good price, it might be worth purchasing it and redirecting it to a more branded site. Just keep in mind that it is unlikely to help your ranking much, if at all.
TLD Keywords: Are They a Ranking Factor?
TLD keywords are when you add a keyword to your top-level domain name. The question is, does this actually help with rankings? Some people say yes, it does help. Others say no. So, what’s the verdict? The answer is maybe, but not as much as some think.
Here’s what we do know. In the past, Google has said that they don’t consider TLD keywords in their ranking algorithm. However, they have also said that they may use them as a “tie-breaker” if two websites are equal in all other aspects.
So, while we can’t say for sure if TLD keywords are a ranking factor, we can say that they probably are to some very small extent. And, if you’re trying to rank for a certain keyword, it may be worth considering a TLD keyword domain.
But, don’t go overboard. Don’t stuff keywords in your domain name just for the sake of it. Google will likely see this as spammy and it could hurt your rankings. only use keywords that are relevant to your business and make sure they flow naturally with the rest of your domain name.
What Makes a Good Domain Name?
The most important aspect of choosing a domain name is making sure that it is relevant to your brand. You want people to be able to see your domain name and instantly know what your website is about. In addition, you want to choose a domain name that is short, easy to remember, and easy to type. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it short – Ideally, you want your domain to be 1-3 words. Not only is it easier to remember, but long domain names extend your URL lengths.
- Make it relevant – Your domain name should be relevant to your brand.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens – These can be confusing and difficult to remember.
- Don’t use trademarked terms – This could get you in trouble down the road.
- Choose a .com if possible – .com domains are the most popular and easy to remember. Also, if there is a .com version of the same domain name, people are likely to type that in regardless.
- Check the domain’s history – You don’t want to purchase a domain that has a shady history.
- Don’t misspell words – This can make your site appear suspicious and spammy, especially if it can be construed as knocking off another well-known site. For example, don’t try to buy “wrdpress.com.” However, if you think the words might commonly be misspelled by users, try searching for those misspellings to see if they automatically redirect to your site. If not, purchasing the misspelled domains and redirecting them to your site can help you capture traffic easier. It can also keep spammers from trying to mimic your brand.
Above all else, don’t choose a domain name based on just trying to rank for a keyword. If you are having trouble coming up with a good domain name, there are a few tools that can help:
- Domain Name Generator – There are a lot of free domain name generators to help inspire you.
- Domain Name Search – Once you have a few ideas, you can use a domain name search tool to see if the domain name you want is available.
If you are still having trouble, you can always reach out to a professional for help choosing the perfect domain name for your website.