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Exact Match Domains – EMD

Here is an interesting exchange that gives some information about exact match domains and their importance in ranking your website.

[Website Owner] What I was aiming to do is set up a website with a name like loft-conversions (.com or .co.uk) and merely link it to our main site. I imagine that if someone clicks on the website and they land on our main website.
Many people type in ‘loft conversions’ so I was hoping the new domain name would appear. Then they are led indirectly to the main website. What are your thoughts?

[Website Design / SEO] Can certainly build and promote another site but don’t forget most search terms are competitive and ‘loft conversions’ is one of the most competitive search terms around.

Additionally, that search term alone without a geographic area may not be useful for a local Essex company like your own company.

You currently rank very highly for ‘Loft Conversions Essex’ and that’s with your site that is established / useful / relevant / trusted / hugely informative / full of unique content and ‘mature’. I would go as far to say it would be challenging in the extreme (or impossible) to rank for ‘Loft Conversions’ for a new website that is just has a ‘keyword relevant domain name’ (the search term in the domain name). If you look at the other domains / their age / competitiveness that rank for that search term you will see that it would be very lucky to rank in the top 100 for that search term.

Here is an interesting link for you regarding the search term ‘Loft Conversions’ [Google Trends report given]

Additionally, we have attached a spreadsheet showing advertising competitiveness (higher number is more competitive) and costs associated with PPC advertising that indicate how competitive the keywords are.

There are some companies (including yours and ours) that already own multiple domains that do slightly enhance the ranking of the main site but it takes time / effort / money to achieve any noticeable / relevant traffic and in general its much better to enhance / improve your main websites instead of buying / building / promoting new ones unless you have a very long-term plan. If money / time was no object it would be perfect to have domains that related to each of your services that were updated / promoted over years to enhance the SEO of existing sites but I would suggest money / time / effort is better spent updating / improving the domains you currently have.

Hope you understand / appreciate my thoughts, especially as we would directly benefit from the build / promotion of this new website. If the site has to be online as part of the ‘new’ company we can certainly put a framework up, perhaps similar to the one we recently built for you but would definitely need new photos / content to make it even slightly beneficial from a SEO perspective.

[Website Owner] Thanks for explaining the ‘search engine mechanics’. We thought if the search term was your domain name you would be found straight away. If you think it is a pointless exercise we’ll drop the idea of a new website and concentrate on the promotion and marketing of the existing websites.

[Website Design / SEO] I agree, for your interest each search term has over 200 factors that determine the placing / ranking of pages within the search engines.

It’s a common misconception that the domain name is the only / main ranking factor for the search engines. This is far from the full information.

There is some truth in having your key search term / words in your domain to increase your website ranking, you will be interested to know there is a term for it and its called EMD (exact match domain) which actually could ‘help’ your domain rank better for that search term but will not on its own make a difference without unique / relevant content (thin content).

I believe it’s a pointless exercise unless you are going to seriously develop and promote the site, also my pet hate is to have ‘online’ ‘company’ or ‘ltd’ in the domain name.

[Website Owner] When I typed in our other [website name] we didn’t come up in the listings. Also I sent a couple of emails, where do they end up?

[Website Design / SEO] Your website is listed and ranked but agree it’s not ranked competitively for its name, this is due to a number of factors. This site is now just over a year old, which increases its authority / SEO slightly, its been renewed automatically as per our invoice for another year. I would seriously argue its not a useful exercise to check / monitor your ranking for the generic website name that you have.

We have renewed your reporting for this domain (will re-commence on the 1st of the month) but have just sent the full website visitor report to you (since it was built).

You can see that since the initial build and launch it has basically been flat in terms of visitor numbers, I would say trying to rank for [website name] is not what you want or what you should be checking but visitor numbers should be reviewed and monitored, these visitor numbers are, like all websites, going to be reflection on the time / effort in marketing the site along with the amount of time / effort put into building / developing the website then adding / creating content put onto the site both initially and during the website life.

I have spent a little while today reviewing the site and made a few technical SEO tweaks but notice that you have added copied / duplicated content on the pages which is always going to harm the website authority / trust / ranking. The copied text I found was on the page below given as an example but every page I checked I found duplicated text on lots of the main content pages. As an example here is the duplicated text I found on one page [examples of duplicated text and websites given].

Recently we talked about ranking factors and we talked about domain names with search term in them which is a minor ranking factor but the content is much more important and a massive ranking factor. As your site has lots of pages with duplicated content this could negatively affect your ranking / visitor numbers. All websites we create / build content for and promote actively are 100% unique. Here is some more authority info regarding duplicated content. [Link provided].

I think a good use of time / effort would be to review the whole site and remove the duplicated content from each page. I often state that one page of unique content is better than 1000 copied pages of text. Your website pages have a combination of unique / duplicated content so that makes this more complex / complicated but in general all duplicated content should be removed at the earliest opportunity.

Additionally the news section is empty / unused / updated and recommend this is used or we could remove it if it’s never going to be used.