ICYMI: SEO, Lies, and Video Tape (part 2 of 5)

(this originally appeared on my Blogspot site, and continues from part 1)

In my last post, I pointed out that SEO companies sell features that can be done easily by most people, thus avoiding cost. As a reminder, those 4 simple, easy-to-accomplish techniques are:

  • Having a descriptive domain name
  • Creating and submitting a sitemap
  • Descriptive titles and meaningful content
  • Getting other websites to link to you

In this post I want to explore the first item:

Descriptive Domain Names

This may be the easiest of the 4 items, but also the one that could cause you the most grief. If you have a site that sells timeshare apartments for hamsters in Aruba, then a domain name of “hamster-aruba-timeshares.com” is going to automatically rank higher in searches than “hamsterpads.com” or “bluewatersandexercisewheels.com”. Even if the latter two are poetic and evocative, the fact is that search engines look at the domain name itself to see if there is a match.

It also means that if you are selling wicker baskets in Tupelo, Mississippi – and even though your company may be called “Southern Criss Cross” – you are better off with a domain name like “TupeloWicker.com”. Unless you have so much corporate recognition that people will search for you at “southerncrisscross.com”.

But remember the point of searches – it’s there to help people to who DON’T already know you. The ones who already do will find you anyway.

One option is to buy a couple of domain names and point both to the same website. Just don’t go hog wild on that. Some search engines will actually rank your site LOWER if they see you have 5 or 6 domain names all pointing to the same place. Also, if you have 5 domain names, your page ranking stats could get divvied up between each of those names, resulting in a lower overall page rank. (although there is a way around that – “canonical URLs”, which I’ll describe later in this series)

Two or three domains, however, should be OK if you really think you need it.

The trick in all this, as you can imagine, is to find something that is memorable while still being descriptive.

Good luck!

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