Are Exact Match Domains (EMD) a Good Idea?

CHICAGO SEO – Domain Names

What is an Exact Match Domain?

An EMD is an exact match domain that has the keywords you want to rank for.  Chicago SEO would be an exact match domain, or chicago interior

In the old days, it was a guarantee of a #1 ranking at Google is just bought the name with the keywords in it.  Then around 2012 Google cracked down on this and some sites got penalized just for having a EMD.  Yet in general its always been a boost having your main keywords in the domain name. Yet if you have an EMD and its your Brand, then you should be in good shape.   So I have a legal search SEO blog called Legal Search Marketing, which would be considered a emd, but its also the brand, so it works.

Winston Burton at the Search Engine Journal has a good post about buying an EMD and if they are still effective.    Some of the things he touches on are when they stopped working and why Google cracked down on them.

Spammers were using them to gain unfair advantage, but the bottom line is that you want your domain name to match your BRAND and you shouldnt think that your going to get some extra rankings because of you keyword stuffing your domain name.

From Search Engine J

Should You Buy an EMD?

If you want an exact match domain, be prepared to do some extensive research.

Most of the good EMDs are already owned. ** Like 99.9999%

If you have some money in the bank, be prepared to shell out a lot of it to buy a domain that may be up for sale. – Could be huge $, like $10k and up

With many alternative domain extensions to buy (e.g., .business, .company), you might be tempted to grab those to protect your new investment or brand, but I just don’t see too many sites other than .com domains rank in the SERPs for competitive keywords.

Getting an exact match domain can satisfy user intent and help your brand because people know what your site should be about before they go to it.

Once they land on your site you should provide them with great content and good user experience, so they purchase your products or services.

Anchor text optimization is still important if it’s mixed. But if you get an exact match domain and get high-quality links from a lot of different referring domains, it will be natural because it is your brand and as long as you follow SEO best practices, you should not get penalized.

To find good EMDs, I recommend:

  • Watching the news or search Google Trends.

  • Going to a domain registrar.

  • Using social listening to find the latest

    buzz words

    and go to see if the domain is registered. If it’s not, secure it, create some high-quality content, build links, get some social love, and make it a brand.

Putting the time, effort, and money behind your EMD can give you a competitive advantage of building a brand (not just a domain name) that will hold many memories that you can benefit from later.