Domain experts, I need some advice on domain purchase...

by Dayne Dylan Banned
22 replies
Warriors, I'm thinking of starting an ecommerce furniture site. But I'm a bit stuck on which domain to go with. I've found one with pretty good keywords in it for around $1000. Of course, ranking it won't be an easy feat by any means.

My other option is to buy a completely brandable, one to two word domain. This could be some made up word or something unique.

So which should I go for in your opinion...create a brand or go for the basic keyword type of domain?

It seems like exact match type of domains are not always best anymore with Google.

Would love to know your opinions. Thanks!
#advice #domain #experts #purchase
  • Profile picture of the author AceOfShirts
    My opinion, which has been wrong many times, is that it depends on how you are going to market it.

    If you are mainly going to market the site online then I think a keyword rich domain name is your best choice. It's anyone's guess if it helps seo anymore but you might get some type in traffic. People may also see the keywords in your links and click on the links.

    If you are going to market offline then you are better getting a shorter name that people will remember when they get back to their computer. The shorter and easier it is to spell the better chance they will get to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    Very excellent points Ace, I'm mostly going to use online marketing hopefully to start, but may pursue offline ads as well once I get a converting site. So it is a bit tricky. I want to hit all angles of marketing (online and offline) if possible. I really don't want to just rely ONLY on online traffic only for the long term as it changes so much. The goal is to have both online and offline traffic in the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jubu
    I'd probably go for the brandable domain. EMD's are nice but not an absolute necessity. Especially since it will save you $990. And since you said you don't want just online traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    I think I may go with a brandable domain as well. That way it will work online and offline. Looking long term.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Build a brand.

    EMD's are running dangerously close to being nuked (in Google)
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    I guess my only fear is the deep competition of ecommerce furniture sites, and getting people to order online. But then again, people obviously do spend big money online for furniture...the proof is in the competition.

    I think it will all come down to good products, a solid brand to stand out, and the right marketing online (maybe interior design sites, etc.)
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  • Profile picture of the author hashbury
    I make a lot of sites with EMD's and even I will tell you to go with something brandable.

    Having a name that sticks in someones head will greatly help you down the road. If you are running advertising campaigns and people see the name of the site and they think it is clever, funny, or witty they will tend to remember it. Your customers of that site may tend to tell their friends or coworkers about if if they can remember the name.

    Telling someone Hey I went to buycheapfurnitureonline.com and got a good deal just doesn't seem that appealing to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
      Banned
      Originally Posted by hashbury View Post

      I make a lot of sites with EMD's and even I will tell you to go with something brandable.

      Having a name that sticks in someones head will greatly help you down the road. If you are running advertising campaigns and people see the name of the site and they think it is clever, funny, or witty they will tend to remember it. Your customers of that site may tend to tell their friends or coworkers about if if they can remember the name.

      Telling someone Hey I went to buycheapfurnitureonline.com and got a good deal just doesn't seem that appealing to me.
      Totally agree.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
        I think building a brand would be the best way to go. It's not as hard as people make it out to be and it makes you totally unique. The benefit to the prebuilt obviously is the traffic it probably comes with, but thats a fair amount of money to lay out unless whatever you're going to try to push on that site is a no questions asked winner or you're pretty sure whatever it is will hit like an atom bomb. The money that will be laid out could be used in other ways and likely have as big or bigger effect in the long run.

        You're talking about almost 1000 bucks. How much better of an ROI for that 1k could you get with like 300 in adwords for the site, maybe a couple bills for a nicely programmed interface for the site, 100 in aweber or something similar, a couple hundred to some of the WF talent for writing/graphics..etc., and so on and so on. The money you'll spend on the domain name could probably be used much more beneficially and have a greater overall effect.

        Just my .02
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Given that there's some dispute/rumors that exact match domains aren't working like they used to, I'd go with a brandable and save yourself some moola and just rank for your keywords with your content as best you can in this SEO hostile environment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fadiz
    I add my vote with everyone else, go with brand name. THINK Zappos

    PS. Zappos does show up on google front page when you search shoes
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  • Profile picture of the author ProAffiliate01
    I agree with some of the points of view above. I myself see value in the keyword domains but when you have a specific business you should try to have a domain that will be your business name. That is my opinion.
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    • Brand it. But not because EMDs seem to be under fire now.

      You're building for the long-term, right? So short-term trends shouldn't influence your decision.

      Take your time coming up some ideas for brand names, then test them. You might want to try some non-English words. Make a list, then ask your friends which of these names imply furniture. You might be surprised at the results.

      fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author Flores
    EMD's will not do the job alone, but will definitely help. Because of brand purposes, the big G still needs to give them some significance in ranking. It won't be the automatic page #1 ranking it used to be, but they are still valuable, especially when used in conjunction with a solid SEO plan.

    The question is whether or not $1,000 is the price you are willing to pay for an edge over your competition. If you plan on putting a good amount of work into this website, then I would consider it. If you are only trying to get the domain to rank well without putting work in, it will backfire on you completely.

    On the sites that I have been "SEOing" on as of lately, I have found EMD to still be valuable ranking assets when the other elements of SEO and positive user experience are present. The sites that are just EMD's with a few little SEO articles and links thrown at them, will fall off into oblivion just as quickly as they showed up.

    Hope that helps!

    -- AF

    P.S. It is totally possible to rank well without an EMD! So do not get too hung up over this one. Maybe put that extra $990 into some good web design, advertising, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    EMD's have their place, but your project is calling for a brandable name. Use EMDs with microsites that hold quality content, which point back to your branded site as the source. The key to using EMD's after the Penguin update, is to use a variety of related anchor text, rather than over-optimizing the same keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
    Dayne,
    There are a lot of variables, of course. But I would always lean toward a short, brand-able name that someone could remember easily.

    You could always register long tail keywords and redirect them to your main site. Or, you could create different (smaller, probably) sites using the longtail ones.

    It all depends on how you plan to market the site and a host of other things. For me, though, the short, brand-able domain's best.

    When in doubt, do both. Brand your store, and grab long-tail domains to support your brand.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
    Looks like Gene and I had a similar thought at the exact same time... I guess I'm in good company, then.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    I'm going with a brandable domain for sure. It just makes sense for me.

    I actually found 2-3 that I'm looking at buying. All of them would be great to use and perfect for what I'm looking to achieve. They are each around $1k as well, but honestly, for a great brand name for the long term that can't be beat. No trademark issues or anything with them, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author msu
    Another thumbs up for a brandable domain.

    Somone mentioned Zappos - did you know they started life with some godawful domain like bestonlineshoes before switching name and brand to Zappos?
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  • Profile picture of the author DROIDM4STER
    Create your own banding
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  • Profile picture of the author Cajun Copy
    Dayne,
    I have a hunch that you can find something very brandable for way less than 1k if you're willing to dig and get creative. It's probably worth the investment if that's the only options, but I'd be willing to bet a dollar to a dime that you can get something extremely brandable for way less than 1k.

    Either way, good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author mylesagnew
    I'd take a two domain approach.

    Here's why.

    Furniture isn't the easiest or the simplest to sell online, because of the size and expense of shipping the furniture I'm 95% sure that majority of your customers are going to be in the same state or town.

    So a domain like californiafurniture.com is a great way to target those but use it as authority site how to find great furniture benefits etc etc link it back to your brand name site.

    So two domains 1. Brand Name the Online Store 2. The Authority/Customer focus site.
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