Go for Brand Name or 29.500 Exact Match Domain ?

10 replies
Hi fellow Warriors,

I already sell a successful marathon training system called the 100 day marathon plan. It is now at a hyphenated domain (two dashes) and I'd like to move it away from that.

I have at choice of going either with an exact match domain I own (marathontrainingschedule.com) It is long but it does describe the service - and the search term marathon training schedule gets 29.500 exact searches a month.

The other option is to go for a more brand name approach with 100daymarathon.com which I also own.

What are your views on this ? A year ago I would probably have gone for the EMD, but after the google update in September I'm not so sure anymore.
#brand #domain #exact #match
  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Try to avoid using a brand name that might be trademarked.

    You don't want to build a site, only to have to turn it over the a trademark holder later.
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    • Profile picture of the author MariusBakken
      Bill, thanks for the reply. The product is my own and I've sold if for a few years now, so that shouldn't be problem. No other product with the same name either and I checked in terms of trademarks before launching it.
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      • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
        Originally Posted by MariusBakken View Post

        Bill, thanks for the reply. The product is my own and I've sold if for a few years now, so that shouldn't be problem. No other product with the same name either and I checked in terms of trademarks before launching it.
        Since you have the .COM EMD I say use that. You can always build two different websites and try to rank them both.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mo Goulet
    I would focus on the search term "marathon" ..then add a teaser word like special...

    www.MarathonSpecial.com

    Mo
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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Jackson
      Also, if it is successful, you may want to sell it someday for whatever reason, and the closer you are to the brand/product name, the more attractive it may be to a potential buyer.

      If you don't think you will sell, then just go for the best searched-for KW's, and optimization criterion as defined by your research.

      hth
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  • Profile picture of the author joaquin112
    I think it's better to go for the brand. You can always buy the EMD, rank it and redirect traffic to your main brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Here's some information, pulled out of my "how to start an online business" guide that touches on domains.

    Enjoy.

    Common mistakes to avoid.


    Don’t register exact match domains. For those that don’t know, exact match domains are domain names that are made up of your target keywords. These essentially are a sneaky way to try and get better rankings in Google.

    For example, lets say Bob is offering carpet cleaning in Sydney. An example of an exact match
    domain that Bob might register would of course be carpetcleaningsydney.com.au or
    sydneycarpetcleaning.com

    In any case, it’s no longer an effective strategy, and in my opinion it’s a complete waste of
    time. Its important to understand that the SEO landscape has changed significantly over the past 12 months, rendering a lot of “sneaky” methods useless. Keyword rich exact match domains
    have been one of them. Remember we’re thinking long term, so registering domains like this,
    shouldn’t be part of your strategy.

    Avoid misspelled domains

    For some weird reason it seems a lot of people are attracted to mispelled domain names. For
    whatever reason (perhaps they think its cool) I don’t know, but in terms of domains, they’re
    horrible.

    For example, coolcarz.com or cheepholidaze.com.

    There’s two main reasons why registering domains like these are a bad idea.

    Firstly, you run the risk of losing potential traffic. This would be due to people perhaps typing
    in your domain name incorrectly into the browser, or even searching for it in Google and
    ending up at a competitors site.

    Secondly, over time, you will become frustrated in that, you’ll be constantly having to spell
    your domain name out to everyone to ensure they get it right. I’ve been in this position and
    its very annoying.

    Avoid domains with hyphens

    Domains with hyphens are probably worse than misspelled domains. Its very rare that
    anyone remembers domains with hyphens, and infact, no one types them in anyway, so its
    best to avoid these completely.

    As with misspelled domains, domains with hyphens have the potential to leak traffic, to be
    forgotten, and they never hold resale value.

    Avoid trademarks

    This often becomes an issue when people register domains that include trademarked terms
    such as Google or Ipad. Believe me, it does happen. Just don’t do it, there are plenty of
    domains available. Registering anything with a potentially trademarked term will only land
    you in legal trouble. Its never worth the risk.

    Avoid domains with numbers

    Much like misspellings and hyphens, numbers in domains are never a good idea. I’m almost
    certain that having to repeat your domain to people constantly by saying “no its not “for”, its
    “four” as in the number 4, in your domain will do your head in. Don’t put numbers in your
    domains, it’s a lost cause.

    Avoid adjoining letters in your domain name

    This is something that’s probably not so commonly spoken about, but it’s something that I’m
    always mindful of when I register domains. Avoid having the same letters up against each
    other within your domains

    Here’s a few examples of what I mean.
    · chairsspecials.com
    · hollowwheels.com
    · beachholidays.com

    See how there are the same letters butted up against each other in those domains in the
    middle? I find when you do this, it makes the domain a little hard to read, and infact, in terms
    of offline marketing its hard to take in quickly (on the side of a van or something) So be
    mindful of this when you’re registering your domain.

    What makes a great domain name?

    Ensure your domain is highly brandable

    This is one of the most important considerations you should make when registering your
    domain. If you think about some of the most profitable websites, and the domains they use, they’re almost all using brandable domains. In many cases, the domains they’re using have nothing to do with their topic – and this revisits my point of not registering exact match domains.

    If you think about websites such as Paypal, Ebay, Amazon, Yahoo and Google – they’re all using
    highly brandable non keyword specific domain names.

    Keep your domain short

    There’s really no need to register a really long domain name. Its always best to register short
    domains in that they’re visually easier to recognise, and type in.

    Keep your domain generic if possible

    A common mistake that many online business owners make is that they register domain
    names that “tie” them to a specific marketplace or industry. For example, let’s say that I was
    providing web design as a service, and I registered johnswebdesign.com. Seems practical
    right?

    But what about say, after having provided web design for 5 years, I make the decision that I
    no longer want to provide web design, and that I want to shift into the SEO industry. As you
    can see, I now have a domain that doesn’t reflect my services.

    A great way to avoid this problem from the outset is to register a domain that allows you to
    change your business model without the need of having to change your domain name.
    So in this case, a much better domain might be something like worksmedia.com or
    bluesolutions.com. As you can see, the domains are generic and will virtually cater for any
    business model.

    Ensure your domain passes the phone test

    This revisits my points above by ensuring you don’t have hyphens, numbers or misspellings in
    your domain name. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to constantly explain and
    spell out your domain over the phone to someone.

    Make your domain easy to remember

    In my case, I decided to register bringthedonuts.com. Its simple, its interesting, and everyone
    always remembers it, I think mostly because it’s a bit quirky. Be sure to do something similar.
    Register a domain name that people will remember, and have a long term vision.
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  • Profile picture of the author Miguelito203
    Originally Posted by MariusBakken View Post

    Hi fellow Warriors,

    I already sell a successful marathon training system called the 100 day marathon plan. It is now at a hyphenated domain (two dashes) and I'd like to move it away from that.

    I have at choice of going either with an exact match domain I own (marathontrainingschedule.com) It is long but it does describe the service - and the search term marathon training schedule gets 29.500 exact searches a month.

    The other option is to go for a more brand name approach with 100daymarathon.com which I also own.

    What are your views on this ? A year ago I would probably have gone for the EMD, but after the google update in September I'm not so sure anymore.
    The only time I would feel comfortable using an EMD is when the product is on Clickbank because they don't really care. Outside of that, I would go for a niche-relevant domain that's more broad. I've come across lots of advertisers (especially ones for physical products) that do not even allow you to use an EMD.

    Joey
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  • Profile picture of the author anton343
    good advice friend and something I hadn't considered before

    Many thanks

    Anton
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  • Profile picture of the author WordpressManiac
    I would go with 100daymarathon.com in this case because it will be the "official" product site and this is the name of your product. It's like nike.com they wouldn't take nicerunningshoes.com either, because it is not their product name.

    Try to make 100 day marathon a brand with promotion videos, professional logo, youtube channel etc.
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