Does Domain Name Matter with Geo Targeting?

17 replies
  • SEO
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I'm looking to focus my sales on specific regions of the US. To do this, I was going to use a keyword rich domain name. Then I was going to use subfolders to target specific areas.

So. widget.com/california and widget.com/newyork

Is this something that would be frowned upon by google? Wasn't sure if having a keyword domain would be seen as spammy, even though I'm targeting that specific widget within a specific region.

I'd also be using my main Adwords account to help drive traffic to these areas. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

Any other thoughts on targeting local markets online?
#domain #geo #matter #targeting
  • Profile picture of the author ProSeomCo
    In my own experience Domain Names do not matter.
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    • Profile picture of the author patco
      Originally Posted by ProSeomCo View Post

      In my own experience Domain Names do not matter.
      Of course they don't matter. But in some cases:

      websiteforNewYork will work much better than websiteforUSA

      Because you use the words NewYork in your domain! I hope you got the idea!
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    • Profile picture of the author Manwebmaster
      Originally Posted by ProSeomCo View Post

      In my own experience Domain Names do not matter.
      yes i actually with proseomco , because the domain names does matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Iconiplex
    I would not use keyword-rich domains, but your subfolder idea would certainly be beneficial.
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    • Profile picture of the author cldnails
      Originally Posted by Iconiplex View Post

      I would not use keyword-rich domains, but your subfolder idea would certainly be beneficial.
      Why would you not use a keyword-rich domain? For fear of Google considering it spam?
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      • Profile picture of the author Meharis
        Originally Posted by cldnails View Post

        Why would you not use a keyword-rich domain? For fear of Google considering it spam?
        cldnails,

        Google doesn't penalize keyword rich domains...
        Just follow the rules. Google wants Original Rich Content sites.

        Meharis
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    I would worry more about the user experience on your landing page (was the ad congruent with your landing page) than the name of the domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author tarpontim1138
    I have used keyword rich domains such as plumbersimsbury.com and it definately works to some degree.
    What you really need to do is stack the odds in your favor by using as many of Googles ranking factors as possible. Both on and off page.
    Ex:
    Keyword rich domain and sub domains
    key words in the following:
    title tags
    alt tags
    keyword density
    keyword positioning with in your copy (especially in the first few words and the last few.)
    use of underline/bold/italic of those keywords
    H1, H2, ... tags with the keywords
    Create a Google + page and link with their Goolge Places page.
    You should also have your address and phone number on all pages in a hcard format

    You should have a well written meta tag that speaks to the customers pain. (If you do not click on you none of this matters!)
    Once they get to your page it should look professional with a strong call to action. The word "Free" is still one of the best words to use. Offer a coupon, Please give them a reason to pick up the phone and call!
    It is amazing if you just use some of the things I mentioned and focus on a local search term you will rank on page one with out much else.
    Of course you still need to create a site map and all of the other good stuff. I just amazes me how many sites rank on page one and have almost none of this!
    I just made a brand new site 30 days ago following the above and it ranks postion 2 one page one organically and postion A on the 7 Pack for "pressure washing + town", "power washing + town", "town pressure washing"...
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLB
    Keep in mind I have no experience in your question particularly when saying this, but just knowing their manual review process, a GEO-targeted domain will probably look a lot more spammy than a subfolder. Having a fully built website behind the domain you use definitely makes you less likely to run into issues in my experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author tarpontim1138
      I have not run into a problem so far. I think Google likes it. Google see it as I am being very clear and relevant with the town my web site serves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaf5280
    I would also ask this question over in the SEO section of the forum. You are looking for Local Search and this is an excellent niche focus and you need to go deeper than domain name to get there.

    tarpontim1138 said it well. I totally agree with what he listed. If you look at the latest information on how Google does its rankings, domain name is becoming less important as other factors mentioned.

    If you are relying on local search rankings I would focus on solid content and cover what was mentioned in how you setup your pages and images.
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  • Profile picture of the author cldnails
    Thanks for the great input everyone.

    I always strive to create relevant, quality content, and certainly not looking to game the system. However, I also want to use every tool at my disposable, the domain name being one of them. I was just concerned with over doing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neison
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      No such thing as a geo-target domain, other than the extenstion.
      That makes no sense, actually. Sure. Amazon.com is geo-targeted
      for those who live along the amazon river.

      But a subfolder is not a domain. You seem to be talking about urls.

      Does not matter for adwords either. Google knows people like to
      see a good url. So, they allow ANY url on the domain in the ad to be
      forwarded to any landing page on same domain.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        Sure. Amazon.com is geo-targeted
        for those who live along the amazon river.
        Lol, that was funny.
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      • Profile picture of the author cldnails
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        No such thing as a geo-target domain, other than the extenstion.
        That makes no sense, actually. Sure. Amazon.com is geo-targeted
        for those who live along the amazon river.

        But a subfolder is not a domain. You seem to be talking about urls.

        Does not matter for adwords either. Google knows people like to
        see a good url. So, they allow ANY url on the domain in the ad to be
        forwarded to any landing page on same domain.

        Paul
        I completely understand what you are saying. I suppose I was using the wrong descriptive term. What I was trying to express was that the domain would have keywords relating to a region that I was specifically targeting and not JUST the sub folders.

        widgetscalifornia.com with widgetscalifornia/losangeles etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author multiplecloud
    I would recommend you use domain for branding purpose and use keyword in subfolder for geo-targeted.
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  • Profile picture of the author tarpontim1138
    It depends on how big of a geo market you are going for.
    If you are looking to dominate narragansett ri only as a plumber you could create www.narragansettplumber.com (if it was available) and do proper on page seo and within a few months be on top of page one. I have done this many times, it works. If you are looking for a larger geo area a branded page with sub pages with the towns would work better. But if all you are looking foris a one town domination, try adding it in your domain. If you didmnot have your town in your domain you still soulf be ale to dominate if you follow seo best practices. I just found it much easier with the town in the domain.
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