How to Market Your Domain Name
Domain Names and Anchor Text
Branding vs Naming
Many people say that the name of a website should be original. It should convey some sense of branding unlike any other site. They say your name should not be generic.
The truth of this matter is that branding is more developed by how you interact with people than by what your name is. Your name can be used to help develop brand, but many smart webmasters use their domain name for more than just branding.
People take the branding idea one step further and rattle off some of the best technological leaders. Amazon, Google, Yahoo!, Ebay, etc. None of these sites say what they do in their site name.
Google is so powerful because it is the only Google. It was a wide open market. Yahoo! became Yahoo! because there was no great well marketed directory on the web. Ebay became Ebay because nobody else had a PEZ trading marketplace and it’s creators wife needed a place to trade her PEZ. (Ebay is yet one more great thing we all owe to PEZ).
Most successful businesses or websites will not be like Google. Most will not be a runaway technological success. Most businesses become successful from soft innovations. Small focused consumer centric changes can help you craft a successful business model.
Anchor text is extremely important to search engines. What a link says is as important as who is saying it. When I link to your site with the words “I eat cats” as the link text a search engine will evaluate that link and assume you eat cats.
You can’t control all the links you get (meow), but you can help control some of them. People often link to you using the words in your domain name as the link text (also known as anchor text.) If your domain name has your primary keywords in it then you have an extremely powerful business advantage over your competitors.
Using Dashes in Domain Names
Most of the benefit of dashes in the domain name have eroded in the last year or two. Domain names themselves have been greatly devalued in search engine algorithms, and most links use the site name vice the domain name as the anchor text.
I am of the opinion that you usually can pick out a keyword rich domain name without needing dashes. It may take a bit of creativity and a bit of time, but it is possible. If you are aiming to sell products vice become a consultant you may be able to do well making a living from search engine traffic and not need as strong of a branded name behind your domain.
Brandable Generic Domain Names
High quality directories usually prefer to list sites by their name vice “insert keyword phrase here.”
Having a domain name like mine makes it very easy for me to get inbound links with “SEO Book” or “Search Engine Optimization Book” as the link text. This allows me to rank better for those search phrases, and eventually it will allow me to rank good for “SEO” and “search engine optimization.”