It’s that time of the week again when we get to talk about SEO. Last week, I talked about how strong on-page optimization is critical to your SEO efforts – especially when building smaller websites. This week, I wanted to show some working examples of that principle and the 27 website examples listed at octane360.com illustrate my point perfectly. In addition to having strong on-page optimization, these sites also highlight the fact that having a keyword-rich domain is critically important when in comes to optimizing a site effectively.
The Octane360 sites examples are nicely designed but what’s interesting to note is that and they are very lean in terms of content, backlinks, and domain age – yet each of these sites are ranking well on page #1 of Google, Yahoo, or Bing. In fact, these sites only have an average 18 pages and 10 backlinks. Also, the domains are only two years old on average (see chart below).
Now, if you’re looking at these site examples, you’re probably thinking “these sites all have exact keyword-phrase domain names.” That’s really the key with these sites ranking so well. However, each of these site examples also have excellent on-page optimization which is critical if you are not planning on having a very large site, as we talked about in my last post about: Essential On-Page Search Engine Optimization.
The “Easiest” Way to Page #1
In order to save yourself the most time and make the process of getting found on page #1 of Google much easier, start with a stellar domain name that matches the main keyword phrase you are targeting as closely as possible.
If you are new at domain name selection, please review Lesley’s post on Choosing a Good Domain Name then start playing with our domain selection tools.
Now, let’s suppose that after all your searching you’re just not finding the domain name you really want. Well, consider purchasing a premium domain for your site. Premium domains are domain names that somebody else registered previously and they usually cost several hundred to several thousand dollars. The Advantage of registering premium domains is that you can usually find keyword rich domain names that match one of the exact keyword phrases you are targeting.
For example, if you are a large restaurant supply company in Denver, CO and your goal is to rank #1 in Google within 12 months time, you need an awesome domain (along with the other essentials: good on-page SEO and backlinks from great sites, good content, etc). You’ve already looked for your domain and there are lots of great domains available such as
Note: hyphens are not always bad, but as Lesley mention’s in her post, they are hard to brand and it’s hard for people to remember the hyphens. The .NET domain is actually very good as well, but still it’s always best to choose the .COM whenever it is available. DenverRestaurantSupply.com for is available for $1749 (as of today’s date) so you should purchase this one.
Not only will this domain help you rise quickly in search engines once you develop and optimize your site, but it will help establish your brand – people will remember it. For me, this domain is the most intuitive domain I can think of if I’m going for these keywords. And if competition is steep, what is a couple thousand dollars up front when ultimately your site rises above your top competitors, and you generate tens of thousands of dollars extra per month as a result?
Ok, just to review, it’s critical to select keyword-rich domains if you want to make your path to page #1 as easy as possible. Remember that it’s not just enough to have a great domain, you also have to build some content and still get backlinks. However, the journey is much quicker and easier if you start with a great domain. Spend time selecting your domain and purchase the domain you really want – even if it’s a premium domain that costs several thousand dollars. Ultimately, you’ll find that your domain selection can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to SEO.