One of the reasons I managed to turn my love of building sites into a full-time job was because I chose to avoid using an Exact Match Domain on what would become my most successful website to date.
I have been able to expand that site as the demands on it grew.
Before I delve deeper into what I mean by this, let’s take a quick look at what an exact match domain name is.
The Exact Match Domain (EMD)
In the case of the average product review website, the Exact Match Domain uses the main keyword that the site is targeting.
I will use the example I have spoken about elsewhere on DIJ to explain this.
If the main product of the site was washing machines, a high traffic keyword that the owner might be after would be ‘best washing machines’ or ‘washing machine reviews’.
A really ingenious website owner might even go out and register: www.bestwashingmachinereviews.com
Absolutely ghastly I am sure you will agree.
The reason this approach was once popular is because people believed Google would give extra ranking power to EMD’s.
This has since been debunked, and it is common knowledge that using an EMD will do nothing for you in the SERPS anymore.
Why you shouldn’t use EMDs
My main beef with EMD’s and product review sites has nothing to do with the old idea that they helped boost your rankings.
It’s down to the fact they sound so bloody awful.
Just put yourself in the eyes of the consumer.
If you were after quality, informed, unbiased reviews on a product before parting with your hard earned money, would you trust a site called: www.bestwashingmachinereviews.com?
I know I wouldn’t.
Brandable Domain Names
Going back to my point at the beginning of this article.
My most successful site so far that has enabled me to do this full time, was able to grow precisely because I chose a ‘Brandable’ domain name.
A name that is less specific allows you to expand your site beyond that of just one product niche.
And let’s face it, if you want a full time income with affiliate review sites you will need to be promoting more than just washing machines.
Taking the best washing machines example a little further to explain what I mean.
(I have made these up on the fly, but you get what I mean.)
A less specific, more brandable name gives you scope to move outside of your original product niche.
Sure you could start by reviewing washing machines, they would not look out of place on a site called sparkleking.
However, as the site expands you could move into dish washers and other home washing accessories. Beyond that there is car washing equipment or garden cleaning.
Want to take it even further, how about industrial or scientific cleaning. Your name allows you to grow.
There’s no way you could do that with www.bestwashingmachinereviews.com
Why seeing EMD site names in the SERPS is (generally) good news for you
I won’t lie to you. I hate the cynical nature of the majority of EMD review sites.
It is a broad generalisation to say this but my view is based on the amount of crappy EMD sites I see when checking out the competition.
Very often they have no regard for user experience.
A shitty theme is used, the logo looks cheap and the page is splashed with affiliate links to get you across to Amazon as fast as humanly possible.
The sites that fit this mould are a little offensive to me.
BUT THEY ARE EASY TO BEAT
When I see a thin content, badly designed EMD review site on page one of the SERPS for the keyword I am after, I know I am in.
Even if they have thrown a bunch of links at it to get the page there, (very often it will be using age old methods that Google is devaluing all the time anyway), the fact the page owner has displayed no regard to adding value means I can beat them.
I just add that value. I create a killer review round up with embedded videos, images while keeping user experience in mind all the way.
Without any link building, a great article along with the domain authority on my money sites beat this type of competition everyday of the week.
That is my strategy.
Very simple, yet very effective.
When to use EMD’s
With all the above said, beyond the spammy nature of product review site emd’s you can get exact match domains that bode well for those that own them.
They do come at a price however. Short, one word emd’s are very expensive to buy. For example:
Most of them have long been snapped up and a traded at a premium if they do become available.
However, these website owners benefit from the amount of people that will just type in the word + .com, into the url search bar in the top of their browser.
Furthermore, if your subject is specific like the examples above, you are telling the potential visitor exactly what you offer.
They know before clicking the link, (and are therefore much more likely to click that link).
EDMs such as this are very easy to market and are very often worth the price you pay if you can afford it.
My thought process when choosing any domain name
When choosing the domain name for any new website I always aim for something that explains what the site is about without sounding spammy.
I hope BuildASiteLike.com is a good example of that.
To me it definitely give details of the subject matter we are dealing with, while allowing room for growth.
Our aim with this website is simply to help beginners get started online, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by building a site like… 🙂 As you can see if you browse beyond this article, this is definitely a priority for us.
Whether you are creating a blog, eCommerce business, authority content site or social viral site, you really need to keep these issues in mind when choosing your name.
You want that name to brandable so it remains relevant for the long haul.