When it comes to naming your online brand, there’s an enduring SEO debate over whether it would be more beneficial to try for an exact match domain (EMD), partial keyword match, or something unique with high brand-ability.
Matt Cutts, unsurprisingly, recommends the latter and avoiding keyword stuffing your domain name:
But what about the worst names for your website, from an SEO perspective?
In my opinion, the worst brand and domain names are the ones that do not show up clearly as the first result in a Google search. Your brand name as a keyword is the most basic search marketing element any company must be able to authoritatively own. It is extremely easy to do, and the tactic is not so much actively trying to achieve this, rather, don’t do anything to shoot yourself in the foot.
Here’s the example website I stumbled across that prompted this post:
“First” is an Australian digital marketing agency. The name of the company is not “First Digital Marketing” or “FIrst Digital” – it is just “First”.
This is what happens when you search for the company’s brand name in Google –
The website’s URL www.first.com.au does not rank at all on the front page for its branded keyword search query:
Nor does it rank on the second page:
In fact, you have to go all the way to PAGE 13 (!) to find their homepage – so competitive is this super generic keyword:
It’s not like they don’t have a keyword optimised title or anything… and even the homepage has a pagerank of 4.
I guess it’s kind of a cool domain, but isn’t it kind of annoying to potential clients who might like to Google your business and couldn’t remember if the domain was first.com or .com.au? Imagine losing a lead because the client couldn’t remember how to navigate to your site from Google despite knowing the name of your company.