I have a client who has a site which is not performing well despite having a PR4.
The site needs and will be getting a complete remake which will help as the code and content is poor.
At present his domain has no keyords whatsoever and consists of only one unrelated word.
Would it help to purchase a second domain with a keyword in it and have this directed to the site as well?
I don't think just purely redirecting it will achieve much, it'll either not exist as a separate google entry or will be seen as a duplicate entry.
What's more important to him - being found and getting new custom (use a keyword rich domain) or brand reinforcement (stick with a presumably non-keyword relevant company name domain). Another option is create a separate site using a keyword rich domain, which can interlink to the other site.
He needs to do both. He will have repeat customers but will need to also attract new customers due to the nature of his business. His online presence is already a bit scattered with 3 separate sites, none of which are performing well. I think though he doesn't want to lose the high pagerank rating for his main site even although it doesn't rank well.
Improving the quality of the content is likely to have a far greater positive effect than changing the domain name.
Unless the domain name is something that might be confusing or off-putting to potential customers, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
I have friends who were advised to do this, and it made not a shred of difference to their ranking. More recently, I had problems with a domain owned by somebody else which they had redirected to one of my clients' sites. Google started showing our home page with the URL of the redirected domain, not the correct domain. All images on that pages also showed up in Google searches under the redirected domain. Even more worryingly, the other 21 pages of our site suddenly ceased to be indexed by Google at all. (AFAIK, there were no problems with any other search engine, only Google.) For that reason alone, I would never try to use a domain redirect in this way.
Sounds like great advice and thanks for making it so easy to understand. I think I'd better play safe and stick with the current domain.
p.s. Great porridge advice as well :))
The presence of keywords in a domain name is only one of many signals that search engines use for ranking - and probably not a very significant one.
It is far better to choose a domain name that reflects the company's branding, and which its customers are likely to recognise. Then put your effort into developing the best possible content for the site (not to mention the best possible products for your customers, of course).
Yes agreed but the current domain does neither - it doesn't reflect either the company branding or keywords. I think it was based on a previous branding.
The domain name does have a positive influence, though not as much as it used to do before google's update which cranked the influence down for this signal in 2011. However, I still see cases where search matched domain names have went and stayed on page one with very little seo, in reasonably competitive markets. If the domain can reflect the product while remaining succinct it's worth looking at, if the domain would be unwieldy then perhaps not.
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