Domain names with the product in. Any good?

Technically, they’re known as “exact match domain names”: domains such as “red-widgets.com” or anything which focuses on the product, rather than a supplier name. They do seem to do rather well in Google for searches on those terms, after all. Should you have one of these, rather than using [your company name].com?

I think there are three possibilities. Grabbing the generic product name and putting your company site there seemed like a good idea in the early days of the web, and a tiny number of companies are still stuck with that. I’d never suggest that nowadays. People expect to find your company website at [your company name].com, so it needs to be there. A second possibility is to register an “exact match domain” and put the relevant information there, so instead of information about your red widgets being on your company site, they’d be on the spinoff red-widgets.com site. This would probably work well for “red widgets” searches (i.e you might well come higher than you would if the information was on your main company site), but it’s not great for branding, and it does rather dilute the strength of your overall offering in Google.

The third possibility, which I’d recommend, is to keep all the product information together on your main company website, but to set up an independent “exact match domain” around any individual product types or technology issues. Try to be genuinely useful to the visitor, but of course then direct them to your company website as an example of where they can buy the products or services described. A site called red-widgets.com with as few as half a dozen pages telling visitors everything they need to know about red widgets can do extremely well in Google. There’s a nice discussion on the subject in Should You Buy An Exact Match Domain Name? on SEObook.

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