January 2, 2013 at 10:27 am #8954
I have several domains that I want to use for a new real estate business. I am thinking of not only using my actual name domain but some other domain related to real estate. One would point to the other if used by a reader but I am wondering if there is an issue with optimization for the ones pointing to the source domain. I want to make sure I use the best one before building a site.DarleneJanuary 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm #8978
Pointing 2 domains to the same content is a bad idea. The best approach is to have great and unique content on each domain.
Since a domain with your own name may not be one that is frequently searched for real estate generally, having a keyword rich domain name can help, but only if each domain has separate and unique content. Let’s say you use an IDX service for listings and have a keyword rich domain name. You could put your listings on that domain, where visitors doing general searches are more likely to land. Then, you could focus the domain with your name on content about you and your services. Both could link to each other, and you could have a page on the keyword rich domain that explains it is a site maintained by you.
January 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm #8983
netviperParticipantPost count: 24
Like Bill said, they key is to having unique content on each site. If it is strictly duplicate content, you are just hurting the main site. There are a lot of companies out there still doing similar things with Link Wheels. Google doesnt like those anymore, so I would avoid that.January 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm #8985
Thanks for this information. I was wondering being Canadian about building a .com site and then just linking the .ca to it but the idea of having a listings separate site is an interesting one considering I have also purchased some real estate domain names.January 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm #9018
netviperParticipantPost count: 24
I dont think it matters if you have a .ca or a .com, what matters is the authority of the domains. If you have a bunch of domains with no authority, it doesn’t really help you in SEO. I prefer to focus on the domain I want to rank and build backlinks and content to it.January 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm #9083
@netviper, In general, that’s a sound strategy. But in RE, the original poster might find that it is better to try to get 2 domains to rank for different things. That’s because it may be easier to get a domain with a personal name to rank for that personal name, and it might be easier to get a generic, keyword rich domain to rank for a common real estate term. (Of course, this depends on how good your keyword rich TLD is.) Most RE agents have a two-fold problem: build their own brands (ie, their names) while at the same time carving out space in the general RE market that may not recognize their names for a long time. If one has the time and resources to build 2 sites with unique content, they’ll do better faster than a single domain approach.
January 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm #9106
So for a real estate site what I think I understand is that it should be ok to build a .com and a .ca pointed site using my name and make that site the brand site but to build a new site with a good domain name relating to real estate for listings and linking on my name site via an icon or menu bar or something to this other listing site. The listing site could also link back to my name site. I assume if I wanted a blog I could thenmaybe make a sub domain if I wanted the layout again to bemore blog related look and link it on name site site. It is not a problem building the sites as I have used some of the studio press themes before I just want to have a good look but not being hurt re search engines.January 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm #9109
You said (emphasis added by me):
So for a real estate site what I think I understand is that it should be ok to build a .com and a .ca pointed site using my name
You don’t want to build both – just 1 or the other.
The listing site could also link back to my name site.
Yes, but you have to be careful to have a natural link pattern. Don’t make every reference to your name be a link to your name site, because that can appear unnatural to search engines.
I assume if I wanted a blog I could then maybe make a sub domain if I wanted the layout again to bemore blog related look and link it on name site site.
There’s no advantage to having a subdomain. A blog is a natural thing on the site under your name. Without a blog, that site might have little content. In fact, you can have a blog on both sites. On your personal name site, your blog would be focused on YOUR perspective on RE. On your listing site, your blog could be focused on interesting new listings that hit the market.
Keep in mind that first and foremost is having great content. A great structure won’t save bad content, and a bad structure won’t ruin great content. Worry less about structure and more about constantly generating fresh content that will make readers want to come back.
January 3, 2013 at 12:38 am #9121
MarcModeratorPost count: 172
@Darlene Darragh exact match domain names (EMD) or keyword rich domain names are becoming much less advantageous due to changes yhis past Fall by Google. For more detail about this – http://resultzdigital.com/2863
January 3, 2013 at 9:02 am #9177
@Marc – The Matt Cutts tweet you quoted in your article gets talked about a lot, but people should re-read it to fully understand what the change is trying to do (emphasis added by me): “reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.” If one has an EMD that, among other things, is long, hyphenated, or contains stop words, one has a low-quality domain name. And those low quality EMD’s tend to have bad/spammy content; that’s why Google is out to reduce the chance they show up in search results. Good EMD’s with good content have nothing to worry about.
As you point out, the positive value of an EMD is declining, but it’s hard to say if this is only because weeding out the large number of low-quality EMD’s causes the overall EMD value to decline. And EMD’s – if good quality and not done in a spammy/bad-content way – are a positive, not a negative. After all, if you have a popular brand and an EMD for that brand, it SHOULD rank well for that term.
The bottom line is that if the original poster has a good EMD (no hyphens, is short, no stop words) and fills it with good content and keeps it fresh, the EMD will be a positive factor for some searches. If those searches occur frequently, it can have a big positive impact on her business, so she should exploit her EMD. If it isn’t a good EMD and the content is spammy, it will hurt her more than it helps.
January 5, 2013 at 10:33 am #9733
Thanks so much for all the comments. So I have a question if I develop a site using my full name using a .com and point a .ca to it (since I am Canadian) and based on what comments I have seen above, I develop a listing site and have registered some domains already for the area I am trying to specialize in (e.g. Oakville) would you consider these good and which is better than the others:
DarleneJanuary 5, 2013 at 11:49 am #9758
MarcModeratorPost count: 172
1) Recognizing that you are Canada based, I am not sure why it is important to use .ca? I would be disinclined to use .ca based on the observation that few if any smartphones and tablets have a .ca key, but virtually all have a .com key. http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/11-long-haul/45-canada%3Fstart%3D2
2) Few of my clients outside the US still use or find marketing value in their geographic related TLD, and instead are adopting .com domain names.
3) With what seems like the ongoing decreasing search marketing value of having keywords in a domain name, I would use your brand as the domain name and through constant quality content associate your brand as analogous to the keywords related to your service and specialty(ies). I feel that this is the best value and ROI option. Plus on verbal referrals it will mean that your site will always come up first.
4) If you still want to use one of your three options use the Google keyword tool and see what terms are highest in search usage. Then use the domain you have with the terms with the highest counts or craft a new one with the highest count terms.
January 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm #9788
@Darlene – To judge whether those are good keyword rich domains, you first have to look at the organic search traffic. My guess is that “iloveoakvillehomes” is weak. The other 2 might have decent traffic. The other 2 names aren’t bad as far as keywords rich domains go, but they are by no means great. They’re on the long side, and from an “exact match” perspective, they are at best exact matches for terms that aren’t at the top of the list. That should be a factor in how much you invest in 1 of them and the returns you expect to get.
Mark’s comment about the “decreasing search marketing value of having keywords in a domain name” ignores 2 points: 1) yes, the value is decreasing, but it is still significant and still positive, and 2) life is different if you are a new RE agent.
I have set up a number of sites for RE agents, and one challenge for newcomers is that few RE prospects search for their names. That’s understandable, since they’re new to the profession. For them to get any meaningful traffic from organic search, they can’t rely on just using their name as their brand when they’re starting out. New RE agents (and probably newcomers in any profession) have to build their personal brands from nothing by capturing a growing amount of business that comes in through more general sources, such as looking for a real estate agent in Oakville. For example, you may find that your domain “realestateagentinoakville” gets better ranking for a generic search phrase more quickly than your personal brand domain. Your goal over time is to make that generic site a decreasing share of your business and your personal brand site a growing share. But if you are a newcomer and focus exclusively on your personal brand, expect to stare at a lot of zeros for a while. That advice would change if you’re the leading RE agent in your metro area with a well-recognized name. My guess is that’s not likely, because the leading agents in most markets whose names are recognizable as brands already have websites supporting their brands. And that advice would change if…
* you have limited resources and can’t develop both your brand and a generic site at the same time or
* you aren’t prepared to put great, unique content on both sites (which is a lot of work).
If you just stick an IDX service on your domain “realestateagentinoakville”, you probably won’t see a positive financial return from it.
January 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm #9859
So I just want to be clear what you may be recommending and yes I am new to real estate but not new to website design and I agree that when first out there most don’t know your name.
1. Should I setup a site with a name like realestateagentinoakville – or something like that first
2. Point the domain with my name to it for now or set up another complete site but adding somewhat different content – that latter would not be my preference.
3. I also saw a sign with an agent in our area with his first name only and the word sell which I thought was interesting – so maybe I should consider Darlenesell.com or Darsells.com for the domain with my name.
Many domains with Oakville first were already gone.
If I am not limited to being able to set up more than one site would it be a good idea to set up one with my name as the branding site and one with a real estate type name in it until my name (hopefully) catches on?
DarleneJanuary 5, 2013 at 10:33 pm #9878
1. As I said, with enough resources and commitment to do it right, I would set up both the domain with your name and the keyword rich domain at the same time.
2. I would not point 1 domain to the other. I would create helpful links between the 2 websites.
3. The domains that you described as “already gone” are already gone for a reason: those are the good ones.
4. Yes, I think the best approach is to set up both sites at the same time – if you’re prepared for the commitment of time & resources and you do the keyword research. In the long run (5+ years is probably as soon as it can happen in RE), you’d like your personal site to be the source of most of your leads. When you start out, your keyword rich domain will probably represent the bulk of your leads, and your goal is to reduce that steadily. Of course, all of this is based on doing the research and determining if the exact match domains (EMDs) that you own apply to a lot of exact match searches in your local area. If there are few local searches for the keywords in the domains you own, then I’d scrap the multiple website strategy because it won’t help. It takes a combination of good EMDs + meaningful search traffic for those terms for this approach to be worth the trouble.
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