Should you purchase a keyword-rich domain for your practice? What should you do with this domain? Re-direct it? Create a second website or blog? In this blog I’ll dive into these topics.

Let me start by discussing domains in general. If possible, you should try to lock in a domain that includes both your geographic location as well as your main service. For example, chicagodermatologist.com or atlanta-plasticsurgeon.com. This will make it much easier for you to rank for these keywords (important update as of December 2012: Google is going after sites who simply buy keyword-rich domains that have limited content. Click here to learn more). Let’s assume that you already have a domain, and it’s simply your practice name or your name (drjohnsmith.com), and you’re approached by someone offering a keyword-rich domain. Should you buy it? Well that depends…

You should start by researching how many people are searching for the keyword phrase in the domain. In order to do this I recommend you use Google’s keyword tool. If the domain is say “losangelesbreastaugmentation.com” then if you use the keyword tool you see that the term “Los Angeles breast augmentation” is searched about 2,900 times per month in the US.

Next you need to investigate to see how well your current website is ranking for this keyword phrase. If you’re not in the first 5 pages then you may want to consider buying the domain. Even if you are ranking well you may still want to buy it so that you could potentially have two websites highly ranked. Before doing that though…

You need to look at the price the domain is being offered for. Keep in mind that you’ll need to invest a lot more than just the cost of the domain itself. You’ll need a website or blog and search engine optimization. If the cost of the domain is $10,000 or more you have to figure that it’ll cost at least $2,000 for a website or blog and at least $6,000 for a year’s worth of SEO. That’s $18,000 total, and that’s a bare minimum. Now, figure out how much your average breast augmentation goes for. $5,000? $7,500? More? If it’s $6,000 then you need 3 procedures in order to pay for this investment.

Let’s jump quickly back to the numbers, that is, 2,900 searches per month. If within a year you can get this new site ranking in the top 3 search results then you can likely get at least 2% of that traffic to your website (58 people per month). If you know your conversion rate (you should), and it’s 7%, then of the 58 visitors you’ll generate 4 leads per month. That’s 48 leads per year. Now you only need to convert 3 of these 48 leads to pay for this investment.

Before you jump to any conclusions you need to be aware of several variables:

  • Average number of monthly searches done for a keyword phrase– also look at variations of this keyword phrase because you may be able to rank for these terms as well
  • Your conversion rate– the percentage of website visitors who become leads when compared to the total number of visitors to your site
  • History of the domain you’re considering purchasing– Does it have age? Does it rank highly now? Is it re-directed now. Use the “way back machine” to learn more
  • Cost of website, blog and SEO
What if I simply buy the domain and re-direct it to my main website?

This is a common question I get asked frequently and my answer is simple: NO! There’s no long term SEO value in doing this, and this is a common misconception. Even if the domain has had very optimized content on it since 1995 (and it ranks highly), if you re-direct it to your website then you’ll get some short term traffic because the other site will still rank highly. However, search engines will quickly figure out that there is no content on this domain and it’ll start to drop and until you can no longer find it at all. This process usually takes between and few weeks and a few months.

The example I gave above demonstrates that there is some short term value to re-directing a keyword-rich/highly ranking site to yours, albeit brief. Now, if the domain you’re considering purchasing has had little to no content on it and it doesn’t rank well, or worse, it’s been re-directed throughout its life, then there is not only no long term SEO value for re-directing it to your site, there is also no short term value.

Instead of re-directing consider building an additional website or blog on this new domain. Even if your website is already ranking on page 1 for a given keyword phrase, if you buy an additional domain in order to rank for that very keyword phrase, then you’re essentially doubling your chances of someone click on your site. You’ll have 20% of the real estate for the organic search results.

The bottom line is that if you’re considering buying a highly priced keyword-rich domain then you need to do your research, just like any investment. That being said, I would never buy a domain if you’re simply going to re-direct it. It makes no sense.

If you have any questions about buying a domain for your practice, or any of the specifics mentioned int his article please contact Turbo Social Media, or simply call 877-673-7096 x708.