Having a unique domain and site name, and having a keyword inclusive domain name may seem to many to be a choice between two goals. On the one hand, it’s certainly preferable to have your main keywords in the domain name. For instance, if your site offers poker strategy, it would be of obvious benefit to have both of those keywords in there.
So the first task is to get the domain in the first place, and if you remember back, we spoke about the tactic of using hyphens to set off your keywords. Getting pokerstrategy.xxx is going to be a waste of time, as this domain is long long gone. Even poker-strategy.xxx is taken. So maybe you’re thinking of using 2 hyphens, which by the way isn’t a bad idea really. poker–strategy.com is taken though, although the other popular extensions are available.
This would no doubt have the hyphen haters up in arms, TWO hyphens back to back? Why the heck not though. I personally don’t have a problem with that, and as I mentioned before, it’s really not a big deal at all. Poker websites are so damn competitive that every edge helps, and this is a substantial one. Sure, you can compete for these keywords without having them in the domain, but it’s a whole lot better if you do. You’ll already be doing all of that other stuff anyway, so this is additional help you can’t get any other way, and help that may make the difference between getting on the first page or not. This is an extremely competitive search term by the way and you’re going to have to work very hard to ever have a chance to get many searches with it.
The best way to think about the relative value of the differences here is to try to go out and buy the non-hyphenated one. If you can convince one of the owners to sell it, you can bet that it would take a boatload of money. So that hyphen has saved you a ton of money even if you had it to spend on the domain. Anyone seriously think the lack of hyphen is worth that much money?
As an alternative, you could just look to add in keywords, which isn’t a bad idea either. We can’t even buy the hyphenated form of this, and maybe we’re thinking two hyphens is one too many, or even two too many, although I don’t agree. However, what about adding another keyword or two in there? How about bestpokerstrategy.biz? Or worldsbestpokerstrategy.com? So all you need is a little imagination here and there’s no need for hyphens at all if you don’t want them. As a bonus, you’re getting more keywords in there, and although this is slightly less strong for the search term poker strategy, it’s close, it’s free, and even has another keyword in it.
Now on the other side of the coin is a non keyword so called brandable term. Often pure keyword domains are too generic to brand. Now on the other hand a more unique name may set the site off better. So you see people going with all sorts of keywords here and even selling them. I remember a guy who sold casinoXX domains, casino1.com, casino2.com, etc. I’ve no idea why people would pay a lot of money for this stuff, but they did, and he was up to casino23.com or something and said they were selling for thousands. It is true that a sucker is born every day, a lot of them a day in fact.
It takes very little intelligence to come up with your own domain names without paying anyone, although I never cease to be amazed at the junk people will pay for. I want both though, keywords and branding and we’ll throw in no hyphens for an added challenge. So let’s use this casino23 deal here, forget about the damn 23, and what we want is casino reviews we’ll say. So how about, kenscasinoreviews.com? That brands it nicely, and gets a search term in there that’s very nice and exactly what I want, and only four letters at the front added, which is damn close to something that costs at least 5 figures to buy, and I can get it for just the registration fee.
So with only a little imagination you can have it all, and even without hyphens.