One of the most powerful tactics that Tom and I use in our business is leveraging exact match domains. Using exact match domains to rank for for high search volume keywords quickly is a huge opportunity (though, I will say that every day more and more people are using this strategy) right now.
And it works pretty well for us – with minimal effort (exact match domains are extremely easy to rank) we’ve been able to rank #1 for quite a few high traffic keywords within a few weeks of getting our domains, and generate a nice extra chunk of revenue.
So let’s walk you guys through how we find exact match domains, how to monetize them, and how to rank them.
What exactly is an exact match domain?
First and foremost, an exact match domain is just a domain that matches a specific keyword exactly. So an exact match domain for Make Money Online would be www.makemoneyonline.com.
Why do exact match domains rank so well?
Well, as we talk about in the The WordPress SEO Blueprint, your domain name plays a big factor in on-site SEO. If your domain name is makingmoneyonline.com – it’s a very powerful signal to Google that your site is indeed about making money online. And that combined with the other on-site factors that we teach in the WordPress SEO Blueprint, you will probably be able to rank your site for your keyword before you even start linkbuilding.
One of the best examples I have for exact match domains is when you google “Credit Cards”. The number one result for Credit Cards isn’t Visa, Mastercard, or American express. It’s CreditCards.com. Imagine that – billion dollar companies unable to compete in the search engines because one site has the exact match for “credit cards”. Pretty powerful stuff.
How do I find exact match domains?
There’s been a couple of really good tools coming in and out of the marketplace – but the one that we’ve found to be the best is ExactDomainTool.com. Basically, you put in your target keywords, what kind of search volume you’re looking for, and then click “search” and it will come up with a list of available domains — .org, .net, and .com that are available for purchase.
We generally go after domains that are getting at least 1,000 exact searches a month (or domains that are based around a group of keywords that get at least 1,000 searches a month), otherwise it’s not really worth it.
.com, .net, or .org?
If an exact match domain is available in any one of these extensions, we will grab it. We avoid any other types – no .infos, .biz, .us, .co, etc. We stick to the big 3, and they all rank well.
What if no exact matches are available?
While you always want to try to get an exact match, it’s not the end of the world if you add a word to the domain. While it won’t be as effective, it will still do much better than if your keyword wasn’t in the domain at all. So for example, instead of dogtrainingtechniques.com, it would be bestdogtrainingtechniques.com or topdogtrainingtechniques.com.
You can also use hyphens in your domain name (so dog-training-techniques.com) for a similar effect.
What do I do with my exact match domains?
There are a couple of different ways you can monetize your investment in exact match domains:
SEO: Some of our domains are not really designed to sell anything at all, we just use them in our linkbuilding campaigns. So we’ll have an exact match domain, put 5-10 articles on it, build links to it to get it ranked, and then have links from that domain to our main money site. This is a powerful strategy – and it works extremely well for us.
Affiliate Offers: Some of our sites we do not use for SEO and just focus them around affiliate offers. The key here is testing. There are a lot of high traffic keywords that don’t necessarily convert very well. The key here is testing different affiliate offers to see what converts the best for your traffic. We use a product called AdRotate to rotate affiliate offers on these sites until we find one that converts the best for our traffic.
Adsense: This is probably your least profitable option, but I figured I’d put it here anyway – it can make you decent money if you do find some high competition exact match domains, however, I’ve always been a believer that you can make more money promoting affiliate offers than from adsense.
Listbuilding: If you get a good exact match domain that gets decent traffic, throw up popupdomination on it and give away a free ebook or ecourse related to your subject. Using exact match domains can get you a significant amount of traffic pretty fast – so make sure to capture it. You can get a lot of new subscribers pretty quickly with a popup on your site.
How do I rank my exact match domains?
Fortunately for you, having the exact match of a keyword is a huge step towards easy rankings. However, you still need to have proper on-site SEO setup which means optimizing your title tags, description tags, images, etc. for your keyword. To tell you the truth, most of the time when we have an exact match domain, all we need to do is go through our The WordPress SEO Blueprint on-site SEO formula, and we are usually ranked #1 if not the top 5.
However, if you do follow our blueprint and are still not ranked #1 for your keyword, you need to get linkbuilding. I actually did a post on different ways to do linkbuilding over here: How To Get Backlinks
Go get some exact match domains and start rockin and rollin – you’ll be surprised at how fast your websites will rank (we were when we first started!)
And let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below!