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To Hyphenate on Domain Name or Not

Discussion in 'Domain Names & Parking' started by Meat, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Meat

    Meat Newbie

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    Ok, I know that there is a lot of negative sentiment against a multiple domain strategy, but for my business and my situation it's the way to go based on the circumstances. I am getting to claim domain names to start the process of building out the alternate sites, but the domain name is going to be ridiculously long. I am not worried that anyone is going to type in the actual domain name, but want it to be a relevant name. We have a meat market and are going to be expanding with one location per city (cities will have a population of at least 2.5 million so it's a big market area) but surprisingly the keyword difficulty is low. We dominate in our home market and I can't risk taking many chances trying to push the SEO in new markets as we run the risk of killing the golden goose. We have location pages and that hasn't worked well. Here is the question, when I register these domain names, should I hyphenate for clarity and/or SEO benefit. Here is what this would look like:

    http://www.lanswanmeatmarketphoenix.com or http://www.lanswanmeatmarket-phoenix.com

    I'm probably overthinking this, but wanted to get the collective wisdom of the group before i head down this path.
     
  2. nullday000

    nullday000 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yeah, that's a really long name.
    If I decided to go with multi domain strategy, I would probably use hyphen to make it in format <BRAND>-<LOCATION>.
    But on the other hand, you have no hyphens between other words like meat and market...
    I think it doesn't matter that much for google, it's just your personal preference.
     
  3. SocialManager

    SocialManager Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    No hyphen. Do a Google search for industries related to yours and look in the top 100 results and see how many are hyphenated. You might even get some better ideas how to write your domain name if you want to do something different.

    I just did "meat market" for example, looked at the top 100 results from my search: Only 1 domain at 92nd place in the Top 100.

    And that is an "authority" page (Domain Authority 47, 20 years old website) for a local city.
     
  4. Meat

    Meat Newbie

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    I'm open to suggestions for sure and really appreciate your reply. Since most competing companies are branded (e.g. using the business name as part of the domain name) is it significantly better to use the top search term for our industry instead and then the geo term? For instance, instead of the options listed above, maybe http://www.meatmarketphoenix.com? I'm not using the exact keywords in that example that would be best, because you're right there are some standard ways that people register their domains, but few (if any of the competitors) key in as much on the search term that has 3x the traffic of the next best search term.
     
  5. SocialManager

    SocialManager Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    A domain like meatmarketphoenix would be great I think. It sounds more like THE meat market. But in that case, you want to do research to make sure it's available for all of your new locations so you can maintain that branding. Maybe even buy some other domains matching it in other big cities where you might branch into the future.

    Have a read through these other sources and hopefully they will help you make a decision.

    https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain

    https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-domain-name-whiteboard-friday