Exact Match Domains
  In the world of SEO, many factors come into play. One of the first things that you do when you’re creating a website is purchase a domain name. For a number of reasons, this first step can be one of the most crucial when it comes to SEO.

What exactly is an “Exact Match Domain” and why do I want one?

It’s quite simple, actually. An exact match domain is a domain name that directly matches the user’s search term. So if you went into your browser and searched for “Rockland Web Design,” RocklandWebDesign.com would be the exact match for that search term. Having an exact match domain has quite a few benefits. First of all, as you can see, when a domain name in a search result directly matches the search term, there is a trust and authority factor that immediately comes into play (note: beware of hyphenated domains. “Cheap-cars-for-sale.com,” for example, is probably spam, or just a weak site in general. Hyphenated domains are a thing of the past, and scammers used them to pick up easy SEO traffic and to trick search algorithms. That’s not to say that it’s not a legitimate site, but more often than not, the site is not what you’re looking for.). An exact match domain without hyphens is definitely more preferable than a hyphenated domain, like the one mentioned above. Another benefit of exact match domains is that they are immediately recognizable, making them extremely beneficial for both brand recognition and long term memory for the customer. One more benefit (though certainly not the final benefit) of exact match domains is that they receive “type-in” traffic. Type-in traffic, or direct navigation, is when someone types in something like “cheapcars” without spaces, and then simply adds a .com or .net to the search term. This happens quite often, believe it or not, and it will bring the searcher directly to your site, placing you at the all important #1 spot on the search results page.

Exact Match Domains and Search Results

So, now that you’ve found the perfect domain name for your website, you will probably want to rank higher in search results. Will having an exact match domain help with that? There are quite a few opinions on the matter, but the short answer is: yes, you will. If you take two similar businesses, both with strong advertising campaigns, regular publishing schedules, and social media presences, and one has the exact match and one does not—the exact match will nearly always win. Yes, Google and other search engines have done a bit of work to try to level the playing field, but you can never get around the abovementioned benefits of having an exact match domain. Authority, trust, and recognition still happen when you’ve got the exact match, and that fact is inescapable. However, Google has done some more serious work to keep hyphenated exact matches from dominating results, so keep that in mind as you carefully craft your domain name.

The Future of Exact Match Domains

Quite simply, having an exact match domain will always be an advantage—don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Sure, some great SEO tactics and constant attention can drive you up in results, even past a good exact match domain. But it starts at the domain name, and it will for the foreseeable future. Your domain name is your signal, your sign, and it is the first thing people see. The point? Exact match domains aren’t going anywhere. People trust them, search engines recognize and display them immediately, and if the keywords that are in your domain name are being searched for, that’s just one more big SEO boost. Moral of the story? Choose your domain name wisely, and think like a search engine user! The exact match domain name is not to be taken lightly.
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