LocalSEOHub

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A client of mine has gotten a reccomendation from a friend of his who also owns there own business that he should completely change his domain.

The domain now is just his business name which does not have the city or state in it.

His friend suggested he change his domain to something like www.chiropractor{city}.com

Something along those lines. His friend has said that he did that around 6 months ago and his ranking has skyrocketed. I have never heard of someone starting over from scratch and using a domain like that before, but I was curious if anybody else has any experience in doing this.

If so please let me know how it went and if it would be worth it.

Thanks.
 

Linda Buquet

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Google does love EMDs like: www.chiropractor{city}.com

But I would not change domains purely for that reason. Here are a few reasons why I would not switch.

Google also loves aged mature domains. Plus a site won't rank just because of the domain name - you still have to have all the other right stuff in place. A good domain is no guarantee. Plus ANY time you switch sites, domains, page names, URLs you risk a ranking upset for awhile at least.

Now if there are other practical branding reasons or if the old site is penalized, it may be something to consider. But just for the ranking I would not.

The other reason is 'she' could change her mind tomorrow - or likely right after he goes to all the trouble to switch domains. :(

What do you guys think???
 

SocialTycoons

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EMD's worked for me some years ago but as Google changed its's local ranking factors in the SERPS this went out of the window. We had to go back and reeducate local business owners in:

1. On page optimization
2. Off page optimization
3. Social signals
4. Healthy citations
5. Proactive roll in posted reviews
6. Branding

These are just a few things we did, but when we did business owners seen a jump in their local ranking. Sometimes it was immediate and other times it took awhile, over all this did help.

Great post.

J.S
 

Dev

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EMD's worked for me some years ago but as Google changed its's local ranking factors in the SERPS this went out of the window. We had to go back and reeducate local business owners in:

1. On page optimization
2. Off page optimization
3. Social signals
4. Healthy citations
5. Proactive roll in posted reviews
6. Branding

These are just a few things we did, but when we did business owners seen a jump in their local ranking. Sometimes it was immediate and other times it took awhile, over all this did help.

Great post.

J.S

Agreed.

EMDs used to be very beneficial in the search engines, now not so much. I bought the domain TheBestGuitarLessons.com 4-5 years back as it holds several KW I want my site to rank for. However the KWs in my domain are actually the ones I rank worst for (they're about as competitive as it gets in my market)! I do much better for KWs targeted by the lessons themselves. So as mentioned above, an EMD will only get you so far without the proper SEO foundation laid out to support it. Like the others, I wouldn't suggest starting all over with that domain either. Go for branding over search engine satisfaction any day.
 

heckler

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Nothing is stopping them from creating some local landing pages on an EMD. :cool:
 

Laustin1878

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Very valid points here. Linda, great advice. She pointed out a few other things you need to think about before changing a domain.

For branding purposes, it may be logical. If the site has zero authority, it may be a starting point to consider choosing a new domain. If the stars align and you do decide to change domains, be sure to use 301 redirect from the old site pages to the new site pages. It's best to do a 1 to 1 301 (old homepage 301 to new homepage, old services page 301 to new service page) if possible. This will allow any authority from the old pages to be forwarded to the new pages. Not all of the authority will pass but much of it will. This will help get the new site into the SERP's a little quicker (baring there is authority to pass).

Everything else about EMD's is spot on.

One last point to think about is the VISITORS. Everyone always thinks about how Google will react and forgets about the primary thing to consider, the users who will actually buy or be interested in your service. If the domain is easy for people to remember, stick with it. If you think that a new domain may make more sense and be easier for visitors to recall, it's something to consider. As said previously, you can always add local pages to branch out. These pages will serve better as landing pages also.

I wouldn't just change it thinking it will solve all of your ranking problems. Eliminate all other reasons for why the site may not be ranking to begin with before starting from scratch. IF they already have a modest web presence in the local world, this will create a TON of work to fix everything and get things back in unison.
 

Linda Buquet

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One last point to think about is the VISITORS. Everyone always thinks about how Google will react and forgets about the primary thing to consider, the users who will actually buy or be interested in your service. If the domain is easy for people to remember, stick with it. If you think that a new domain may make more sense and be easier for visitors to recall, it's something to consider.

Luke is right. What you want is memorable and brandable.

Check this SERP: https://www.google.com/search?q=Chiropractor+Belleview+WA

3 Pack:

A chiropractorbellevue .org
B bellevuechiro .com
C bellevuewachiropractic .com

That market also has PMDs and even EMDs that DON'T rank:

bellevuechiropracticassociates .com
bellevuechiropracticclinic .org
bellevuechiropractor .com
bellevue-chiropractor .com


Starts to get a little ridiculous after awhile.
And those last 2 are EMDs to the query and don't rank in the pack at all.

As a consumer out shopping for care. Do any of them stand out to you?
If you had a new EMD/PMD in that market you'd just blend right in.

Would a customer or prospect, remember which name version was you? Or maybe type it a little different and end up at one of the other guy's site

But I know on the other hand you have to think: Google sure likes those EMDs, since 3 dominate the pack, but it's no guarantee as you see with the ones that don't rank. (And there are others that don't rank, that was just a few.)
 

Laustin1878

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Would a customer or prospect, remember which name version was you? Or maybe type it a little different and end up at one of the other guy's site

But I know on the other hand you have to think: Google sure likes those EMDs, since 3 dominate the pack, but it's no guarantee as you see with the ones that don't rank. (And there are others that don't rank, that was just a few.)
I agree with the end user getting confused between all of those similar EMD's. They are great if you are the only one doing it but once competition increases, they all get blurry like Linda says.

My only argument to the latter point made would be, what other local SEO has been conducted? I know EMD's are liked by Google but if I had better quality citations and overall SEO, would I outrank those EMD's? EMD's would likely dominate where there is little to no competition but what about those competitive locations?
 

janoky

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Agreed with Linda that EMDs can look not too good if there are other EMDs in the SERP.

Also, I think that brandable domain has equal chance to stand against EMDs. Matt Cutts ever said Matt Cutts explains keywords in domains pre EMD Update that the ranking power of keywords in domains are adjusted so that it will create an equal proportion.
 
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