Paul Gregory

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Basically what the title says...

I have heard conflicting info on "keyword in the domain", and I am wondering what you all would do if you had the chance to start fresh.

Our Situation:
  • We are a local, single location spa in an affluent suburb of a decent-sized metro area.
  • We are rebranding (we have a great reputation and this is not the reason for the rebrand)
  • "Spa" is likely our most important keyword (day spa, facial spa, massage spa, skin spa, etc)
  • I have purchased both [new_brand].com and [new_brand]spa.com
  • Personal spa services are 95% of majority of current revenue, although we do have eCommerce for skincare and wellness, and I would like to see that business grow in the future
Questions:
  • Which domain would you go with if you could start fresh?
  • If you went with [brand].com - would you make your Local URL .com/spa, .com/spa-[city], just the root domain, or something else?
  • Anyone else done a rebrand here that can offer me some general wisdom that might be helpful?
Thanks in Advance! :)
 

Phil Rozek

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@ZeroXing, it depends on how distinct the brand name is. If the name by itself sounds like something a spa elsewhere in the country would call itself, or like a name a startup or app or non-profit would adopt, or if it's the kind of phrase someone might Google because he or she doesn't know what it means, then I'd go with [new_brand]spa.com. The idea is you want to avoid ways people can confuse your brand with another brand (and you get their bad reviews and they get your good reviews). Also, you want to make it real easy for Google to pull up the local knowledge panel for anything resembling a brand-name search.

But if the name by itself is pretty unmistakable, I'd go with [new_brand].com.
 

Paul Gregory

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@ZeroXing, it depends on how distinct the brand name is. If the name by itself sounds like something a spa elsewhere in the country would call itself, or like a name a startup or app or non-profit would adopt, or if it's the kind of phrase someone might Google because he or she doesn't know what it means, then I'd go with [new_brand]spa.com. The idea is you want to avoid ways people can confuse your brand with another brand (and you get their bad reviews and they get your good reviews). Also, you want to make it real easy for Google to pull up the local knowledge panel for anything resembling a brand-name search.

But if the name by itself is pretty unmistakable, I'd go with [new_brand].com.

Thanks, Phil. I think the name is sufficiently unique and in my own slightly biased opinion, a very strong brand name. :)

How would you set up the URL structure in that case? Would you create a landing page for local or would you just use the root domain for citations and such?
 

JoyHawkins

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Thanks for your input Joy! Why would you go with the ...spa.com out of curiousity?

Because I still constantly see domains with keywords getting ranked high both organically and locally. In my experience, keywords in domain names has more of an impact in the local packs than organic.
 

Phil Rozek

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Hey @ZeroXing. I'd definitely go with the homepage as the landing page URL, unless maybe the spa has more than a few locations (though you may want to use the homepage even then).

As I've suggested for many years - to the point of sounding like a broken record - the homepage often does better than landing pages do, probably because in most cases it's got all the links.

Definitely use the homepage as the GMB landing page URL if the only or main reason you'd consider using spa, .com/spa-[city] is to get the phrase and city in the URL slug. Using a subpage just for that reason isn't worth it. Having the search term ("spa") in the domain seems to pack a little more of a wallop, as @JoyHawkins mentioned.
 

Conor Treacy

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Given the option, I'd put the keyword in the domain every time (if it makes sense). In the case of a Spa, it makes sense, so add it in. As Joy mentioned, keywords in domains still play a role, and while we've been told for years that this is going away, it's yet to do so.
 
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