Earlier this year, I came across a successful business owner who also has a bad habit of dreaming up useless domain names.
Owning a domain name makes sense if you're going to tie it to website content or to protect it so no one else acquires it (i.e. variations of your company name or brand).
One of my friends, an adviser to his business friend, asked for guidance. Here's what I suggested:
- Owning domains is great if he's trying to protect them so no one else gets them.
- Some people buy and sell as investments. Maybe he spends a lot each year to keep them. But maybe he gets a "return" as he sells them (Note: Turns out that's not the case - no selling).
- Beyond that, domains have no value (until they're used for websites of any size or sold to the highest bidder).
- Domains that sound good have no value unless they've been tied to past content with backlinks.
- If years go by while a domain sits idle, the past content has less and less value.
- Keywords in a domain still help as website content is added. The presence of keywords in the domain just isn't as valuable as in the past.
- Overkill with keywords in a domain can hurt a website (Google frowns on keyword stuffing in any way).
- I would avoid using a dash in a domain name.
- New sites, even with a great domain, won't rank well with natural search without a growing set of quality backlinks.
- New domains should target low-hanging fruit (i.e. keywords with limited competition and low search volumes).
- Original content is critical along with SEO essentials like effective SEO page titles and internal linking.