Using Keywords in Official Names

A brand can still push their main brand name (say Paypal, for example) while promoting their name as being Paypal Payment Solutions. Place more emphasis on your core brand name, but also make relevant keywords look like they are part of the legitimate official name to get a bit more friendly anchor text.

Published: October 10, 2006 by Aaron Wall in seo tips


October 18, 2006 - 11:23pm

If we own more than 1 url example: our main site is and we own an unused url how can we use the unused url to point to and possibly land on the poodle page within our main site so it has relevance to poodles and help us in the search engine rankings withour spamming. Or is this possible? does it truly help to have the keyword in your url and if so what is percentage of value 5% - 50% We own 100's of urls relevant to our site but currently are not using them
Any answers out there?

December 14, 2006 - 6:11am

"does it truly help to have the keyword in your url and if so what is percentage of value 5% - 50%"
I have heard it is between 5 and 10%

"how can we use the unused url to point to"

And, here is my question: I have a domain that is not so search engine friendly and consequently, I have held off from optimizing because I am re-designing it with a new search engine friendly domain name. I'm keeping my company name throughout my new website, the only thing that will be different is the new domain name. I'm asking for opinions on just doing a URL forward rather than a re-direct. Note: I have zero (yes, zero) backlinks with my current domain. This website sort of illustrates what I'm talking about:
Notice that the domain name is not even close to the company name.

October 10, 2006 - 8:52am

I can vouch for that. A client I worked with for years was lucky enough to have their main keyword phrase as part of their name - having that in all links, descriptions etc has meant they've dominated the rankings (inc international, which aren't relevant to them) for *years*. I don't see anything knocking them off.

If I was to start a new biz now I'd defintely do that. ;)

October 10, 2006 - 11:12am

it's logic but some companies come afterwards to seo companies and then it's to late to change the company name

October 10, 2006 - 11:18am

it's logic but some companies come afterwards to seo companies and then it's to late to change the company name

Paul Mesothelioma
October 10, 2006 - 2:15pm

Absolutely Aaron, in fact for as little as £50 (UK) I visited a lawyer and changed my surname to Mesothelioma. Ok.. ok... so it's an ugly name but.... it's a great keyword. ;)

October 10, 2006 - 4:19pm

Well, it is so true, I wish I would have considered SEO when selecting my company name and website. Since I am local, the most popular keywords that come to my website include the city. Especially since my search results are always narrowed down by the name of the city, if that makes sense to you guys

October 10, 2006 - 5:50pm

Definitely makes sense. I often tell my clients (those that come to me BEFORE setting everything else up) to consider that in setting up the name.

Definitely helps with the anchor text and especially with directory submissions. With the tight requirements most of them have it doesn't look like a stretch to use the keywords. They're just part of the name.

October 10, 2006 - 6:58pm

The group of companies that I work for has just gone through a rebrand, and the naming of those companies was done with keywords / SEO in mind, although the names were pretty natural in any case.

October 10, 2006 - 7:04pm

A little off topic but for companies that want keywords to show up in results yet already have domains built under unrelated company name, would it be good for them to start optimizing and promoting subdomains such as

October 10, 2006 - 7:16pm

Aaron, I agree whole heartedly. I have been suguessting this to my clients for quite some time now.
Tracy has a good question. I would think this would be of some value. My question is how much value?

October 10, 2006 - 8:05pm

I am not suggesting that you have to completely rebrand a product and make large changes... just add the words to the logo in a way that fits and to the homepage page title...and maybe in the copy if possible.

Keep in mind this strategy is going to help more and be easier to implement at small companies than at huge corporations.

October 10, 2006 - 10:29pm

Another "me too" - I have a niche product whose competitor does a substantial amount of TV advertising. By comparing the two products and building an entire site around those comparisons, I was able to rank for a slew of longish tail keywords that imply intent to buy for the competitor's product.

Of course competitiveness of the phrases, time, and money are all factors as to if you can afford to do the same, but leapfrogging off someone else's branding efforts is definitely something to consider.

October 11, 2006 - 1:11am

I think some may have missed the idea behind this post. It's not so much about getting keywords into your domain as it is using keywords in a prominent though, slightly subservient role alongside a short and brandable domain.

PayPal's domain is, but they can still add Payment Solutions in the logo and promote themselves in their marketing with those extra keywords.

Another example might be I had to search a bit for a word that wasn't already a domain and I have no idea how brandable it is, but let's assume it's a brandable domain. By using Snarloo Lighting Supplies in the logo it's not only brandable, but brandable as a lighting supply company.

If Lighting Supplies is used consistently in the marketing of the company they will likely be linked with the keywords in the anchor text more often than not and probably rank well for terms relating to lighting supply and supplies.

I think the idea is a good solution to companies trying to decide whether to opt for the more brandable name or the more keyword rich domain. This is a way you can get the benefits of both.

October 11, 2006 - 2:21am

I think I did an OK job, for example if you google - Houston Wedding DJ - , I am #7, which I consider to be excellent since my website does not contain any of those words on the domain name. The few websites above me either have housotn on the domain name, or are large business directories. I must be doing something right. Of course if you search Houston Quinceañera DJ as it is written, I am #1 on all the search engines. Don't ask me what I did but I got up there.

October 11, 2006 - 11:00am

Nice simple reminder. And it's not just anchor text, but nearby words that play a role with Google. For your example, "payment solutions" is next to PayPal, even if not part of anchor text.

Also isn't the alliteration catchy? That could help consumers remember and repeat. I like that.

Steve Evans
October 11, 2006 - 12:38pm

Mesothelioma? Ironically, that's just made me choke on my lunch!

October 12, 2006 - 3:48am

We do the same thing. Luckily one of our main keyphrases is right in the company name.

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