I am launching a web application in the Fall for parent teacher conference scheduling. I have some real customers already using a version of the product, I'm ready with a Coming Soon page, have a newsletter set up and a fair bit of content lined up for a blog around parent teacher conferences.
I also have several keyword-based URLs registered that, while related to my app's domain, no one will ever type:
I'm trying to figure out how best to leverage these sites. Here are my options:
Does anyone have any evidence of how keyword-based URLs like this are helpful in driving real business? If so, talk a little about your strategy and how it played out.
P.S. Should I go get the hyphenated versions of these URLs as well?
@Kort Pleco , I don't think the poster is suggesting cloaking, but none of the options are any use:
1) If the secondary URLs have no domain authority, the backlinks will be of very little value.
2) If each of the sites had quality content and good backlinks in then this would work. The problem is that you need to get the backlinks into x number of sites instead of getting them into the main site. For the same amount of effort you're better off with the backlinks going straight into the main site and increasing it's domain authority.
3) This trick was used many years ago and Google are wise to it.
In summary, you're about 10 years too late to try tricks like these, 2 and 3 are more than not likely to work against you. The first one would look strange to a search engine, I find it unlikely Google don't check for this.
Focus on good quality on one site, good backlinks and getting your keywords into natural English sentences on that site. Any effort spent trying to trick the system is wasted, Google are better than you at this.
Those domains are kind of lame, but since you already own them, here's what I think you should do:
On your main domain, create landing pages for the keywords that the domains are meant to target. Examples:
Do not buy the hyphenated versions of these domains.
Do not buy any more domains that you don't need.
I am almost certain Google have wised up to SEO'ers purchasing keyword specific domain names and then redirecting the traffic via a 301 redirect to their main website. Although Google probably doesn't seem the harm in this, I think a few algorithm updates back (and also most recently) Google stopped giving high rankings to sites using redirects. They're a lot smarter than people think they are, they keep an eye on the SEO community heavily.
So purchasing the keyword specific domains won't hurt, but it won't help you either. You're better off creating meaningful page url's on your main website instead which will do you more good SEO wise.
Do NOT cloak and redirect. Google will slap you for that.
The best advice (straight from Google's mouth) is to make each site that you own useful. So don't fill with duplicate content or scraped content or anything that you wouldn't want to land on yourself while searching for your targeted phrases.
In the SEO community, it has been a much-discussed topic that keyword-rich domains do boost your ranking much more than they ought to. The consensus has been that webmasters should enjoy that for now, but the influence of keywords in domains is bound to decrease eventually.
That being said, I would advise against stuffing your URL with keywords, and focusing on having the URL make your brand awesome.
My example was this: I once had a site called hikingsanfrancisco.com - it definitely helped me rank for any sequence of those words in the URL. But it was a bad name overall. So when I changed it to http://www.comehike.com - real people started giving me much better feedback about it. And first-time visitors tend to have a better first impression from the new domain name.