Using Exact Match Domains to Targeted Traffic

Recently at Branded3 we have been experimenting with exact match domains and exploring opportunities to increase relevant and hopefully profitable traffic.

I don’t know how much experience you have had in trying to register these types of domains or attempting to rank them but it is really really easy and you will be surprised how many keyword rich domains there are still left to register.

Now don’t get me wrong you are going to be hard pressed to land high traffic exact match domains, as most have been snapped up on all extensions, however with some good keyword research you should be able to register some longer tail “relevant” keywords that can help bring instant traffic to your site.

So here is a quick image to demonstrate a little:-

exact domain matching

Ok let’s map this out a little better then.

How do I find the keywords?

I would do this using the google keyword tool, switching the results to exact match. You only really want to be registering a keyword as a domain if it has 300 searches per month or more.

Do I redirect the domain?


You need this domain to rank in its own right, only 301 a domain if you want to pass on its link juice or if it has a lot of brand search. This method is for quick rankings and quick traffic.

Use a similar template to your site and fill it with some unique content optimised and linking back to your main site.

How long will this take to rank? Is it really worth it?

First of all if you didn’t know already, exact domains are so easy to rank for the keyword they are targeted to;

Let me share with you a classic example:- is a domain Branded3 registered about 2 weeks ago, where do you think the domain is ranked now with 2 links??

Take a look:-

ppc agencies

That is 3rd position by the way :p

Now don’t get me wrong this keyword is not a huge traffic keyword but if we get it to No.1 we will see 500-750 visits per month for $10 and 2 links!!

Will it not take too long to set up multiple domains??

Again, No…

I personally would head over to hostgator, open up an account to host multiple domains and point my new registered domains there.

Then all you need to do is add wordpress (or whatever CMS you use) upload the template and create one page of content.

Then repeat..!

If you have a brand new site this is one of the easiest ways to generate very quick traffic and so easy to do. One word of warning is not to do too many of these if your site is a new born, you donโ€™t want to make it look like youโ€™re developing a link network, however still register some of your main keyword domains to add over time. 3 domains should be ok to start with and then build it up over time.

One question I am always asked is “does the domain extension matter? ie , .com , .org , .net????

Absolutely not, if you have the exact domain and know how to build a handful of quality links then a top 3 ranking is almost guaranteed.


is the CEO of Branded3 a Search Marketing Agency in the UK. Tim has over a decade of experience in Search and regularly speaks at key events and conferences.

37 thoughts on “Using Exact Match Domains to Targeted Traffic

  1. Great post again Tim!
    I have personally been doing a lot of testing with the technique myself and have found it to be crazily effective! Now I do have a question, I am a bit confused with the concept of redirecting a domain to build link juice. How exactly do you do that? Do the redirected domains still show up in the search results?

  2. Hi there RR,

    If I was going to redirect a domain it would always be through the ht.access file and a 301. In terms of link juice, any lionks that were pointing to the domain will now me attributed to your webpage/site. There are few cautions in this area, one is not to do too many as a large influx of these sort of links can result in penalties, and two be careful which domains you redirect and make sure you have examined it’s link profile, the last thing you want to be doing is redirecting a load of spam links.

  3. Hi Andrew,

    I find the best way to get the link ball rolling is by approaching some bloggers within your niche and guest posting or sponser a post, you only need a few of these and your exact match should be ranking in no time. If you have any blogging friends in the niche a site wide is always healthy to throw in the mixer, the only problem is how you compensate them? and thats a debate for another day ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That’s a lovely idea..

    So basically it’s all about ranking high match domains.

    I have managed to put a website on the first page of google for a keyword that generated over 100.000 monthly searches in less than a week with a new .info domain, how weird is that?

  5. Hey Tim

    Do you ever purchase existing sites and redirect back to your exact match domain ? Do you find Google de-values the 301 redirect links. Matt Cutts recently said a 301 redirect doesn’t harness the full value of the link. I also think, they discover this ploy and slap a lot of the redirects, but it’s something I am actively testing.

    Also, on developing a link network. Do you mean, just don’t host off the same IP ? Matt Cutts has said they don’t look at nameserver details, although, I would vary my nameserver details + hosting locations if registering a lot of sites.


  6. Hi David,

    Sorry already tried that one with no luck. Google doesn’t like subdomains in terms of ranking and the TLD will always get preference.

  7. Hi,

    To be honest I have found 301’s to be very helpful and still do pass some juice, however on the other hand I have seen and experienced websites being punished when this has been carried out in mass. Ye thats what I mean by a network, lot’sof sites built on the same c block. I know Matt and the gang say this is something they don’t look at as standard practice but imagine how easy it would be to discover sites doing this and hti them with a manual penalty.

    I have a 4-5 hosting accounts and try to mix up my sites.

  8. Whenever I make any type of niche site I always go for the exact match for the domain. You may be surprised at just how many profitable long tail keywords are still available for domains. It’s a misconception by many people that the good domains are all taken. There are thousands of different niches to look at and then millions of subniches that you can pursue. It just takes some time and research.

  9. Hi Tiffany,

    I totally agree with you, there are loads of longtail domain opportunities with nice bits of traffic, it’s the only way to start a micro blogging empire in my opinion.

  10. Hi Tim,

    Putting the ( – ) in the url limits the ranking ability as google can associate it with spam, plus it doesn’t work in the scenarios discussed in this post. The url needs to be the exact keyword with no breaks.

  11. Hi Andrew,

    Ye I would definitely link to them from my main blog, just be wary of having a spammy sidebar though. Maybe add no more than 4 or 5. Once your new domains start getting some authority in their own right use them to link to more.

    Just go easy with the site wides as sometimes Google can sandbox a new domain, even if the links are really strong. We are stilll trying to get ranking but may have overdone it with the sitewides.

  12. Well… and now it’s all destroyed.
    Why can’t everybody just shut up when they discover things like that???
    Once in the wild, it’s gonna be hounted down.
    And it was on 5th June.

  13. Hi George,

    Sorry you didn’t like me sharing this particular tip.

    I am not apart of the ‘secret’ SEO society, what I learn I share and I have lived by this for the last 6 years in SEO. It is the secrecy in SEO that creates a lack of trust. Yes Google have clamped down on the technique a little, however we found if we registered the exact domains and slowly built links then we can still rank it within a month, it’s only when you hit it with heavy sitewides that it heads into sandbox.

    SEO is all about changing with the times, don’t get mad at people who share quality SEO tips instead learn to be ahead of the curve.

  14. I’m getting ready to purchase a number of domains and just wanted to make sure i understand this correctly. I shouldn’t host a lot of the domains on the same hosting? If I purchase 20 domains how many hosting accounts should I use?

  15. Hi Greg,

    With 20 domains I think you should be OK with 3 – 4 hosting accounts, there is no direct evidence linking site networks to Google penalties, however it is better to be safe. Also with the exact domains, go steady on the link building for the first month or so, build it up slowly as pumping a load of site wide links in there will only get the site sandboxed.

  16. Hi Tim,

    I know this is off topic, and I don’t know if you have already written about this, but at what pace should link building take place. is a new site with 2 links so far. I am about to embark on a link building campaign and I have searched for definitive advice on the pace of link building, ie how many in the first week or month, how many in subsequent weeks and months. I suspect that this is something that SEOs find difficult to pin down hence the lack of clear advice. I was wondering what your view on this is? I would be grateful for your thoughts.

    You have a very informative blog and I look forward to the next nugget of information you pass on to us.



  17. Hi David,

    Link building pace is a hard one to judge, all I would say is try and keep things as natural as possible. If you site is made up of 10 pages it is unlikely to earn link very quickly therefore start steady, in fact with any new website I would always recommend starting off slowly focus on getting as much of the site indexed as possible, then after a few month when you have a little trust, start turning up the heat.

  18. It is a very interesting article, well done. I have bought for around 10 U.S. dollar, and it has around 1 500 000. I did not know before buying it. When you say a link, what do you mean exactly ? Is it when I write my domain in the website box ? I know a lot about money saving and where to get low prices in London, UK, but almost nothing in SEO. Thank you and keep up the good job.

  19. Hi Rob,

    By links I mean, hyper text links on external websites that link back to your domain. You need these to push it to the top.

    With regards to your domain name I think you have checked the keyword tool using broad match, when you flick it to exact match it shows 320 searches per month, this will drive about 50 – 80 visits a month if you rank number 1, sorry to be kill joy ๐Ÿ™

  20. Hi Tim,

    I love your site. I cannot believe how clever you are. Seriously. Your site is now on my toolbar. I am also printing out your posts and putting them in a binder.

    Question, how does guest blogging differ from doing article marketing? When you do article marketing, you have 3 unique articles that get posted on article networks and blogs all over the place.

    Do you like article marketing? If so, how do you use it?

    Thanks for all your articles.

  21. Hi Deborah,

    First of all I’m flattered by your comments, however I’m sure my colleagues would disagree ๐Ÿ™‚

    In terms of article marketing, I would personally recommend against it, well at least in the traditional sense of writing 3 articles and spinning the content around to make it unique. These sorts of articles go on low quality sites, which Google is now aggressively devaluing. Unless you want issues with your site then I would stay away from it.

    However, if you want to write a unique article and manually submit it to better quality directories like ezinearticles, then by all means go for it.

    In terms of value, I would personally stick with guest blogging, mainly because it is more relevant and looks more natural. One thing I would say is that, make sure your content merits the links within it, if it’s just a random article about finance and you have a link in it saying credit cards, it’s highly unlikely to be natural.

    You need to reference something on your site, and then try and work in an anchor text link.

  22. I’ve been reading a ton of your articles and notice you seem to spot algorithm changes far in advance.

    So you are saying you no longer recommend Unique article wizard? It seems it is pretty white hat to me.

  23. UAW spins content out to a network of low quality directories, it has worked in the past, but we have seen negative effects from using the tool in isolation. My advice would be to stick to quality and don’t look for short cuts when it comes to link building.

    It’ll be worth it in the long run.

  24. Tim,

    I’ve been doing this in a couple different niches, 6 websites per niche. You mentioned only three initially… But you would be fine doing as many as you want as long as they aren’t hosted on shared plans and have unique IP’s right?

  25. I quit UAW. They just made me too nervous. I’m going to go into guest blogging.

    Did you know that no longer ranks for the keyword “viagra”? Google is trying to demote exact word match domains. I kind of think it is not working for them.

    It seems like they have become crackheads lately. The internet has been turned upside down and article directories are ranking very well.

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