Picking a URL (Website Name). Many companies agonize over picking the appropriate website name. Others buy hundreds of URL’s and point them to their site in hopes of capturing search terms that are in contained in the URL. A large part of search algorithms still focus on the website URL, and it is important to consider the following factors when selecting a URL:
Age – The age of the URL matters. All things being equal, older URL’s will greatly outperform newer ones. If the company owns a URL that has been conducting a property management business on it for more than 10 years the business has an advantage in starting SEO efforts. Brand new URL’s are useless for two years without a re-direct of a seasoned URL, or incredible links from other powerful websites. Search engines consider new URL’s new businesses that might fail at any moment. Starting a new property management business on a new URL is not impossible, but the business owner must understand that search rankings are at least a year away. If possible, a new company should purchase a URL that already has some ranking for desired terms even if the rankings are not on the first few pages.
Exact Match Domain (EMD) – An exact match domain is a domain that contains a search term as the URL. Most search algorithms are gradually discounting the importance of EMD over time. In property management it is still a very important factor. Search results, especially in non-competitive markets almost always contain exact match domains. This is important enough that many property managers enjoy great success purchasing an EMD and re-directing their old website to the EMD. There is almost always a big increase in rankings as long as the company properly re-directs the old site.
URL Length – Generally, shorter URL’s are better than longer ones. The exception is EMD. Always err on the side of using an EMD over a shorter URL. If a suitable EMD is not available, opt for the shortest URL possible.
Bad Links – Many property management companies are paying for their previous purchases of links. Several years ago it was a common business practice to purchase links and direct them to the business website to increase rankings. Google’s panda update penalized companies that had unnatural and spam links coming in to their websites. This update was devastating to many top companies and those companies have spent thousands removing and disavowing those links. Make sure that the URL the company will be using does not contain any unnatural or spam links.