I have been doing a variety of tests on domains and the importance of having the keyword somewhere in the domain, regardless of the extension (.com, .me, etc.).

What I have noticed is that in most cases, just having the keyword/phrase in the URL itself can drastically improve the ability for a site to rank. Although it is not critical, it can make the initial ranking of your site and domain that much easier if you can find a domain with the keyword somewhere in the URL.

Now, the purpose of this post is to be a baseline for the entire case study and provide a few metrics by which I plan to measure the success of the study.

Measurement Factors

Even if I don’t physically write/type out the objectives of a study, I find it to be very helpful to have some idea in mind of what you want to accomplish when you start a specific task. After all, if you don’t have a goal in mind, aren’t you just performing mindless work?

Here are 3 factors I will use to determine how successful this SEO case study is:

  1. Rank in top 10 for primary keyword
  2. Maintain rank for at least one month (bouncing may occur)
  3. Recover site investment in 3 months (domain and hosting)

I have never done an SEO study this structured, so it will be a learning experience for me as well.

On top of that, here are a few additional facts:

  • Site was ranked at #151 for primary keyword, then dropped to #183, and now is not in the top 200
  • These rank fluctuations occurred before any link-building
  • Traffic has started to come organically from Bing

My goal is to start by building some links that would typically be seen nearest the “money site” on a link wheel. From there, I will branch out and expand as necessary, but I do not want to overdo it, especially if it is unnecessary for the purposes of the study.

I want to determine how I can get the most bang for my buck, and ideally, the most residual bang for my buck.

If you have any tips or insight about how you would proceed, I would love to have your input. Just leave me a comment and let’s get a discussion going!

Have a great weekend, and be expecting an update in a few weeks.