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How to choose the domain of a microsite

I’m in the process of building a microsite for a client that would like me to do some work for them. Our agreement hasn’t actually started yet however when I looked into this area I thought it was worth me building the site in advance to take advantage of what looks to be a new market / new marketing opportunity.

The client in question sells skin care supplements, I’m not really 100% sure what’s in them or what they’ll do, if you read the literature they’ll do just about everything for everyone. The sales pitch for them is good, if a little bit woolly. I started doing my keyword research for the new client’s website and intriguingly in the UK at least, there is a very limited marketplace.

Choosing the right search terms for a new market

I did some global searching and quickly saw that there is a more robust market in the US for skin care supplements.

Thinking about this I decided to have a look at the different domains that might be available, my thinking being if this is a new market there might be some interesting domains available. When building a client website I always focus on brand, ignore getting too many keywords in the URL, just come up with a brand. When dealing with microsites I am all about the exact match domains. To my surprise I found some really nice ones. I found, and & .com. it’s probably worth bearing in mind the recent research and my recent blog post into exact match domains, it’s fair to say that exact match domains are becomming less important as a primary website – although with the right marketing ongoing there would be a great deal of benefit of using one, for the time being at least.

I’ve previously done some work in this marketplace – having quite a bit of success by optimising for and getting a top 3 rank for the term slimming capsules, I knew that capsules was therefore a cross over / related term to pills. After doing a bit of keyword research it was pretty plain to see that in the USA where this is an existing marketplace that the majority of the searches come through as skin care supplements (see Google Insights below).

Skin care pills supplements USA

Through Google Insights you can see clearly that in the USA there is a search audience f0r both skin care supplements and skin care pills. Great so I’ve bought the right domains then – well before I can say that for sure the next thing to do is to think about the words that might be used in the UK – tablets perhaps? If you run the same report for the UK you’ll see that there is no search traffic whatsoever, which doesn’t give me a steer. So next I need to find a related term that uses the suffixes pills, supplements, capsules etc. I’ll go with slimming because this is a sector I already know.

Slimming Pill Capsules Supplements Traffic UK

As we can see from the above, in the UK, slimming pills flattens everything else out. This would suggest that skin care pills would be the right option for me when building this microsite, I had better check the USA to make sure there’s nothing untowards going on from a semiological point of view.

Slimming Pill Capsules Supplements Traffic USA

As we can see from the Google Insights data although slimming pills is still the biggest player in the search market, there is still a significant trend for people searching for slimming supplements.

All of the above in turn suggests to me that although in the USA people are searching for Skin Care Supplements, in the UK people will almost certainly be looking for the term Skin Care Pills.

Further to the above, all the domain name research suggest that shorter domains are favoured more by search engine – which is making my decision easier still. So it is then.

Next job – build the site!!

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