This article is taken from AusRegistry’s industry magazine, Behind the Dot: State of the .au Domain. Click through to read more from this edition.

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Every marketer, CEO and business owner in Australia understands the importance of having their brand registered as a .au domain name.

They know Australian consumers trust .au domain names and have been conditioned to visit brand websites with web addresses ending in .au.

One area of domain name marketing regularly overlooked is the power of generic keyword domain names. A premium, generic keyword domain name is a short, memorable and descriptive domain related to the market vertical or industry sector on which your business is focused. For instance, a hotel could see great value in hotel.com.au, as would a florist with florist.com.au.

Given the intuitive nature of keyword domains, consumers find it easier to recall the website addresses and the businesses using them soon become the most authoritative and trusted online providers within their sectors. Consumers are drawn to these websites over others and the domain name actually brings in traffic. It’s a bit like getting the prime eye-level product position on a supermarket shelf, rather than being located out of sight at the bottom.

It’s not just about consumer appeal either. Owning keyword domain names which are highly targeted to specific industries can help your business get a serious leg up in Google search results. A comprehensive study by Searchmetrics  – one of the world’s leading SEO advisors – of the top 30 Google search results across 10,000 keywords found the importance of keyword search terms in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is decreasing, while short and highly relevant domain names have the equivalent worth of “thousands of keywords in the rankings”.

The study suggests highly relevant content, social media signals and good domain names are among the most important factors for attaining a high ranking in Google search results.

The researchers say domain names are an important factor in search results and the study suggests domains with high SEO visibility also obtain higher rankings.

Results like this and the clear appeal to consumers have made generic keyword domain names highly sought after. For example, serendipitously toy.com.au sold at auction on Christmas day 2015 for $82,350 and in September 2011 investmentproperty.com.au became the highest recorded .au domain name at auction when it was snapped up for $125,000 by New South Wales property developer Vision Homes. Similarly, hardware.com.au was purchased at auction by Woolworths in 2010 for $33,000 and more recently basketball.com.au was purchased at private sale by the National Basketball League.

Another success story is carloans.com.au. When the business transitioned its operations from a brand domain name to a keyword domain in 2013, it saw an immediate increase in website traffic and customers, a decrease in marketing spend, 40 percent reduction in ad word spend, and overall growth of 60 percent to generate turnover in excess of $100 million.

At the end of the day, it’s all about diversification. When investing your money, you wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. The same is true for your domain name marketing strategy. Don’t just rely on your brand domain name. Get creative and secure the industry sector keywords for your products and services too.

A keyword domain can be a cost-effective and highly successful method for increasing direct type-in browser and search traffic to ultimately improve your bottom line. Importantly, they are appreciating assets you can sell on the secondary market for incredible profit.

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Read more about .au domain names in the marketing mix in edition 7 of Behind the Dot: State of the .au Domain.