When it comes to buying a domain name there has been much debate on what is or what is not better. Do you go for a domain that has a brand name in it in an attempt to rank for the brand term or do you go for something a little more generic? Find out the pros and cons of each below.

Merchants prefer affiliates promoting their brands to use more generic domains, and some don’t allow branded domains to be used at all when promoting their brands.

The reason for this is simple really. It’s very unlikely that the product you want to promote is the only one in the market. So if you are focusing on branded traffic only then the brand exposure for the product is not going to grow.

More brand exposure = more sales.

Merchants want to see more generic domains as these enable their brand to be shared to a much wider audience, which in the long run, benefits both them and affiliates.

But what about from an affiliate perspective? Let’s go into a little more detail on the pros and cons of both branded and generic domains.

Branded Domain Pros

Better Conversion
When a visitor is searching for a brand name, they are likely to be close to the end of the buying cycle. This means you tend to get a better conversion rate with a branded domain.

Less Competition
Even though there is still likely to be a large number of domains using the same brand name, it’s still less competitive than a more generic term such as ‘weight loss pills’.

Less Content Required
Branded sites can require less content to rank, because there is less competition (although this is not always the case). This means that affiliates don’t necessarily need to have a site with 50-100+ pages of content.

Branded Domain Cons

Less Traffic
Branded keywords are usually searched for a lot less than generic ones, and this will naturally have an impact on the amount of overall traffic your site will receive.

Risk of Brand Change
There is always the risk that a brand might change or it may not be possible to promote that brand anymore. If you focus on a branded domain and changes are made, you may have to start all over again on a new site.

Less Keywords to Rank for
The key to getting traffic is to rank for keywords that people are searching for. But the amount of branded keywords you could rank for are limited:

  • Buy Brand
  • Brand Review
  • Brand vs Brand
  • Does Brand Work
  • Benefits of Brand

As you can see, it’s hard to find a good long list of branded keywords to rank for. But there are hundreds, even thousands of generic keywords/combinations that could be used and ranked for.

Generic Domain Pros

More Traffic
With a generic domain there is a good chance you will get more traffic to your site. It might not be as targeted as branded traffic but if pre-sold right, can be converted into buying traffic.

Potential for More Sales
As long as you funnel it well, your traffic could result in even more sales than a branded domain. Building a good authority site which your visitors can trust is a great way of increasing overall sales.

Promote Several Products
When focusing on a branded domain you can usually only promote a single product. But with a generic domain you can show that you are more independent by offering a number of different products within that niche.
This gives the visitor a choice on which product to buy. If they don’t buy one then they may well buy an alternative that you are offering, resulting in you still getting the sale. If you are only recommending one product and the customer isn’t interested in it, you’ll have lost the sale.

Generic Domain Cons

More Work
Creating a good quality, generic site which features recommended products with a wide range of generic articles is naturally a lot more work than a smaller, branded site. This type of site can take some time to see results, which can also result in you losing motivation.

Risk of Changes Affecting Rankings
All sites ranked in the search results are at the mercy of Google and their updates. The downside to this is that they could bring an update out which completely affects your sites rankings. This would of course, also be a con for a branded domain but the amount of work involved in a generic domain would be upsetting.

So Which Should You Choose?

I would recommend going for both! Creating both types of site ensures you aren’t putting all your eggs in one basket as well as allowing you to benefit from the pros of both a branded and non-branded domain name.

Your generic site will rank for more generic terms, bring the traffic in and then feed the traffic through to your product review. Your banded domain will then be able to rank for more of the branded terms and hopefully benefit from less traffic but better conversions.

Having both a branded and generic domain is a win-win situation. But make sure you pick a good niche that is on the rise, offers a good conversion rate with a nice commission rate.

If you have any questions about picking your domain feel free to leave a comment below or drop me an email.