Whether you are starting with a new website or thinking about upgrading an existing one, there are several factors you have to consider when choosing a domain name. Still, one significant factor many people overlook is that a domain name plays a considerable role in the SEO effectiveness of any website.
A lot of people think that domain name can in no way affect SEO, but unfortunately for people who belong to this school of thought, they are wrong. Google has more than 200 search ranking factors, and one of these factors is the domain name. Therefore when it comes to choosing a domain name for your website, choosing an SEO friendly one is not a meaningless chore but a process that would greatly benefit your site.
In this article, we endeavor to solve the mystery of the SEO friendly domain name. When you have finished reading this article, you will discover how easy it is to come up with a domain name that would help your website rank well in terms of search engine optimization.
The Importance of Picking a Good Domain Name
I once heard someone say that if you sell products people need, they will beat a path to your door to come to buy from you. While this may be true for brick and mortar stores, it can never work for online businesses. For one thing, the internet is a vast and competitive marketplace. There is hardly any monopoly as thousands of people are selling the same thing as thousands of others. For this reason, it takes more than having products people want or a perfectly designed website to attract customers. People have to know you exist to buy from you. This means being able to find you easily on the internet – more often than not, via search engines, a job that is made easy with the right domain name, and a few other SEO techniques.
Your domain name is the first thing potential customers and visitors to your website will know about you. This is the only way for them to get a first impression about your online business, and while there is a chance that you can make an excellent second impression, it is always best to make a good first one. This underscores the importance of the right domain name as it defines your brand, and people are known to do business with brands they trust or are comfortable with. So if your brand (domain name) can evoke trust in the minds of internet users, it becomes easier to convert visitors into subscribers and customers.
Another vital point in favor of choosing the right domain name from the get-go is that a domain name is one aspect of your website that you cannot change at will. Because your domain name is intricately linked to your brand, replacing it may cause severe problems for your business. While it is easy to change, delete and modify the contents of your site, and even move to an entirely new web host, changing your domain name will cause you to lose whatever customers you have managed to gather.
Another important point relates to the topic of this article – SEO. The domain name of your website will significantly contribute to your site rankings and visibility as Google’s search algorithm takes domain name into account when indexing a website in its search database. This is why you should make sure to choose a domain name that can give you all the SEO advantages you can get away with.
So how do you come up with an SEO friendly domain name? Do you make it brandable or include keywords? Do you settle for a particular domain name extension? Read on to find out.
Choosing an SEO Friendly Domain Name
If you have been following so far, you will now know that your domain name does affect SEO. The right domain name can target the people who matter to your business and help accelerate the placement of your website in search engines so that your target audience can find it quickly.
While there are several tips for choosing a domain name, there are two significant ways you can optimize your domain name for search engines.
Branding or brandable domain names are domain names that are closely associated with your brand. This makes it easier for visitors and customers to identify, remember, and share your website online.
If you are starting a new business and want to have a website, it is a good idea to choose a domain name when you choose a business name. However, if you already have a business, you should consider using your business name as your domain name.
Branding is a crucial ingredient when choosing an SEO friendly domain name, which is why you find that some of the most successful websites have unique domain names. Also, brandable domain names are easy to remember – which means more revisits, which will increase your site credibility and trust value – which equals better search page rankings.
When you use a positive and creative brand as your domain name, you make your website attractive to both a search engine and human users, encouraging social shares, revisits, and more traffic.
Using keywords is another way to optimize your domain name for search engines, but frankly, many people don’t know the first thing about using keywords in their domain name. For one thing, exact match domains or EMDs used to be great for search rankings, but search engines have evolved, and it has been found that many people are abusing the system, so it is no longer as effective as it used to be. An example of EMD could be CarRepairsInLondon.com, a domain name that is registered in the exact search term used to search for a car repair place in London. This type of domain name no longer holds much appeal to search engines, and Google can even penalize you if your domain name is not up to par.
Because the domain name environment is changing and the value of EMD is diminishing, it might be a good idea to abandon your plans for an exact match domain completely. Thankfully, there are better ways to get SEO friendly domains using keywords. For instance, if your business has a naturally occurring keyword such as LondonBoatClub.com, it makes perfect sense to use it as it is unique from a branding standpoint and relates to a website targeted at local visitors.
Smartly using keywords in your domain name can help you rank for searches related to that keyword, and help users quickly understand what your site is about, but it has to be done in a smart and inoffensive way. The good idea is to use Keyword Planner to get started on your keyword search so that you can identify keywords that relate to your niche and find a way to use them without making your domain name appear spammy.
The future of the internet will be dominated by domain names associated with quality brands and SEO-friendly domain names. Thankfully, choosing an SEO friendly domain name is easier than you think; all you need is to focus on your brand and keep it simple.
It is vital to point out here that a domain name is just a small part of what affects the search rankings of your website. While it is essential to the success of your online business, it is only a tiny part of a collection of pieces that work together to make your site visible and successful. Other factors play an equally important role in the visibility of your website, including domain authority, site content, and many others.
Take your time to think through your domain choices before deciding so that you don’t make one you will end up regretting.