6 Tips for Choosing SEO-friendly Domain Names

When you are starting off with a new website, whether for your existing business or a new brand,

Introduction

When you are starting off with a new website, whether for your existing business or a new brand, one of the most important step is to choose the right domain name. One thing that you need to remember when choosing a domain name is that it is one of the essential SEO factors that goes into improving your website’s search engine ranking. In this article, we look at the rules and tips, for choosing the best domain name for your business website so that you can start off with SEO on good terms.

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Why is it important to pick a good domain name?

Before moving on to the actual rules and tips, let us discuss the importance of having a good domain name for your website. The first reason you want to pick a good domain name is because it is one aspect of your website that cannot be changed at will! While you can alter, modify, or even remove other elements (such as content or media) on your website, you can change the hosting service or even the platform that your website is built on but the domain name is one thing that remains the same throughout.

The second and most important reason is search engine optimization (SEO). The domain name of your website significantly contributes to how high your site is rated by search engines. According to Google’s search algorithms, the domain name is 1 of 200 factors that the company takes into account when it indexes a website in its search engine database [Moz]. So, how should you choose a domain name for maximum SEO? Should you include a keyword or should you make it brandable? What extension should you use? All of these questions are answered in the next section of this article.

Rules and tips for choosing the best domain name:

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Here are some guidelines and rules as to how you should choose a domain name for your business website:

  1. Keep it short:

The domain name should be short and simple. Ideally, you should be targeting to keep the domain name under 10 characters since this makes it easy to remember, easy to type and easy to understand. As Richard Lazazzera of Shopify says, keep it simple stupid! [Shopify]

  1. Avoid hyphens:

A general rule of thumb is that a domain name with a hyphen in it is not SEO-friendly. This is because they are normally associated with spam websites (since they are available at lower prices). This, combined with the fact that they are harder to type than domain names with no punctuation, are enough to say that you need to avoid hyphens.

  1. Make it easy to remember:

If you are looking for users to keep coming back to your website, then you need to make your domain name memorable. As the President of EConsultancy says, a brand is a total of how someone perceives an organization. [BrandMarketingBlog] The same goes for the domain name of a website, it is how the users will perceive you.

  1. Make it brandable:

Some businesses avoid using their brand name in the domain name of their website. This is a wrong approach, especially for SEO purposes. The first reason for this is that the main commodity or product that you are selling with your website is the brand itself! This means that your domain name will itself be a marketing element. You want people to remember your brand’s name and what better way to do this than to make your website domain name the same as your brand name.

The second reason is uniqueness. A brand name or product name is generally always going to be unique, which means better availability of the domain name and a better reception by the users as well. When you look at it, names such as Google and Yahoo sound much better (and are much more unique) than names such as YourFavoriteSearchEngine.com.

  1. The domain name extension is important:

This is not exactly a specific rule but it helps to have a common extension with your website, particularly the ‘.com’ extension. The ‘.com’ extension is the standard domain and most users automatically assume that a website will have this extension. In fact, 75% of all websites on the internet have the ‘.com’ extension! [SmallBusiness-Domain] In addition, if the customers’ basis of the web site is restricted in a national level, then a domain level of the country should be selected.

  1. Use keywords:

This point contradicts with the ‘Make it brandable’ point above but it is an alternative to that. According to Jason L Bauman, the SEO Associate at Trinity Insight, the next best option to choosing a company branded domain name is to identify targeted keywords that are relevant to your industry or niche and use those for the domain name. [FitSmallBusiness] You can make use of tools such as Ubersuggest to look for relevant terms from your industry.

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Conclusion

A website that is not visible to its target audience is a waste of Internet space. In other words, a website that has no SEO can tend to be lost in the big, massive world of the Internet. This is why it is important to optimize your website, according to the rules that have been set by search engines. One of these rules is to have a SEO-friendly domain name for your website. In this blog post, we cover the essentials of how you can choose a domain name for your business’ website. To summarize, be simple, short, memorable, and unique with your website’s domain name.

References:

[1] Aland, M. (2016, November 13).Choosing A Domain Name – 25 Tips From The Pros. Retrieved from http://fitsmallbusiness.com/choosing-a-domain-name/

[2] Dupuis, T. (2016, October 9). How To Choose An SEO-Friendly Domain Name. Retrieved from http://www.onlinemediamasters.com/how-to-choose-an-seo-friendly-domain-name/

[3] TipsandTricksHQ. (2016, December 29). Good Domain Name Picking Tips For Your Blog Setup. Retrieved from https://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/good-domain-name-picking-tips-for-your-blog-setup-459

[4] Yao, S. How Your Domain Name Will Impact SEO & Social Media Marketing. Retrieved from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/how-your-domain-name-will-impact-seo-social-media-marketing/

[5] Fishkin, R. (2016, July 15). 8 Rules For Choosing A Domain Name. Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-domain-name-whiteboard-friday

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About Anna Bezhani

Anna is a Digital Marketing graduate who is studying for an MSc in User Experience Design. She is also a marketing executive in Mentionlytics. Follow Anna on Twitter