How to Choose a Domain Name for SEO

You’ve got your business’s website, but now you need a savvy domain name—one that will drive traffic to your site. But what’s in a name, anyhow? Will your domain name really make that big of a difference when it comes to SEO?

The answer is—you guessed it—yes.

Even though this slice of the SEO pie was bigger before the Google Panda update, domain names still carry weight, and it will serve your business well to get it right. When searching for that perfect address, keep the following factors in mind to help guide the process.

Keywords
Google currently values the use of a keyword within the domain name for ranking purposes, so conduct keyword research to see what you have to work with. Don’t go the way of spam, though, by combining a bunch of keywords that have no distinction. Google released an algorithm update recently that subtracts the benefit from exact match domain names (EMD), like “austinmanicurepedicurespa.com” for example. It’s also wise to stay away from hyphens (especially multiple hyphens), which are generally considered dodgy.

Branding
While there is value in using generic terms/keywords, your brand name sets you apart among competitors. If your brand name includes a keyword, then you’re already in good shape. If not, try combining your brand name with a keyword to keep your company’s identity/service recognizable. (For example, fahrenheitmarketing.com)

User-Friendly
SEO isn’t just about search engines—the user must be considered as well. Keep domain names short and easy to read, spell and pronounce. They should be as memorable as possible. Also, stick to a dot com when you can.

In the search for the appropriate name for your site, it benefits you to also think of one that has longevity—a name you would feel comfortable sticking with for a long time – because website age also affects SEO. Speaking of, if you want the benefit of old age without having to wait years to get it, consider buying an old domain from a domain auction site. A word of caution, though: if you do purchase an old domain name, it’s imperative to make sure it doesn’t have a spammy backlink profile. To find out if this is the case, consult with an SEO professional.

Want to get the SEO-driven traffic your site needs? Give us call and find out how we can help. Contact us today.

2 Responses to “How to Choose a Domain Name for SEO”

  1. Kurt Varner

    Great tips, thank you. One thing I'd add is to check the availability of the social media usernames. This is important if you want to leverage any of the social channels. A lot of people are now squatting on Twitter handles, etc.

    Also, check out http://domainbark.com for an easy way to find domain names. I built this site because I was frustrated with how time consuming searching for names was. Hope you like it!

    Reply

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