How Your Domain Affects Your SEOReading Time: 3 minutes
Domain names and SEO come up a lot for new website owners. There is a lot of mixed information available online about this topic, but the answer will really just depend on your perspective. This article is going to try to cover both sides of the argument to help you with your next domain name choice.
Domain names and SEO go hand in hand. In most cases you will want to pick a domain that is SEO friendly to increase click-through rates and higher rankings on search engines. Having a good website name can help with brand recognition and describing the product or service that you offer. The right domain will also stand out in a sea of search results. Verisign found in a study that click through rates almost double, if your domain includes at least one relevant keyword. Try to pick a domain name that is short, easy to remember, and easy to spell.
If you choose to give with a brand-able domain then just remember to keep it simple. Anything to make it easier for people (and search engines) to find you, right?
What makes a domain good?
- Relevance: Go with something descriptive for your specific niche or product / service that you offer
- Unique: It doesn’t have to be a completely made-up word, but it should be a unique identifier for your business or website
- Memorable: Short usually means more memorable. Stay away from long domain names!
- User-friendly: A domain should always be easy to spell. Don’t allow for missed traffic because nobody can spell your URL. Domain names and SEO go together.
What are brandable domains?
In today’s market it takes more to stand out than just a great idea or good customer service. We live in a society where users crave constant engagement, social relationships and interactions with their favorite brands. Your users will need a brand to follow to establish that kind of connection.
The three essentials of branding are that you want to be different, focused, and stand for something. Your logo is the visual trademark that identifies your company. Your domain is your virtual portal that customers can use to connect with you directly (especially when working on a social media marketing strategy). A brand is what represents you and your company to your users. A brand is not only an idea, but it’s the way that people feel when they see your logo or business name. It is the solution that can help close the gap between your customers and your business. It is the combined aspect of your logo, service and company name that makes it so recognizable.
Brand-able domains are usually short in length and can easily be incorporated into other marketing materials. Because they’re short, they’re less likely to be misspelled which means to fewer missed opportunities of users finding you. Social media contests and promotions are amazing chances for business to get their name out there. They raise awareness, prove lead generation and create audience engagement with new and old users. These type of promotions are great opportunities to use new domain extensions as brand-able and memorable links.
What are keyword domains?
Alternatively, you can choose a name that contains keywords about your business, products, or services. The benefit of these kind of domains is that they can be both brand-able and descriptive about your product or service.
You can’t outsmart the search engine algorithms to boost your SEO through a keyword rich names, however it can add user credibility to you for search results. Most major search engines do not consider exact match keyword domains into the rankings anymore. Keyword domains can still be helpful though when you’re wanting a descriptive domain that lets your users know right away what you offer.
An example of this may be a localized domain like “ChicagoLawyers.com”
Is domain age important?
The domains history is also an important factor that you will want to consider. The age itself may not have an major impact on improving SEO for your website, but old back-links or blacklisting may make marketing more difficult. It’s always a good idea to spend some time doing research on the domain before you purchase. A great resource for this is archive.org. Just enter the domain name and archive.org will provide you with screenshots (if available) of any previous websites that used that domain name before you. Usually it will be fairly easy to determine if the domain was used for any kind of spam activity.