If you are a business owner, you must already know that online visibility is part of the success of your business, and choosing the right name for your website is a key part of the process. The right domain name can help you rank higher in search results and grow your revenue, but if you pick the wrong domain name, you may get the exact opposite or even have Google mark your website as spam.
What is a domain?
Before we get into how to choose an SEO-friendly domain name, it’s important to understand the significance of a domain name in search engine optimization. A domain name is essentially the address of your website, and it is one of the first things that a search engine looks at when determining how to rank your website in its search results. A good domain name can help to improve your search engine rankings, while a poor domain name can have the opposite effect.
Simply put, a domain is the name of your website on the internet and what people type into their browser to reach your page. But how do you choose an SEO-friendly domain name that helps you increase the click-through rate and boost search traffic? Read below for some useful tips to consider before choosing your website’s name.
1. Choose a memorable and brandable domain name
When choosing a name, think about the products or services you offer and make sure it is relatable, as the URL will become part of your company. It’s also a good idea to choose a brandable domain name. Your domain name is often the first thing that people see when they visit your website, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your branding. This can help to establish trust and credibility with your audience and make it easier for them to recognize your brand. A brandable domain name is unique and memorable, and it can help to differentiate your business from your competitors. It needs to be simple to pronounce without a particular spelling, as a tricky URL might make you lose traffic. A long and complicated domain name can be difficult for people to remember and type into a search bar.
On the other hand, a short and simple domain name is easy to remember and type, which can help to improve your chances of getting traffic from people who manually type your URL into their browsers. Note: It’s important to make sure that the domain name you choose does not infringe on any trademarks or copyrights. This can help you avoid legal problems in the future and keep your domain name from being taken down for stealing someone else’s ideas.
When drafting your branded domain, try to avoid abbreviations and acronyms. While they can be a convenient way to shorten a long domain, they can confuse search engines and users if not done correctly. For example, “ACMEplumbing.com” might be easier to remember than “acme-plumbing-and-heating-company.com,” but it’s less clear what the website is about. To avoid confusion, it’s generally a good idea to spell out words in your domain name, rather than using abbreviations or acronyms if you have real estate available.
2. Know your keywords
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a domain name is its relevance to your business and the keywords that you want to rank for. For example, if you’re a plumber, it would be a good idea to include the word “plumber” in your domain name. If your business is local, it can be helpful to include local keywords in your domain name. For example, if you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, you may want to consider using “los-angeles-plumber.com” as your domain name. This can help improve your chances of ranking in local search results. Locations & keywords will help search engines understand what your website is about and improve your chances of ranking for relevant keywords.
Simplicity is key, so choose a domain name that contains keywords and best defines your services or products, and you can start by outlining the first three most important terms related to your business. Just make sure your brand domain is stronger, as Google does not give as much value to stuffed keyword domains. Always choose simplicity.
In addition to including relevant keywords in your domain name, you may also want to consider using a keyword-rich domain name. This means that your domain name is made up of multiple relevant keywords, rather than just a single keyword. For example, “best-organic-dog-food.com” is a keyword-rich domain name that includes two relevant keywords: “best” and “organic dog food.” Keyword-rich domain names can help to improve your search engine rankings and increase the chances that your website will be found by people searching for your products or services.
3. Use the right domain extensions
The portion of a domain name that follows the final dot, such as .com, .net, or.org, is known as the top-level domain (TLD). While .com is the most commonly used TLD, it is not always the best option for your business. For example, if you’re a non-profit organization, you may want to consider using a .org TLD. While .com is the most popular TLD, there are many other options available, such as .net, .org, .co, and more. These alternative TLDs can sometimes be more memorable and unique than .com, which can be helpful if the .com version of your desired domain name is already taken or doesn’t fit your branding.
As I mentioned above, the most popular domain extensions are .coms, as many users, particularly the older demographic, trust these more. So make sure that before purchasing a domain, you know which extension suits your business, especially when considering the country-code top-level domains, as these will affect your search result rankings. For example, if you have a “.uk” domain extension and your users are searching your website from a city in England, Google will give your website a higher placement.
4. Avoid underscores, symbols, and complexities
Underscores, numbers, and symbols are often associated with spammy websites, so you should avoid them as they are not SEO-friendly. For numbers, users can completely overlook them, as they look “stuffed” and are far from sounding like a brand, so don’t add them unless they’re an essential part of your brand. While it may be tempting to include numbers or hyphens in your domain name to make it more unique, these characters can hurt your search engine rankings. Search engines may have a harder time understanding the meaning of a domain name that includes numbers or hyphens, which can affect your rankings.
As I mentioned above, a domain name that is easy to spell is important too. It’s easier for people to remember and type into their browsers. Also, it can help to prevent typosquatting, which is when a cybercriminal registers a domain name that is similar to a popular website but with a slight spelling error. For example, if your website is “bestdogfood.com,” someone might try to register “bestdogfoods.com” in an attempt to trick people into visiting their website instead. To avoid this, it’s important to choose a domain name that is easy to spell and doesn’t contain any confusing or hard-to-remember words.
5. Use a domain generation tool
If you’re having trouble coming up with a domain name on your own, you may want to consider using a domain name generator tool. These tools can help you come up with ideas for domain names based on keywords and other criteria that you input. Namecheap’s Domain Name Generator and Lean Domain Search are well-known tools for making domain names.
6. Make sure the domain name is available
Once you’ve come up with a list of potential domain names, it’s important to check their availability. You can do this by using a domain name registrar or a domain name availability checker tool. If the domain name you want is already taken, you’ll need to come up with an alternative or try to negotiate with the owner to purchase the domain.
In summary, choosing an SEO-friendly domain name is an important factor to consider when optimizing your website for search engines. By following the tips outlined above, you can choose a domain name that is relevant, easy to remember, and brandable, which can help to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website. Having a domain that channels your brand will help you build the strong digital presence you’re looking for. Our SEO agency can help with choosing the right domain name, so don’t just randomly go for one.
If you need more tips on how to choose an SEO-friendly name for your website, our team of specialists is here to help. Get in touch today!