Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most popular digital marketing methods used nowadays. 60% of marketers say that inbound marketing strategies, including blog posts and SEO, are among their highest quality sources of leads.
SEO techniques apply to most of your site’s elements, including its domain name. Picking the right domain name can heavily influence your website’s success, and having an SEO-friendly domain name is certainly beneficial. But how is it useful for you?
In this article, we will dive deeper into how a domain name can affect your SEO performance and how to choose an SEO-friendly name for your website.
Domain Name and SEO
Aside from being the main identifier for your website, a domain name also significantly impacts its SEO performance. Your domain name can affect users’ initial impressions of your website. An effective domain name can also help increase user interest and drive more clicks.
A good domain name lets potential visitors recognize what your website has to offer when it appears on their search result pages. With the right strategy, you can build credibility and gain trust from potential customers.
That is why the process of choosing a domain name requires some effort and a lot of attention. For example, before you take any steps, you need to check if your desired name is still available using a domain checker service.
Continue reading to know more about some tips on choosing an SEO-friendly domain name.
How to Choose an SEO-Friendly Domain Name
There are several practices to keep in mind when choosing a domain to drive more traffic. Let’s take a look at seven recommended factors that determine the SEO effectiveness of your domain name.
1. Use the Right Top-Level Domain Extensions
A top-level domain (TLD) is part of your site’s URL, specifically, the one that follows the last dot of a domain name. There are various types of TLD to choose from, such as .com, .net, and .org. Each TLD serves a different purpose and suits different types of websites.
For example, .edu is used for websites owned by educational institutions, and .gov is used by governmental bodies. Choosing the right TLD for your domain name is important because it helps people identify your website and add credibility to your business.
Some TLDs like .com can also help your online reputation due to its high popularity. However, don’t focus too much on one specific TLD. If your domain name is not available on one extension, consider using the closest alternative.
2. Keep the Domain Name Short
When choosing a domain name, a shorter one is preferable for various reasons. Short domain names are typically easier to remember and type.
According to a study, the average length for the top one million most popular websites is ten characters. Some of the most successful companies use shorter names like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Twitch.
If possible, try to keep your domain name under three words. Longer domain names are prone to being mistyped and take longer to input into the search bar. This can be counter-productive to your marketing efforts and may hinder your website growth.
3. Choose Brandable Names
A brandable domain name is a unique name used to identify a certain company and brand. Sometimes, this name is not even related to any words in the English dictionary. Unlike descriptive names that consist of dictionary words, brandable names tend to be simpler and more interesting.
Brandable names can give websites more personality, and they have the potential to leave a lasting impression on your audience. They also tend to have better longevity since they don’t describe a certain product or service, allowing your business to expand without changing the domain.
However, a brandable name may require more thought processes and time to create. Make sure to do proper brainstorming before deciding on a name to get the best impact out of it.
4. Consider Keyword Domain
Strategic keyword usage is the core of many SEO strategies, including incorporating them in your domain name. Having relevant keywords in your domain name can help your site boost its search traffic by attracting more clicks to your search result listing.
The right choice of keywords can signal your business’s expertise to potential audiences. It is also a good idea to incorporate your location into the domain name if you mainly want to focus on the local market. This may help you gain more attention since 46% of all searches on Google include local intent.
However, pay attention to how many keywords you use too. Stuffing keywords may result in Google marking your site as spam and lowering its ranking on the search results.
5. Match It with Your Business Name
If you already have an established business name before choosing a domain name, it might be a good idea to match them. This can be especially helpful for local and smaller businesses to maintain branding consistency throughout their marketing platforms.
However, some large companies use different branding for their domain name and keep their business name in the background. For example, the brand MailChimp is owned by a company called The Rocket Science Group LLC.
Depending on your business’s size and market scope, one option can be better than the other. Take a look at your situation and decide which option may benefit you the most.
6. Use a Domain Name That Conveys Meaning
Choosing a domain name is not simply sticking words to your website as an identifier. Sometimes the name needs to convey meaning and represent your website’s intentions and characteristics. A wrong choice of words can lead to misinterpretation, which can potentially hurt your brand.
The easiest way to get a meaningful domain name is to think of the qualities you want your site to be associated with. This can be in the form of positive words such as friendly, cheapest, fast, best, and experts.
Remember that your domain name plays an important role in imprinting a good first impression that defines your brand in general. Thus, it might be worth it to invest your time in researching words to represent your website to its potential audience better.
7. Avoid Using Hyphens and Double Letters
Certain characters, such as hyphens and repeated letters, can make your domain name harder to read and increase the chances of mistyping. Domains with hyphens are also seen as sketchy and spammy, which can hurt your site’s reputation.
Make your domain name as simple and as readable as possible. The last thing you want is to have potential visitors reach the wrong website because you choose a complicated name.
An SEO-friendly domain name can help your site gain more traffic by boosting its search engine performance. With the right name, potential audiences can identify your site easier and decide if it is the right place to get what they are looking for.
In this article, we have learned the correlation between a domain name and SEO performance and how to choose an SEO-friendly name for your website. The tips are:
- Use the right top-level domain extensions
- Keep the domain name short
- Choose brandable names
- Consider keyword domain
- Match it with your business name
- Use a domain name that conveys meanings
- Avoid using hyphens and double letters
A domain name is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Therefore, it is in your best interest to invest time and effort to make sure it suits your business perfectly.
Hopefully, this article has helped you come up with an appropriate domain that will improve your SEO performance.