A domain name is your websites virtual address, the URL you type into your address bar that takes you where you want to go. www.google.com is one, www.youtube.com is one, www.teition.com is this one. Choosing an effective, powerful, and relevant domain name is incredibly important and effects your website traffic through SEO quite a bit.
How Choosing a Domain Name Effects SEO
Search engines like Google or Yahoo or Bing use algorithms that I would never try and even attempt to say I have mastered them. They are a constantly changing beast and tweaked by a team of trained professionals.
That being said, a domain name URL can effect your ranking in a search engine. Search engines can pick out the keywords that you have in your domain name to rank your website in returned results.
For example, if you have the website www.guitarcleaning.com and you do a Google search for Guitar Cleaning, one would expect the returned results to give you the domain name that highly correlates. Unfortunately for www.guitarcleaning.com, Google doesn’t rank it at the top (however, if you do a Bing.com search for it, it’s #1).
SEO Tips for Selecting a Domain Name URL
With this in mind, I’d like to suggest some tips for selecting a domain name / URL for your new website that should aid in the SEO quest.
Choose a domain name that is easy to spell
Doing this will ensure that users can easily identify your domain name, and search engines can also correlate it to what industry you are relevant for.
Choose a domain name that is keyword rich
Choosing a domain name that is keyword rich will be a surefire way to get recognized by search engines as being specific to your category of expertise. Using the example above, www.guitarcleaning.com is very obviously about cleaning guitars.
Use a unique domain name
Choosing a domain name that is unique will help you stand apart from your competitors. This can get confusing with trying to use keyword rich domain name, and also a creative name, so it’s a very unique answer to this. Google is a unique domain name, but does it explain to you what it is? Not really. Ask Jeeves (remember this?) is unique, and does explain a bit about what it offers.
Choose a domain name that isn’t long
This one is kind of obvious, but nobody wants to spell out www.rediculaslylongdomainnameforawesomecompany.com. Chances are it’ll get spelled wrong every time, and think of the email addresses associated with it! Choosing a short domain name makes your email addresses nice and short too.
Choose a domain name that will be easy to brand
It’s hard to think of branding at the start, but if you’re trying to brand something like www.500px.com, it’s a lot easier to brand than www.prettycoolwebsitewithnicephotographs.com, isn’t it?
Be wary of the extension you choose for your domain name
There is no doubt going to be a lot of controversy over which extension to use for your new URL. Do we want it to be *.ca? *.com? *.biz? *.eu? *.org? So many decisions! Maybe we’ll just buy them all! Truth be told, *.com is kind of a very happy standard, recognized as being very official all over the world, and is very general. I would avoid buying all the extensions unless you really think you’re going to have competition buying up the other extensions and trying to steal your traffic. To me it’s kind of just a waste of money since you’re going to be consistently pumping out relevant content on your site (good SEO), something that your competitor won’t be able to do!
These are a few tips that will make the choice of a domain name URL a little bit easier on you.
However exciting it is in choosing a domain name and making it keyword rich, it’s only the first step in launching your new domain.
Think of it like this: if you have a regular brick-and-mortar store, it’s exciting getting the signage made and hashing out the very cool and awesome tagline, but if there’s nothing in the store, no content, then how is it going to be business as usual?
Pick a name, move on. It’s straight forward to buy a new domain name in the future should you want to change, and migrate your current site over to the new domain name. (If you need help with this, contact Teition with your problem and we can offer some advice)
- For a bit more details on everything I’ve talked about here, there’s a very detailed page on How to Choose the Right Domain Name by FirstSiteGuide