Why is it important to pick a good domain name?
Before moving to the actual tips, let’s take look at why picking a good domain name is important. One of the main reasons is because a domain name is an aspect of your website that cannot be changed at will! It is like your name. While you can alter, update, or remove the content of your website, your domain name is the one thing that will remain unchanged.
Besides that, a domain name can contribute to your search engine ranking, which brings us our tips sharing today. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important to help boost a website’s performance such as driving traffic to the site, generating leads, or making a conversion (purchase, fill-up form etc). I wish back then when I first registered a domain for my own website, there is someone who could teach me how these little details matter – that it could change everything and affect your brand! So, how should you choose an SEO friendly domain name? Is it the length of the characters? Which extension should you use? Here are some of the key factors of choosing a domain name that can maximize your SEO.
1. Simple and memorable domain name
If I’m running a start-up company that specializes in sneakers that tracks your health activities via smartwatch or mobile app, I should be using an easy-to-remember domain for my brand, such as smartsoles(dot)com.
Rule of thumb – strive for domain names that are short, memorable and easy to pronounce. You got to keep in mind that word-of-mouth advertising is one of the many sources that drive new traffic to your website. You wouldn’t want anyone to have a hard time guessing that one website which uses a French slang as its domain, would you?
Therefore, avoid using domain names that have numbers, odd characters, unusual spellings, or more than 12 characters (the number of characters is a general guide, but you get the idea).
2. Use the root keyword relevant to your industry
If you prefer to let your audience know in a glance what products/services you are offering, then using the root keyword of your niche market can be an alternative to using your brand name. Jason L Bauman, the SEO Associate at Trinity Insight, suggested that the next best option to choosing an SEO friendly domain name is to identify targeted keywords that are relevant to your industry/niche and use them as your domain name.
For an example, sushidelivery(dot)nyc
To search and understand the relevant keywords and terms for your industry, I suggest you Ubersuggest.
3. Avoid hyphens if possible
If your domain name consists of two words like tristanwedding(dot)com, you might consider separating the words with a hyphen for readability. Such as tristan-wedding(dot)com. While that may help the readability, it could raise questions for Google and other search engines. Do keep in mind that the use of hyphens is usually associated with spammy behaviours. Of course, the best practice is to avoid hyphens if possible. But if you must, no more than one hyphen should be used.
4. Choose the right TLD
Another important thing to remember when choosing a domain name is your TLD. To optimize most of your SEO efforts, keep in mind to choosing popular TLD such as .my, .com or .org. Yes, although some other domain extensions may cost cheaper, bear in mind that it will not help to drive enough traffic to your website. This is because the search engine detects low-quality TLDs are often associated with spammy behaviour.
The readily available resources these days for anyone to create websites also means the choices of domains is becoming more and more limited. With that in mind, it is important to have a domain that can withstand a lifetime. Now that we’ve summed everything that you need to know, head on to your new journey here.
Also, if you’re a forgetful fish like me, then you should also read more on why it’s important to go for multi-year domain registration.