How to Choose a Domain Name for Maximum SEO

by Nick · 15 comments

in SEO

the portance of domain name selection for SEO

The Rundown

In order to get the most out of your SEO process, you’ve got to ensure that your domain is suitable for the project at hand. SEO isn’t something that you can just slap together, and it usually calls for an abundance of professional help to take place. In regards to your domain name, it’s something that helps people identify your brand online – but that’s only skimming the surface of what is needed to be covered. You’re going to be putting a lot of money into these authority sites (or, at least, what you hope will turn into authority sites); which is why it’s crucial to capitalize on your SEO efforts at every possible point.

Keeping Up with the Times!

When speaking about your domain name, it’s going to come with a lot of variables. Not only will these variables come in abundance, but they may even change on certain occasions. This is information that is held in high regard, but usually incredibly difficult to obtain as well. We’re going to look at how you can grow your company in more ways than one, all through the use of your domain name. It may not seem like much right now, but it’s going to be a key piece in the success your business will see.

It’s 2016, and that means you’re going to have to adapt; most people who refuse to do so get left in the dust. It’s a lot more about the entire picture, as opposed to just the old fashioned way of conducting business. Having a strong online presence is pretty much a must these days, and the lack of one is almost like planning for the inevitable failure of your ventures. Some people are going to want shorter domains, so that consumers find them easy to remember; others are going to find interest in the much longer variety (due to the fact that they need to be specific). It’s all about preference, like most other things associated with internet marketing and having an online presence in general.

The Basic Breakdown

Let’s talk about three main attributes that make up a domain, as that should give you some more information to work with. Take a look at these negative attributes, and then apply them to your domain name process as you please; pretty much, just ensure that you avoid all of these things at all costs.

  • Hyphens – Hyphens are a big problem when it comes to purchasing a domain name, as they appear a little more spammy than your traditional domain. Separating words really isn’t that important, seeing as domain names are all one word anyways; in most cases, people only use hyphens to rip off other ideas/websites.
  • Improper TLD’s (Top-Level Domains) – TLD’s are the ending to your domain names, and they can have a very drastic effect on your SEO efforts. For example, when you work with a website that end in something like .com or .co.uk, you’re going to have a lot more credibility (and ranking power). Lesser known TLD’s like .cc, .ws and even .info are something to avoid – in most cases, these are websites that are incredibly frugal with the amount of credibility and honesty they’re offering.
  • Length – The length of your domain name is also very important, and drawing it on and pushing it to more than 15 characters is a no-no. You should avoid lengthy domain names, and you definitely don’t want to go over 15 characters. Short domain names allow the consumer to remember it easier, as well as share them; there is also a much smaller chance of pushing through with any sort of typo.

Domain names have lost a little bit of their “SEO-juice” when compared to the past, but they still hold a pretty decent amount of necessity. Completely forgetting to think of a unique and SEO-ready domain is just silly, and you don’t want to get into that habit.

Getting Started

Determining Your Needs

Domain-name-research

When it comes to making sure your domain is following SEO protocol, you have to get a hold of specific information. For example, you’ll want to apply your brand name to the domain; it just makes sense. When people go to your website, they’ll be thinking of the words representing your brand. It’s consistent advertising in its finest form, and that’s why the internet is such a business-conscious place to be working with. If you want to go the alternative route, and completely avoid your brand name (which some people do for specific projects), that’s okay as well.

Your brand name should pretty much always make an appearance in the domain, but the sale of domains and URLs has been around for a very long time now. If you have a traditional or commonly named brand, you may find it tough to actually find a domain that’s short and to the point. If you have to get a little lengthy, just make sure it isn’t going overboard. Some of the most important traits to think of before you get into to domain name selection process would be:

What Direction Are You Going? – Are you trying to put together an eCommerece website? Or is it something that’s going to be labeled a little more “artsy”? The form of your website and the demographic that it appeals to is going to be important to keep in mind, otherwise you may find yourself missing on potential growth. If you have to appeal towards the more technical crown, be straightforward; if you’ve got space to be creative, don’t be afraid to do so (but be ready to plan for some rather unique keywords in the process).

Online Presence is Essential – It’s pretty much a known fact that business needs a website these days; at least, if they want to stay in business for more than a few weeks (or days, who knows?). Without a strong online presence, you won’t be able to appeal towards the billions of people living on this planet. That’s something you just really can’t miss out on! Are you ready to get into the process of maintaining the website associated with your domain? Updating it and brushing up on the SEO profile, among other things?

Domain names come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but without proper planning, there’s no telling just how quality your choice is going to be.

Keywords

what-are-keywords

Keywords are important for SEO purposes, and that pretty much pertains to every single aspect of SEO. If you want to create some content for your website, you need to have keywords; when you’re looking to figure out the perfect domain name, guess what? That’s right, keywords! It’s no secret that keywords are going to be a very constant variable within your SEO process, as a matter of fact, it’s always going to be there. These are the specific phrases that people are searching for within engines like Google or Bing; and these are the phrases you need to be focusing on.

Keywords aren’t always the same for every single domain name, and that’s where a little bit of research is going to come into play. If you’re completely oblivious as to what keywords are, this section is going to bear a lot of “fruit” for you to snack on (mental fruit, of course!).

What Exactly are “Keywords”?

We’re going to get into a pretty technical example here, but trust me, it’s for the greater good. When you talk about keywords and what they have associated with them, it can seem like gibberish at first; that’s okay, just bear with me.

Every single domain name and website (well, everything in general on the internet that has words) can be associated with keywords. For example, let’s just say that your website is called “www.incrediblycoolhats.com” – this means that every single keyword associated with your domain name needs to pertain towards hats (that are more than likely incredibly cool, mind you).

  • Local Keywords – These are keywords that would have to do with the local way deal of dealing with things, as in; “buy hats in x”, where X would be the local region that you’re planning on covering. Local keywords are crucial because they allow you to appeal towards the immediate crowd, those being consumers close to you. Domain names almost never have these, unless you’re creating a very specific page (like a bunch of carpenter sites that cover numerous cities).
  • Competition Levels – Keywords are going to have a lot competition to battle against, regardless of what industry you happen to be in. The world is a big place, and that means there are going to be a lot of people trying to make a living online (or just build their online presence). As a result, you’ll be fighting for the top spot. Research your keywords with the tools available to you (we’ll get into that a little later on), it’ll be easier to ensure your success as things move forward. The “Google Keyword Planner” is the perfect tool to keep in mind, and it’s what most people turn towards for help.

Why Do I Need Keywords?

Without keywords, you won’t be able to appeal towards your preferred demographic. There’s a reason why people research their keywords in abundance before working with them, as it’s something that people have become accustomed to. A domain name without any keywords is fine, but only if you’re looking for a branded domain name.

Branded Domain Names

brand your domain name

What Are They?

When you think of incredibly large companies like Nike or Adidas, their domain names are pretty straight forward. Not only will it be simple and to the point, but there’s a reason they’re allowed to follow this suit – that’s because they’re so popular. If you’re already an established name in the industry, all you have to do is use your brand name for the domain. Not only will it already have some SEO power behind it (as you already carry a relatively strong presence with your name alone), but it makes figuring out your domain name a much easier process.

You can only make use of a branded domain name in specific scenarios, as you never want to do it when you aren’t a popular brand. Doing so is going to result in less than stellar results when it comes to your SEO analytics, and you always want to put your best foot forward.

Creating “Sub-Domains”

When you’ve got a domain, and a plethora of pages that you want to get out there, sub-domains can become one of the most – for example, when you use a TLD in which .us appears, there are different sub-domains to apply to every single state within the USA. It’s essentially a domain that is part of a larger domain, which is useful for a variety of different reasons.

Budgeting for Your Domain Name

how-much-does-a-domain-name-cost

The budget behind your domain name selection needs to be figured out beforehand, as there are usually annual fees associated with keeping a page live (for hosting, anyways). You need to factor that in, but you also need to factor in any additional costs that may pop – like I said previously, having a very common brand (word-wise) can be a blessing, but it can also be a burden. If you really wanted something that was short and simple, but very effective, you may have to pay a pretty penny for it.

For example, let’s just say that you wanted a domain like ‘www.cool.com’ – seems easy enough to purchase, right? Domains have been sold ever since the early 90’s (and maybe even earlier), and that’s lead to an incredibly expensive adventure for you to embark upon. Domain names that are simply one word are well worth the amount of money people pay for them, and trust me, there are people out there willing to pay well up to 6 figures for something like that.

If you can’t afford it, you’re going to need to look at other options. There are always going to be more than reasonable options to choose from, it’s just a matter of your personal preference – as well as whether or not the money is there. Pricing is usually based off of:

Current Popularity – If a website is very popular, it’s going to cost a lot of money to buy the domain name associated with it. This is mainly due to the fact that by using this domain name, you’ll already have access to an abundance of potential customers – they’ll already know about the domain name, and have it memorized on top of that.

Length & Longevity – If the domain name is incredibly long, the price is going to be hit rather hard. If it’s over 15 characters, but still somehow manages to sport a relatively strong profile of potential customers, it still might be worth an investment (but that’s completely up to you). Short and sweet is the key, as those are the domain names that last for extended periods of time.

Effectiveness – If you have a business that relates itself to the sport of basketball, you don’t want to try and get your hands on a domain name related to soccer or football. That would not only confuse the people visiting your website, but it would essentially be a waste of money – it would also have a very negative impact on your SEO endeavors. All of the stuff within your domain names pages would pertain to the wrong sport, and Google would become aware of that feat.

Conclusion

domain-name-strategy

There you have it! All of the information presented to you today should help with any questions you could conjure up. Domain names aren’t the easiest thing to manage, that’s for sure; but they’re always going to be very critical to the success of your online practices. If you want to sell a service or product through the use of the internet, you need to make sure your domain names are always following proper SEO protocol. Take the time needed out of your life to actually prepare in the proper sense, so that you’re setting the brand up for success (as opposed to failure). Everybody wants to do something that relates itself to the internet, and that means domain names will always reign supreme.

They are the very first thing people take notice of when visiting your website, and it’s also the thing that most people are able to easily remember. If you want to become a household name in the year 2016, it’s going to take an efficient and well-planned out domain name. Don’t allow outside influences to negatively affect your project, focus on the task at hand and keep a tunnel vision of sorts. The only person who can stop you from success, is the person you look at in the mirror every single morning.

Keep your head high, your domain names SEO-efficient and your conversion rates as high as possible! Internet marketing is the wave of progression that everybody wants to ride, but you can’t do that without SEO-conscious domain names.

About Nick
Nick is the Co-Founder of an ecommerce consultancy company and the author of this SEO Blog.

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  • Nice article, a lot of tips about how to choose a good domain name for maximum traffic and ranking!

    • Hello Chawki, thank you for reading!

  • Since domain name is also crucial for branding purpose. Selecting a domain name for gaining benefits in search engine ranking is a good idea. Thanks for sharing this article Seonick. We have select domain name for branding purpose. https://www.starkut.com/

  • Do not forget to use keywordtool.io for keyword research in austria you can contact me for free https://www.texterseo.at/ – i will help you for free.

  • great information helped a lot to find the good domain http://www.blogshouters.com/

  • latlon technologies

    great suggestion for selecting a domain name. Domain name is the first thing through we which can attract the visitors to the website. Having healthy domain will greatly help in seo.

  • Terrence Jennings

    Great article! Very informative and with this I have learned new things as a starting SEO.

    Metrixa-Data Driven Digital Marketing | http://www.metrixa.com/

  • Before start a blog, domain name selection most important. Because without domain name, bloggers can’t think blogging. Thanks for share this awesome idea for me.

  • Very nice tips to choose domain names..

  • Nice tips about choosing domain name, sub-domain and keywords. Thank you for sharing nice post!

    • Thank you for reading the blog. It’s great hearing positive feedback. Cheers!

      • Welcome!!

        I always try to find latest news about SEO and this post really improved my knowledge about selecting domain name.

      • Great to hear this! Cheers!

  • Rajesh

    Nice blog..very informative..it is useful for mySEOworks.

  • You are providing good advise for choosing domain name.

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