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SEO: Domain Name Considerations

SEO: Domain Name Considerations

by KieranNovember 1, 2015

Domain names used to form a big part of an SEO strategy. You see, in the past, a domain name that contained your keyword would be favoured over those that didn’t. For example, if your domain name was www.plumber-in-clapham.com, you’d fare much better than someone trying to rank for the same keyword with a domain like www.mr-plumber.com. This is not such a concern anymore as Google has got wise to this SEO loophole.

Now, we’re looking at brands being hot for domain names. In its endless search for quality web content, Google takes a positive view on brand names and less of a positive view on generic names (such as www.local-grocery-shop.com).

If you haven’t already got an established brand, you should look at ways to help you stand out from the crowd. Let me give you an example: how many people can honestly say that there is not a company named ‘<town name> windows and doors>’ in their area? I would guess not too many!

This brand name is good enough, it tells you what they do and where they do it – so, it’s perfect, right? Well, no not really.

While this company name does tell you everything you need to know about the company, it’s not enough to stand out online. When you’re branding your company, you need to consider how that brand name will translate to both online and offline customers. I can completely accept that the tried and tested window company name I spoke of earlier is great for offline advertising but it may harm your ability to be found online.

So you need to come up with a brand, but how?

There are a few key concepts to consider when coming up with a brand name.

  1. Keep it short – the top 100,000 websites have an average of 9 characters

  2. Make it memorable – okay, you could make a website called www.dubdvin.com. It’s short, so it should be perfect, shouldn’t it? Honestly, if you looked at that domain name for 5 seconds, walked off for a few hours and came back to your computer, would you remember it?

  3. Make it easy to spell – there are certain words that people generally find difficult to spell. I know that a lot of my friends cannot spell definitely, rather they write defiantly. Those two words have very different meanings!

  4. Keep it relevant – if you’re a window company, www.crystalclear.com would make total sense, whereas www.zippycow.com possibly wouldn’t.

Once you’ve got your brand name, you need to consider what you want your domain name extension to be (.com, .co.uk, .info, etc..). The general rule when it comes to SEO is that your domain extension should reflect where your customers are. If you’re a company that operates in France, then www.crystalclear.fr is probably sensible. However if you’re a global company, a dot com web address (such as www.crystalclear.com) would be much better.

Image used under creative commons

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About The Author
Kieran

My name is Kieran, I love to see how technology can drive business growth. I started the Netshock technology blog as a place to share my thoughts and experiences with a wider audience. I cover all sorts of topics, from marketing to development.