With the ever-changing algorithms, web site owners and developers are becoming more concerned about the effectiveness of their Internet presence. Since search engine traffic is critical to the success or failure of online businesses, the actual selection of domain names is becoming a more complicated process. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the selection of domain names can definitely impact SEO:
Your Domain Name Should Establish Your Brand
Probably the most important consideration in establishing a new web presence is branding. Your online brand is how people see and remember you and it will have a direct impact on SEO efforts and results. Your brand is what sets you apart from the rest. Your domain name must be unique, memorable and relevant. Search engines like brands for the simple reason that Internet users like brands.
Your Domain Name Must Be Unique
The last thing you want is for people to confuse your website with a popular site owned by someone else. It is important that you do not choose a domain name that is simply a plural form, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain. Most people who use the Internet will automatically assume that .com is all that’s out there, so it may be best to avoid everything other than .com domains. It is also a good idea to avoid both hyphens and numbers in your domain name. Your goal should be to make your domain name easy to type and remember.
Domain Names Containing Keywords May Still Help
Since the Google Panda/Penguin updates, many website developers have been concerned about the use of keywords in domain names. The truth is that using keywords in your domain name can have both positive and negative SEO impact. The most obvious positive impact is that the keyword rich domain name (URL) is bolded in search results that relate directly to the keyword. The greater numbers of keywords in bold, the greater chance there is in getting someone to click through to your site. One of the problems is that having keywords in your domain name doesn’t have any positive impact on promoting your brand. Even though title tags and meta descriptions can play a role in marketing your company, t aking your brand out of the domain gives you one less source of brand awareness. The recent search engine algorithm changes seem to have devalued a lot of key word rich domains, but maybe not for the reason you think. In some cases these domains were considered to be over-optimized. Keyword rich domains also featured over use of these same keywords in the website’s content and Penguin just didn’t like that. Keep in mind; if keywords are already in your domain name, Google has a pretty good idea of what you’re going to talk about on your site. There is no need to overuse keywords in your web content. Content should be written with the target audience in mind, not just the search engines.
Your Domain Name Must Be Memorable
In today’s world of Internet marketing, the success of social media, email target marketing, and other marketing strategies depends, to a considerable degree, on word of mouth advertising. Effective and efficient domain names should be short, easy to remember, and easy to type. The most unique and catchy domain name in the world is of little value if no one can remember how to type it into a web browser.
The domain name for your online business must allow potential customers to instantly guess the type of content you want to present. Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it a surefire strategy. A domain name is a lot more that just a combination of words, it’s actually your business.