The right domain name can have a huge impact on your SEO marketing strategy. So, it is crucial that you get it right or end up paying web hosting fees without reaping the benefits of a SEO-friendly domain name.
Domain Name: What Is It And Why Should You Care?
Your website is a vital tool to help you build your online presence. And to build a website, you need a domain name. Simply put, your domain name is your online address. It’s the string of letters that online users type when they want to find your business. In our case, the domain name is “wwhatdigital.com” from the URL at the top of this page.
Apart from being your business’ online address, your domain name is important for SEO reasons.
A Bit of Background
Years ago, way back pre-2012, there was a practice in the SEO community where domain names are keyword-rich. These domain names are known as Exact Match Domains (EMDs), where the website’s domain name includes the targeted keywords. For example, if the owner is buying and selling cars, the name of the website would be “BuyAndSellAuto.com”.
For a while, this type of strategy served as a ticket for websites to shoot to the top of search rankings. But come 2012, Google caught on and updated their algorithm, reducing the weight of EMDs in search results. Today, you can still see EMDs ranking high in searches, but often, these websites are associated with spammy sites, therefore, affecting their click-through-rates (CTR).
The Role of SEO in Domain Name Selection
After Google’s EMD Update in 2012, the placement of relevant keywords in your domain name doesn’t boost rankings as much anymore, especially if the rest of your website’s content doesn’t answer the keyword intent. Instead, choosing a memorable brand name as your domain name and creating relevant content are more effective techniques to boost your SERP rankings.
However, you must remember that hundreds of factors affect Google’s algorithm and, as a result, SEO efforts – and the domain name is only one of those aspects. So, the importance of domain name in SEO isn’t as great as, say the security and accessibility of your website.
Choosing a Domain Name
Deciding the domain name for your website sounds straightforward, but, it is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for your business. Here are some points that you need to consider when registering a domain name while taking SEO in consideration:
Brand over Keywords
Whether you’re registering your domain name on a free site or through a web hosting and marketing agency, it is important to pick a domain name that matches your brand, instead of using keywords. Why? Google values branding more than keywords. While the domain name is not the sole factor that determines search rankings, it makes your website distinct from others. Using your company’s brand name for your domain name will make it easier for people to remember your business.
Short and Simple
Notice how big companies keep their domain names short? It’s because short domain names are easy to remember and type into the browser. Fun fact: The most visited websites on the internet contain less than 12 characters.
Avoid hyphens on your domain name just so you can insert as many keywords as possible. For example, instead of web-hosting-services.com, use bizmarketing.com. Hyphenated domain names, just like EMDs, look spammy and don’t build trust and credibility.
Pick Your Top Level Domain (TLD)
The top-level-domain is the part of the domain name that comes after the “dot”. It is also called as the domain extension. To date, the “.com” domain extension is still one of the most popular and most trusted domain extensions available, together with “.org”, “.net”, and “.us”.
If you’re targeting a specific location, you can also opt for the country code of your target market. Some examples of country code TLDs are “.ca” (Canada), “.au” (Australia), and “.uk” (United Kingdom). You can also use TLDs that are specific to your industry. For example, if you’re in the travel business, you can choose “.vacations” or “.flights” as your TLD.
A more concrete example is the e-commerce website Amazon. This retail giant is primarily known from its domain name, Amazon.com. However, since it entered the Indian e-commerce market, a separate domain name, Amazon.in, was created specifically for the South Asian country. This SEO strategy employed the use of domain extension “.in” to reach Amazon’s India-based consumers, specifically.
Remember, your domain name represents your brand and you want it to last a lifetime. That’s why careful thought comes before you finally decide which one to use. Bottom line is, your domain name must be unique, short, clear, and catchy.
Looking for Digital Marketing Solutions for Your Company?
At WWHaT Digital, we offer a variety of digital marketing solutions to help your business establish a strong online presence. Our services include website development, SEO, content marketing, paid media, and more.
As Asia Pacific’s premier B2B digital marketing agency, WWHaT Digital has a team of seasoned digital marketers and writers, experts in their fields and proficient in the English language. Through our digital marketing services, we help businesses in the Asia Pacific region get in the big leagues and conquer the U.S. market.
To learn more about our services, visit us here.