6 Tips to Picking an SEO-Friendly Domain Name
If you’re building a new website, your domain name is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. Although your domain name isn’t a direct ranking factor on search engines, a memorable and well-branded root domain can increase traffic, which in turn, boosts your rankings. If you’re in the process of developing a new website for your brand, make sure to follow these six tips for selecting a domain name that reels in audience attention and makes your brand a point of authority in your industry.
Why Does Your Domain Name Matter?
Your domain name isn’t just something you tack onto your website as an afterthought. Much like the rest of the written content on your website, your domain name is an important part of the overall success of your creative efforts.
A creative and well-executed domain name is so important because it brings the following boons to your brand:
- It makes your website look professional and gives an instant sense of authority (more on that later)
- A great domain name increases your chances of traffic and can positively influence your click-through rate
- A domain name has the potential to give your brand a personality that audiences will remember; resulting in returning customers and more conversions
Now you know the importance of picking the perfect domain name, but how do you go about starting the process? Don’t worry, the team at Big D Creative has your back. Here are some free insider tips for selecting a domain that sets your new website on the track to success.
1. Keep it Short and Simple
If you’re thinking about SEO and long-tail keywords for content during the development process, your mind is in the right place. However, using a long-tail phrase in your domain name is never a good idea. Your domain name should be snappy and easy to remember and type into a browser. For example, “bigdcreative.com” rolls off of the tongue much easier than “bestwebdevelopmentteamindallas.com”. Not only will a long-tail phrase in your domain name just feel wrong to users, but search engines can also sniff out when you’re trying to cheat the system and are less likely to consider your brand a legitimate point of authority.
2. Pick an Extension that Makes Sense
Your domain’s extension is that tiny “.com” or “.org” that comes in at the tail end of your site’s address. Make sure that you choose the right extension for your business type. While this won’t directly influence the success of your website, it’s a great indicator for visitors of what your brand is going to offer.
The most popular extensions and their usage include the following:
- -.com: Preferred extension for brands that sell a product or service
- -.edu: Used on websites that promote educational opportunities
- -.gov: An extension for official government websites
- -.org: Mainly used by nonprofit organizations
3. Make Your Name Brandable
Your website is your brand. So, approach your domain name with branding in mind. A brandable domain name separates you from the competition and makes your website something memorable that people can quickly refer to when the need for your services arises.
Not only should you keep your domain name short and sweet, but you should also follow the following branding guidelines:
- Your domain name should be easy to remember
- It’s easy to pronounce
- It’s unique (i.e. seodogs.com; boardgamegeek.com; spotify.com)
4. Think About Your Keywords
Yes, we’ve already warned you about long-tail keywords in your site’s name, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore keywords entirely. In our opinion, it’s always a good idea to try to sneak in the main keyword into your domain name. Some of the clients we’ve worked with, in the past have had domain names that included popular search terms like “pest control,” “roofing and construction,” and “certified translations.” Although it may be difficult to claim your top pick for domain names with high-volume keywords in it, your development team can help you find a creative way to use such keywords while keeping your domain name brandable.
5. Skip Hyphens
Hyphens are something you should avoid for your domain name at any cost. These are usually reserved for websites that piggyback off of the success of industry authority sites with similar names. We can’t think of many hyphenated websites that we trust, and the chances are, if you do use hyphens in your domain name, they are likely to turn off potential customers and encourage them to move on. Aside from hyphens making your site look suspicious, consider how much of a mouthful it is to have to pronounce “dash” or “hyphen” when telling a friend about your great, new website. Keep it clean, keep it short, ditch the dash!
6. Don’t Worry About Your Domain’s Age
Some people think that a domain’s age influences how well it performs on search engines. The length of your domain’s registration doesn’t have an impact on your site’s success. So whether the domain you have in mind is six months old or sixteen years old, it’s really the content of the website behind the domain that gets your brand ranking on search engines.
Build Your Site from the Domain, Up, with Big D Creative
If you’ve finished this post and have the urge to get started on your new website’s development, don’t make the journey alone. Trust the expert design and development team at Big D Creative to help you make all of the right decisions for your new website. From the early planning phase to content creation and maintenance beyond launch, our team of experienced developers is eager to offer our services that bring your ideas to life. Contact us today to learn more about our team and to schedule your free consultation!