When you start a new website, the most important job you have to do is to choose a perfect domain name. Believe it or not, the domain name has a large role in your website’s success in almost all areas, including SEO (search engine optimization) and SMM (social media marketing). Therefore, you have to do the task of domain name search very carefully. Let’s see why domain names are so important in SEO.
Purchasing domains that contain targeted keywords has long been considered a surefire way to increase click-through rates (CTRs) and achieve higher rankings on Google and other search engines. Let’s see if this strategy still works.
Many SEO experts prefer EMDs which means exact match domains. This means that they match exactly with the keyword phrase which they target. E.g. if their targeted keyword phrase is “low fat diet”, LowFatDiet.com is the preferred domain name. EMDs have two benefits.
- The keyword phrase in the domain name is a ranking factor in itself.
- The keyword phrase in the domain name helps linking to the site.
However, after the recent Google updates and particularly the “EMD update”, EMDs are no longer as useful as once they were.
And after 2010, looking at the trend, many SEO experts are of opinion that EMDs and other keyword-matching domains may prove even less advantageous in future. It doesn’t mean however that you should avoid keyword domains, but keywords won’t be the primary factor while you choose a domain.
Keyword Domains and Raised CTR
In some situations, a premium keyword domain may raise CTRs on ads and SERP listings.
Some factors to consider are:
Search volume – Using Google’s keyword tool you can find out the search volume for the keyword phrase with which the domain matches.
Cost – Most of the time premium domains are already grabbed and if they are available, they are very expensive.
.com – Domain with .com extension is very valuable.
Brandable Domain is Important
Now there is a bigger factor to consider than a domain having your targeted keyword in its name and it is its brandablity. Your brand is the most important factor and your domain name is a foundation for building of your brand on the web. Your domain name will be a way for the users to find, identify, remember and share your company name online. In search engines as well as social media, the domain name will act as a primary means which users will know to “whom” the link will connect them.
Though some marketers feel that SEO is all about keywords and link-building, actually Google likes brands. Therefore the first step to build a brand is to choose a brandable domain.
Finding a Great Domain Name
Finding a domain name can be difficult. In several cases, the most noticeable brandable domain names are registered already and are expensive. Following tips can be helpful:
- Make use of existing words. VitaminShoppe.com and Amazon.com are nice examples of domain names created with existing words. Take help of a thesaurus to find words that hardly come to mind.
- Form new words. Several renowned websites have new words in their names, like Google.com, Quora.com or Bing.com.
- Create a combination of two or more words to create a new word, which is called portmanteaus, e.g. Pinterest and Facebook.