Your domain name is how people find you or your brand online. Therefore, it’s essential to dedicated much thought to choosing one. Among the important factors to focus on is search engine optimisation (SEO). In fact, Google search algorithm featuresa good number of domain factors, and if you truly desire online success for your brand, then you must not neglect integrating those domain ranking factors in your domain name.
Below are four tips to consider when optimising your domain name for search engine.
- Avoid Exact Match Domain Name (EMD)
Also called keyword domains, exact-match domains are domain names that are made up of keyword phrases. For instance, using CoolPhoneApps.com in a bid to rank high for the phrase “cool phone apps”.
There was a time using an exact match domain name was a viable shortcut to ranking high on search engine. Even with low quality content, many webmasters (especially micro niche bloggers) were able to secure a place on google search front page for their websites. But then since Google rolled out a new update in their algorithm in 2012, life has been a nightmare for some of these webmasters. In fact, a report suggested that some EMDs dropped out from the top ten ranking spots for the various keywords associated with their domains while some others dropped out of the top 100 spot.
If, however, you feel you must use an exact match domain, don’t expect it to land you on google search front page. You would still need to implement proper SEO on your website, and your content also needs to be authentic.
- Use Keyword as a Part of Your Domain
Some people believe that incorporating their keyword in their domain will help their website rank better on Google search, and they are right, although there’s no clear indication that it hasany earthshattering positive impact on search ranking.However, Google search ranking factors does include four instances of keyword in domain:
- Keyword in top level domain.
- Keyword as your domain’s first word.
- Keyword in subdomain—as inwww.keyword.yourdomain.com.
- Exact match domain when your site isn’t of low-quality
An undeniable fact remains that whether or not your keywords are integrated in your domain, Google search will eventually learn to match them with your brand name as your site’s authority and content grow. This suggests that your brand name pulls more weight than your domain name and that your domain name should aim more to reflect it rather than your keyword.
- Leverage Your Brand Name
According to the Marketing Manager at Domain4less, a domain registrar in New Zealand, “A very simple and safe way to decide on a domain for your website is to use your brand name.”
This is because your brand name is how customers will search for you online, and with it as your domain name, a good percentage of your site’s traffic can originate from navigational search queries (that is, search queries executed with the intention to find a specific webpage or site).
For instance, if your brand name is Techman and your domain Techman.com, with time and as you regularly publish more content on your site, you may begin to notice that when you Google “techman”, your webpages will show up on the first page. Your website can even monopolise that search term if your brand name is very unique.
Brands like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, which use their brand name as their domain,all dominate search front page whenever their names are searched for on google. You too can do the same for your brand.
- The [Dot]Com Extension Still Rules
Despite that there are over eight hundred domain extensions currently available, the [dot]com TLD remains the most common. When returning customers or even new ones want to access your site, chances are that those who don’t remember or know your domain extension will simply type in YourBrandName.com. Thus, to ensure that they land on your website, favour [dot]com over other extensions.
The logic here is that as type-in traffic to your site increases, the website will grow in popularity and authority and also garner brand signals and backlinks. This can all come together to positively impact your search ranking.
However, if you are going to use another TLD, you might want to avoid ones like [dot]us and [dot]biz, which are popular among spammers. In addition, consider using country code TLDs like [dot]nz and [dot]co.uk, if your brand is location-specific. According to Google, it uses ccTLDs to geotag websites that use them. This means that your website will rank higher for relevant searches originating on the country whose ccTLD your domain uses.
There you have it. Keep these four tips in mind when creating a domain name for your brand and watch your search ranking grow for good. Learn more about choosing a domain name here.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.