How to choose a SEO friendly domain name
Domains are the Internets “real estate”. By this we mean: “Location, Location, Location”. Therefore, you must be especially careful when making an investment in a domain, because it will be the image of your business in the future, and if you want to move you have to start from scratch all the work done in SEO and SEM until then.
Why would I want a domain that’s SEO friendly?
The main characteristic of a great domain is the income that it can generate. It’s all about the money … and money doesn’t make itself, ads make money. The add income increases when you have more visitors on the site (they are directly proportional). The number of visitors increases if you have good SEO (this costs, unless you know how to do it, so money again makes its way in the equation). After you spend some money on SEO (or you’ve done it yourself with a lot of time spent) you have incoming visitors, thus you have add income… and this is how you enter an infinite loop.
Briefly: 1. visitors > 2.ads> 3. money> 4. SEO> 1. visitors…
Here are seven features on how to choose a great domain name.
- The length of the domain (name length)
Yes, size does matter. Here, in the world of web domains the shorter the better! It is no coincidence that the majority of .com domains, 3 or 4 characters long, are taken. The length of a domain name is not limited, but the shorter the better (it’s recommended to have less than 10 characters). A domain name consisting of a single word of average length is considered “gold”, one of two words is acceptable and one of 3 words … let’s just say, it’s not a great idea.
- It’s easy to remember
A great domain name is one that you can easily remember (ex. Asd.com, win-money.com). The first example is shorter meaning it’s great for search engine “crawlers”, but when you address advertising directly to people, the second site is easier to remember.
“.com” is best if you do not have an exact target. “.com” is already very well known all over the Internet (here we refer to users). Users, who use search engines, are paying attention to the name of the site (only the name, not the domain extension), and next time they want to visit the site directly they’ll most likely type “.com” after the name they remember.
If your site targets a clearly defined geographical area, it is best to choose the domain name after the area (“.co.uk” – United Kingdom “.us” – USA, “.it” – Italy etc.). If the website represents an organization you might want to turn to “.org”, and if it represents the image of an IT company a “.net” domain extension is a good choice.
- The domain age
If we go by the statistics calculated by 37 SEO experts (read on SEOmoz) a domains age is the 4th most important element in SEO for a site. They said this: even though spammers register a domain, the site is quickly taken down by the admins. A site that has something important to present to its users, will keep the original domain name (and even pay ahead for several years). So the age of the site denotes the seriousness of the owner.
(A domain age is not calculated from the point that the domain was bought, but when it first had index-able content)
- It has a descriptive name
It sounds pompous, but it is not 🙂 It’s easy to guess what you’ll find on a website like “tv-guide.com”. For a domain name to be good it needs to be linked to the website’s content. It’s useless if you buy an old, short domain name if you, for example get “cars.com” and on the website you post news about selling stamp collections.
- It can be written easily
Surely you don’t want your users to misspell the domain name. To avoid this problem, it’s recommended to choose a name that’s familiar to the users who will address it. For example: if we choose a name for a cappuccino distributor, we name it “CappuccinoBar.com”. Users who are only speaking English might have trouble spelling a word in Italian.
- It does not contain numbers or dashes (- or _)
The old domains that contain numbers or dashes are cheaper for a single cause. Most people forget to add dashes especially if it’s the first time they access it. If we take, for example, “tech-world.com” everyone will retain the words “tech” and “world”. After a short time, if they want to access the site again (assuming they are not a constant visitor of the website) they’ll forget to put the “–“ dash. Why? Because the human brain works like that 🙂 As a solution, the owner of “tech-world.com” bought “techworld.com” so users who forgot the entire domain name, will access the same site (via a 301 redirect).
Now that you’ve read the article you may be thinking “I was a sucker, I bought without thinking all is lost, bla bla”. It’s not like that. If SEO is done correctly and intensely, the name will only be a small step (it may, sometimes, even be neglected). Or you can always invest in a new domain name bought by the criteria above.