“A good domain name is worth a thousand clicks.” Seventy Nine PR, December 9th, 2011
So you want to start an online business. Your business name has been decided. Then you go to find a relevant domain name. Shock! Horror! Someone’s already taking it. All variants of it as well.
We cannot stress enough how much our SEO guys stress the web developers to stress the importance of a relevant domain name to clients everyday. Confused? Good read on.
When you’re starting up a business, you need to consider two main things: the name of your company and the name of your domain. You might want to think long term about SEO content and the exact match domains before you just randomly pick a brand name for your product or service.
When a person starts a search with a search engine, the search engine results focuses on exact match domains (EMDs) first and foremost. This is a frequently discussed topic and many SEOs are saying that it isn’t a very important factor for the future of SEO content.
The reason for this is because there are so many other things a website can do to increase their weight, often weighing in with higher ranks than some of the more well-known brands of the world.
Industries are Still Dominated by EMDs
With all of that said about the ability to rank higher, the truth is that many industries and niches are still being dominated by the exact matching of a domain. In the long-term, this isn’t going to be the case but it still is reality for now.
There are affiliates and brands who use EMDs but there are also ones that don’t use a branded name that constantly get more hits. For example, there is a home and garden retailer in the UK that uses diy.com. These rank higher because they instantly provide an exact match query for so many different things.
The best bet is if a company can do both. This means getting a good exact match domain and building a brand through SEO content and other features. This will give you the strongest position for rankings right now as well as for the long term. The rankings will be based on the exact match queries as well as your efforts for building a brand.
Google is very crowded, so it’s worth considering some options with a brand name to make it search engine friendly. People may type your brand name into the search engine instead of in the address bar, too, which means you need to rank the highest for your business or you’re losing customers over to your competition.
Focus on the Word Choice
All of those everyday words should be avoided, unless you absolutely have to have them for your business. You want to avoid competing with as many organisations in search engine results as possible.
An everyday word will only work if you have the budget to work at keeping your website highly ranked. Think about your names, too. If your last name is “McDonald” think about picking a different name for your business because the fast food chain is going to make it nearly impossible to compete with.
Think About Your Domain Name
If at all possible, your web address and company name should be the same. If you can’t get it to be the exact same, your company name should at least be part of the web address, even if there’s a number before or after it. This will help you rank better.
Now, make sure you check the domain’s availability. You may want to find a domain and then name your business so that you have more flexibility to get those ranks that you really want. You may even be able to get a great keyword based domain and use that as your business name, too.
Google is not the be all for domains. If you have to choose a different brand name or domain name, don’t get too caught up on it. Just make sure your SEO agency is working for you.
You should try to secure the common top level domain names (TLDs) to build a great domain. This means that you should try to get as many domains as possible. Example would be if you already have a .co.uk domain, try and get the .com and .net versions, too.
This will get rid of your competition taking these names and help you avoid any kind of legal case or bidding war for the domains down the road.
The Google algorithm is also rumoured to use the length of time the domain name has been registered for, however this does not hold much truth. As long as you get a domain, just don’t let it expire and you’ll be fine.
Use Paid Search When You Have To
Struggling to optimise a domain can be difficult. With Paid Search, you will appear at the top and/or the side of people’s relevant search results. So while you may not be able to get the ranking your name deserves, you can at least start to help yourself.
There is no website that cannot benefit from optimization however. Targeting local searches and highly specific keywords is the way to go.
Focus on ranking with your own name above all else, even for the long term.
“Get what your business does/sells/offers into the domain name,” shouts our SEO expert as we are writing this post.
If you sell windows, get this in your domain name. It will help.
For more tips, get in touch with us including an SEO audit of your website. You’ll be amazed what we find and what we can do to help. Ask our clients.