Choosing a Domain Name that Works for You and Google

If your business is just starting out or going through a radical rebrand, you’ll be only to aware of the importance of choosing a domain name that works for both internet users, and search engines. This balance isn’t always easy to achieve. Humans respond better to domains that are short, memorable and unique, while search engines respond to domains that are semantically relevant to your service and industry.

Domain name

Whether through social media or search, the Web is where a huge number of prospective customers will first discover your business. In order to make the most of the opportunities afforded to you by these platforms, businesses must appeal to user psyche, while also supplying search engines with the topic relevancy needed rank highly in search engine results.

Translate your business name into a domain name

Consistency is a huge part of successful branding. It goes without saying, therefore, having a domain name that matches the name of your company is ideal. This will enable users to find your company easily through search, and can even help search engines make connections when your business is mentioned elsewhere on the Web.

In order to achieve this, you need a business name that translates into a simple, effective domain name. If you’re building a brand from the ground up, you may be in position to purchase a business name that does just that. Domain marketplaces are becoming an increasingly popular way for ventures to find names which convey brand identity and business services in a single word.

Novanym are one such marketplace. Their branding experts aim to create cool company name ideas that allude to the industry they represent just enough for search engines and users to understand the business. At the same time they’re uniquely memorable. One of the key concepts in this creative process is steering clear of overly descriptive names, which can limit and confuse what the website ranks for in search.

Keywords won’t make your domain name any more readable to search engines

Back in the day, the best domains that worked for Google were exact-match domains (EMDs). So if you wanted to do well for the keywords ‘cheap nokia phones’, would simply buy the domain www.cheapnokiaphones.com.

Keywords in domain names aren’t as helpful to SEO as they used to be, and Google and other search engines now use algorithms to associate your brand name with your keywords based on the content on your site and other websites linking to it. In fact, using keywords in your domain can hinder your online searchability because 1) search engines see this as the mark of a spammy website 2) a Google search for your domain name will likely return results for competitors who are targeting those same keywords.

Say, for example, you choose the domain name www.winmoneyonline.co.uk, a Google search for ‘winmoneyonline’ returns results for these sites too:

In fact, because Google’s algorithms prioritise quality content on your site, the website with the domain name www.winmoneyonline.co.uk is only the 10th most relevant result. We’ll assume that’s because the sites that rank higher contain content that is more semantically relevant to the search term ‘win money online’.

Domain name

Choose a business and domain name that works for both you and Google

With all the aforementioned points on board, the case for choosing a domain name that matches your business name is clear. A website name needn’t be descriptive, so long as the content on your site is strong enough to convey what it is your business does. The key to both business and domain names, then, is branding, which leaves a little more scope to experiment.

Portmanteaus (words whose form and meaning are derived from a combination of two or more other words) such as ‘Pinterest’ form unique, distinctive business and domain names. Puns are another popular technique. Tweaking spelling to create a business and domain name that is a pun can have marketing benefits too, as humour is a sure fire way to generate conversation about your business.

However, with both portmanteaus and puns there is a risk that the name you create will be too obscure. Can readers actually tell what your domain name is or what it represents? If it’s not immediately obvious then it could be game over. You’ll also need to choose a domain name that sounds authoritative. Internet users have a clear preference for a domain name that sounds credible and trustworthy, which means staying away from anything too crude.

So keep it short and simple; the top 10,000 websites have on average eight characters in their domain names. And search engines struggle to understand punctuation—in fact, only hyphens are permitted in a domain name, and too many of those can be seen as spammy—so single word domains are often the best choice too.

Bear all this in mind, and you’re sure to choose a domain name that helps your business and it’s website soar to success.

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