Besides setting up a beautiful and fast website, you need a reliable domain name. Coming up with a name must be one of your priorities. It sounds easy, but it isn’t.
Your domain name will serve as the foundation for your website. It will make you distinguishable from other websites. At the same time, your domain will play an integral role in your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). No wonder a lot of experienced website owners want to find the best domain name for their sites.
To help you, I will share ten SEO best practices for domains!
1. Do a Domain Name Availability Search
I highly suggest doing a domain name availability search first before anything else. Here, you will have an idea of whether your chosen name is available or not. It will be frustrating to have a domain in mind to find out later that it is already unavailable.
In case your domain name is already taken, you can start formulating new ones. And as you formulate a domain, make sure to double-check the availability, so you can go back to choosing a new (and better) name. In the end, you want to find a domain name available for your site.
2. Pick a Reliable TLD (Top Level Domain)
Most site owners will agree that a domain name that ends with “.com” is the best one. If you were able to find one that includes your preferred keyword, make sure to avail it. Why? It is the easiest and most remembered TLD by people. Since “.com” is commonly used, it also carries a better value than other TLDs.
However, using an uncommon TLD will not hurt your overall search presence. Remember that domain name is only one part that pushes your SEO boost. There are other factors to consider when aiming for the top page. You can start by checking out various tips for better website performance.
Though, “.com” still remains a desirable TLD thanks to aged brands. Most of the brands that rank higher in search pages use “.com” for their domain name. These websites have been using this TLD for a long time, cementing their reputation.
Note that “.com” is not the only TLD available. You have other choices such as “.org” and “.net.” If you want to secure the domain name for your site, the best way to do that is to register yourself as the owner.
3. Find a Domain Name That Includes Industry Keywords
No one knows all the details on how Search Engine algorithms work. These algorithms are a complicated process that seem to change every once in a while. However, one thing is for sure about the algorithm. It pays attention to the words used on your site page. And, your site’s URL weighs more in algorithm calculations.
A domain name that has the primary keyword gets a better SEO boost. For this reason, it follows that domain names with industry keywords are most likely taken. These domain names are either being used or being resold for a higher price.
However, if you are lucky enough to find a domain with a primary keyword, make sure to take a second look before purchasing. Some of these domain names are not taken as they sound confusing or spammy.
4. Why Not Go For a Brand Name Keyword Instead
There are few domain names with industry keywords available. However, these domains may be a bit expensive. So, instead of spending an extra hundred dollars on it, why not go for a brand keyword instead? A lot of site owners have been finding keywords with their brand names on them.
If you don’t have a brand name yet, you can find keywords related to your industry. You can start by searching synonyms or related words. However, you are free to choose the word that works for you.
5. Keywords Are King but Don’t Overdo It
Industry keywords are not SEO shortcuts. Keywords are important, but it does not excuse you from overusing them. Some site owners want an immediate result, but this is not always the case.
As mentioned, the SEO algorithm changes from time to time. So, don’t expect your domain name “cheapshirts.com” to keep popping up every search. Google does not give a site a high ranking in the search results only because of the domain name. Sites that provide value to the visitors are ranked highest.
So, in choosing a keyword for your domain, pick one that has SEO value. Once again, do not overdo the use of keywords. Find the keywords that will fit your brand. Look at it from the perspective of a potential audience. They want to visit a site with a respectable name on it. Not a website that has a sketchy-sounding domain name.
6. Create a Domain Name That Everyone Will Remember
Remember, the best name is one that your visitors can easily remember. It is something they can immediately search for when they want to visit again. Even though you might have the most keyword-focused domain name, it could be either too wordy or complicated to be remembered. So, most likely, people will forget about your name.
Find a perfect balance for your domain name by thinking of your audience. Will your visitors remember your site after leaving?
7. Make It Straight to the Point
In connection to what was mentioned above, make your domain name straightforward. It would be better if you were able to create a simple and short one. People prefer typing short URLs to longer ones. Shorter domain names are easier to remember.
And by now, you notice that most popular sites have short domain names. When I say make it straight to the point, it does not mean your domain name is summarising your site. It should just be sufficient that it provides an idea of what your brand is.
8. Maintain Your Site on One Domain
Building authority on one domain name is already difficult. So, imagine having multiple domains for your website. More likely than not, you do not need more than one. Spend your time (and money) building value on your website.
Pick the best domain name for your website, and be consistent in using it. You could use another domain when you are planning to introduce another set of products. Just remember, having multiple domain names doing the same thing can confuse visitors.
9. Avoid using Hyphens
As a fast rule, avoid using hyphens for your name. Your returning visitors may remember your domain but forget about the hyphens. It can lead them to visit another site with a similar name as yours.
At the same time, hyphens tend to correlate with spammy behaviours. However, if you really want to use a hyphen, then limit it to one.
10. Don’t Overthink Your Domain Name
Lastly, do not overthink your domain. Assuming you were not able to come up with a name immediately, that is okay. Most hosting sites offer free domain names. You can change it anytime afterward.
Sometimes, site owners change their domain. Some of them do it as they want to rebrand their site. As for the age of your domain, it does not really affect your SEO. Regardless if your domain name is a six-month or ten-year domain name, it does not matter.
Your domain name will serve as the main face of your site. At the same time, it can affect your site’s overall Search Engine Optimisation success. And, if you’re struggling with coming up with one, just follow our tips.
Remember, a great domain must have the following: memorability, simplicity and brand. In the end, you wanted visitors to remember your site. And as mentioned, you cannot have the best domain name immediately. So take your time, and learn what will work for you.