How to choose a domain name for SEO
Some of you may have read a previous post of mine, ‘Importance of a domain name to SEO?‘. In this post I outlined the importance of having a domain name relevant to your target audience. Please do not get me wrong, there are many ways to improve your search rankings without having a domain name relevant to your Internet Market. It does however definitely help. Have a look at my article, ‘Importance of a domain name to SEO?‘ to see why.
When choosing a domain name there are a number of considerations you must keep in mind.
Keyword/Keyphrase Analysis – Geographical Location – Target Audience – Availability
Keyword/Keyphrase Analysis - Now this topic can very easily be covered by 10 articles on its own and you still would barely scratch the surface of the subject. In brief it boils down to two things:
* If a visitor cannot find you, you get very little if any website traffic
* Your website visitors may not necessarily search for terms you may think
Take for example SEO (Search Engine Optimization). To those of us familiar with this market the term ‘SEO’ is the most obvious and common term used when speaking about the subject. A potential customer of an SEO firm however, who knows nothing of the subject may search for ‘Internet Marketing‘ or ‘Website Promotion‘.
Google have available an easy to use and simplistic Keyword Analysis tool for their Google Adwords service. This can give you a rough idea in the first instance as to what keywords/keyphrases are popular, along with the amount of monthly searches performed for your proposed keyword/keyphrase.
Much more analysis may be required but as a starting point the above tool can help to point you in the right direction.
Geographical Location - It may be obvious to some but registering a .com.au (Australian) domain name when you’re located in the .co.uk (UK) area is a bit of a silly move. Search Engines algorithms are constantly evolving and more and more these days geographical location is becoming very important. Search for something in Google.com in the UK and you will almost never find a local result from a different country.
There are many domain names available such as .biz, .tv, .mobi etc. If you had a domain of .tv for instance and hosted it in America, unless you did a lot of localized SEO work you may very well be assumed to be in Tuvalu, an island near Fuji. Tuvalu is the local origin of the .tv domain.
If your website covers many worldwide locations the most obvious and globally known domain would be a .com. You could also consider running multiple domains with localized SEO work in each country location.
Target Audience - Linked in with my previous article ‘Importance of a domain name to SEO?‘ your target audience must be considered when choosing a domain name. An easy to remember, easy to type name with SEO benefits would be best, ideally no longer than 12-15 characters long in my opinion. I have worked for companies in the past who had nightmares with hugely long internet links and email addresses. Headaches which applied to not only their website but also to offline marketing such as business card printing and brochures. How many times could you type ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ before losing the will to live I wonder…?
Availability - It goes without saying that you cannot register a domain name that is already registered to someone else. If you Google ‘domain registration’ you will find a number of domain registration companies, many of whom offer alternative suggestions and alternate suggestions.
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