Choosing a domain name for your business website is an important step in the website building process. Not will it make your site look more credible, but it will also help with name recognition, and is a great way to brand your business. Most businesses tend to choose a domain that matches their business name, however it may be more beneficial for site traffic if you choose a domain that includes a business keyword. In addition, it’s a great solution if the domain you want is not available.
Choosing a domain with a business keyword means including a potential search term in the URL of your website. For example if you’re a personal trainer, and you operate under your full name, you could have the custom domain www.yourname.com. Alternatively, you could include a term that potential customers could be browsing for on search engines, such as www.yournamepersonaltraining.com. Determine which domain for your personal trainer website based on for what keywords you’d like to rank.
There are a few reasons why adding a business keyword to your domain name is a good idea. Not only can it make the URL more memorable, it can also confirm to a potential customer that your site is relevant to them before they even click on your URL.
If you are running SEM campaigns, it has been proven that “ads featuring a generic domain name with an exact match to the product (ElectricBicycles.co.uk) performed significantly better than identical ads featuring an alternative generic (YourBikes.co.uk) or non-generic (InAHurry.co.uk) domain.” In this example, the ElectricBicycles.co.uk ads produced 45% more clicks than the YourBikes.co.uk ads and 105% more clicks than the InAHurry.co.uk ads – another great reason to include a keyword in your domain name.
Historically, if a specific keyword was used in a domain name, the site would rank higher for that keyword in search engines. More recently, search engines have made changes to their algorithms, meaning keyword rich domains have less of an impact on SEO. That being said, it is not necessarily a bad thing to include a keyword in your domain, provided that you do not sacrifice your branding.
Some other points to consider when contemplating adding a keyword to your domain:
- Does it make the URL too long? – A domain should be 15 characters or less.
- Is it brand building, easy to read, and memorable? – A memorable domain will help with brand building. Additionally, the more people remember your domain, the more visitors your website will attract. Sometimes, business names don’t fair well as URLS as is the case for these businesses.
- Don’t use hyphens – Adding hyphens to your domain can negatively affect your SEO, they also don’t look very professional and appear spammy. Avoid them whenever possible.
Have you given your website a custom domain name? How has it affected your SEO and site traffic?