Category: Domains


The question, ‘What’s in a name?’ gets used in many contexts, but when we are discussing SEO, it normally refers to the domain name of a website. In particular, the biggest debate surrounds whether you should use one or more of your main keywords in your domain name.

Several years ago, the answer would have been a resounding ‘Yes’ because having an exact match keyword in a domain name carried a lot of weight in Google’s ranking algorithm. Where this caused a problem for Google was a plethora of websites, many of them spammy, springing up using exact match domains, getting a good ranking, but offering little else in terms of relative or quality content.

Google soon realised this was bringing the quality of their search results down, and so they acted. In 2012 their algorithm was altered so that the spammy sites we mentioned did not benefit from their keyword domain. This also impacted some sites that would be regarded as not spammy, and since then there has been some confusion about whether having a keyword or exact match domain helps or hinders.

There have been several case studies and lots of comprehensive SEO testing to establish whether keywords in domain names make any difference to ranking. Whilst there are some variances on the scale, it is generally agreed that it can be positive, but with several caveats.

The first of these is that the amount a keyword in a domain name will influence a website’s ranking is limited, especially when compared to other factors like backlinks. It could tip the balance if all other factors were equal compared to another website, but it is not going to jump you from the bottom to the top of page one on Google.

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The number of factors that affect the SEO of websites not only increases on a regular basis, they also change frequently. Some are complicated, and others are straightforward. One factor that you might think has little or no impact is the domain name of your website, however, it does play an important part. Here are 7 tips which can help to improve your SEO efforts and your Google ranking when choosing your domain name correctly.

Keep Your Domain Name Length To 15 Characters Or Less.
If you were to analyse the domain names of the top 100,000 ranked websites on Google, you will find that their average length is 9 characters or less. Shorter domains names are much easier to remember and share in terms of people passing on or recommending your website. For example, compare www thebusinessandinvestmenttoptipswebsite.com to www.biztips.com. and it is clear the latter is far more desirable.

Check To See If Your Domain Is Available On All Your Social Media Channels.
Choosing the right domain name with the huge and ever-increasing importance of social media, it is no surprise that it plays a role in Google rankings. The authority of sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, means that having a presence on them and other social media sites can boost your SEO efforts.

For this reason, you should first check to see if any of the domain names you are considering are also available on social media platforms. A great tool for this is ‘knowem.com’ where you can enter a name and it will check hundreds of social media sites to see if it is still available or not.

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