If you would like to improve your site’s ranking, it is imperative to choose the right URL and domain name. Besides being the destination where your visitors will land, the domain name plays a significant role in search visibility. In the recent times, there has been an upsurge in the availability of domain names. However, it is still important to adhere to certain considerations if you want to experience best results.
As at August 2017, ICANN had recognized 1,547 top-level domains (TLDs). Although it is good news for those interested in websites, it does not imply that selecting the best domain name is now easier. To make sure you choose the perfect domain name for your business, reflect on these ten points.
1. Consider the keywords
Before logging into your preferred domain registrar, take time to brainstorm. Having three to five keywords in mind will help ease the exercise. A keyword in this context is defined as a word or phrase that describes what you do. Mix and match them to determine what is closest to your business’s objective and what makes sense. Avoid forcing words to fit in; but rather allow them to flow well.
Let’s say you run a local grocery, some of your keywords can be fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, groceries near you and so on. It is advisable to use suffixes and prefixes to aid in creating an attractive domain name. For instance, a grocery store URL can be greatfreshgroceries.com.
2. Make it exceptional
Your domain name is a large chunk of your brand. Therefore, making it stand out should be among the top of your agenda, as it is vital to you and your clients. One trick is getting a domain name that represents that of a popular brand since it may lead to confusion, which will be good for your brand.
While trying to be unique, do not overdo it. A good example as cited in the book, “The Art of SEO” is that of the site Flickr.com. The site owners went for Flickr instead of Flicker, a spelling mistake they hoped would raise their traffic. The domain failed and they ended up losing traffic, to the point that they had to purchase the correctly spelled site flicker.com.
3. Get a.COM
If you are committed to building a long-term brand online, there is nothing better than a.COM URL. You can go for a 301-redirect to drive traffic to .org or .net site, but having a .com or the counterpart TLD for your target industry is vital.
There are many benefits of having a .COM website, but one of the most critical reasons is for your users. Although thousands of TLDs are available; .COM remains the most trusted. Many users are not aware of the availability of other TLDs thus they hesitate to check them out when they see one. Allow your users to have an easy time by choosing .COM.
4. Make it memorable
Word of mouth has stood out as a top marketing technique until today. If you want your brand to be known faster, make sure your domain can be memorized easily. There is no point of having a great website that clients cannot remember quickly.
5. It should be easy to type
If people have a hard time typing your URL, they will not bother accessing your website. Therefore, avoid long URL strings and those that are hard to type as well, since they can be frustrating to your clients. A lot of people are tempted to have long URLs because it is easier to add a nice keyword to it. However, the user will be affected negatively, and you will be the one to suffer in the end.
6. Create and meet expectations
Think of what you would want the end user to feel or relate with when they hear the URL for the first time. If they cannot grasp who you are or what you do, the domain name is inappropriate. For instance, sites like Google and Amazon sound cool, but it takes a lot of marketing effort and investment to make them work. On the other hand, it is easy to know what sites like Homes.com and NYtimes.com are all about.
7. Keep it short
Short URLs are easy to type and recall. They also make it possible for more URL to show up in the SERPs and fit better on business cards. They also look more elaborate in other offline media.
8. Avoid falling for trends
Something could be trending today, and the next day it ceases being popular. Do not go copying current trends or what other people are doing, because it might lead you to the wrong path. Keep off odd spellings and lots of numbers and hyphens. Ensure it is focused, easy to remember and simple.
9. Build your brand
If you cannot find a domain that shows your expectations, use the branding rule to distinguish yourself. Using an exclusive moniker has proven helpful in building your brand. You ought to note that for the sake of brand building, it might take longer to gain attraction that if you had gone for a simpler and more straightforward domain. As long as branding is done correctly, it will pay off in the long run.
10. Consider using a domain selection tool
In case you are having a difficult time figuring out the right domain name, worry not, there are tools to help you get there. You can use a domain selection tool to guide you in selecting the domain name that suits your needs best. A quick internet search will bring forth results that will lead you to these tools. Remember to stick to the advice given above even when utilizing these tools.
To crown it all, keep in mind that your domain determines how well your business fairs online. The same way in real estate location matters so is a domain name to the end user and search engines. It explains your business, its objectives and functions. Do not just pick a domain name from what is available, but be keen and follow the steps outlined above. You will not regret!