One of the curses of working in online marketing is that you can’t enjoy a website for it’s own sake, or just look at a pay per click advert or banner with out critiquing it, and this includes the domain name.
Some domain names are so long no one stands a chance of remembering it, others are acronyms that leave no idea of what the site is about and a few are even misspelled. One of the key variables a search engine will look at when ranking your site is your domain name, and those containing a search keyword will get a nice ranking boost, so it is important you choose wisely.
If we use the example of a fictional greeting card company called ‘magic dreamers’ it may seem obvious to go with (this is an example, not a genuine domain name) www.magicdreamers.co.uk, and whilst this would rank highly for people searching for the keywords ‘magic’ and ‘dreamers’ most customers looking for a greeting card would search for something like:
- ‘Greeting cards’
- ‘Birthday cards’
- ‘Mothers day card’
The domain name ‘magicdreamers.co.uk’, doesn’t let the search engine know what the site is about is in any way. Any domain name with those keywords (e.g. www.greetingcard.com) will score highly, because it describes the site’s purpose perfectly and is therefore more relevant in the search engine’s eyes.
To help you research which domain name to register, one of the most useful free online tools for keyword analysis is Yahoo’s Overture keyword selector site: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/. Just type in a word or phrase related to your website, e.g. ‘greeting card’, and the program will show you how many searches were conducted containing that word or phrase during the previous month.
It is worth noting that having an excellent domain name alone won’t do the trick, but if it is coupled with keyword loaded content, in bound links and strong page titles, it could be the edge you need to make it to the top 10.
A quick check list for choosing your domain name:
- Keep it short
- Keep it descriptive
- Keep it memorable