Your domain name matters. Even if two websites are both selling shoes, shinyredstilettos.com will attract a much different crowd than genuineclownshoes.org. Most people know that their domain name will determine the kinds of visitors they get, but what a lot of people don’t know is that your domain name is connected to your SEO.
What’s a domain name?
Your domain name is the name of your website. (For instance, our domain name is yourwebsite.com.) It’s what visitors will type into their browsers if they want to go directly to your site.
How are domain names connected to SEO?
Your domain name is an important part of Search Engine Optimization. When visitors see your domain name in a crowd of websites that are all relevant to their web search, one of the factors that’s going to get you clicks is…you guessed it: your domain name. An SEO domain name is crucial for helping your website to stand out.
Top 8 tips for creating an SEO domain name
1. Choose the right extension
Your extension (also called a Top-Level Domain or a domain suffix) is the part of your domain name that appears at the end. Our domain extension is “.com”, but other popular extensions are “.org”, “.biz”, “.edu”, and “.gov”. You can even get country-specific extensions like “.ca” (Canada) or “.fr” (France), and even novelty ones like “.online” and “.xyz”.
Your domain extension is an important part of your brand. The most popular domain extensions are popular for a reason. They tend to instil more trust in your visitors, so choose a popular extension like “.com” if you want instant credibility.
But you can also use novelty domain names to brilliant effect. For instance, if your brand is called Read Books Online, you might want to choose the extension “.online”, so you can make the domain extension more memorable (readbooks.online).
2. Keep it short and sweet
The longer the domain name, the greater the potential for misspellings and misremembering. The best domain names have no more than three words. Longer domain names might stand out in search results, but that might get you only one click. You need your visitors to remember your domain name if you want them to keep coming back to your website. So, unless you can find a way to make your domain name long and memorable, try to keep your domain name as short as possible.
3. Keep it simple
Avoid numbers, hyphens, and frequently misspelled words. You don’t want your visitors to run into a roadblock because they can’t remember how to spell “license” or “necessary”. Try to use words that are easy to spell. (You can even do a quick search for frequently misspelled words, just to make sure that none of the words in your would-be domain name are included on the list.)
4. Use memory tricks
Memory tricks work when you’re cramming for the SATs, and they work for creating domain names.
Rhyming, alliteration, and hilarious imagery are all great ways to make your domain name more memorable.
Visitors are more likely to remember frogonalog.com than they are to remember toadonastick.com. Whenever you can, try to sneakily incorporate a memory aid into your domain name, so your visitors can’t help remembering it.
5. Make it evocative
It’ll be easier to create an SEO domain name if your domain name makes it obvious what visitors are likely to encounter on your website. Not only is this a great way to create an SEO domain name, but it’s also a great way to save time writing your “About” page.
6. Add a keyword
This doesn’t mean you should stuff your domain with keywords that are barely related to each other. You should still follow the tips about making your domain name short and memorable. But it won’t hurt to add a keyword to your domain name. Not only will this make your domain name more evocative, but it will also help your website rank higher in search engines.
7. Match URLs to your page titles
URLs can be ghastly, unreadable things. Most URLs are full of unrelated numbers and symbols that visitors don’t even bother trying to decipher. Matching your URLs to your page titles is a great way to make visitors feel more at ease (even if they don’t realize why they feel more comfortable on your website), and it’s also a great way to create an SEO domain.
8. Install an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate encrypts data that your visitors enter into your website. When you install an SSL certificate, your visitors’ browsers give them visual signals that it’s safe to visit your website. It’s pointless to do all the hard work of creating an SEO domain only to undo it by having your visitors’ browsers warn them that your website is unsafe. So, be sure to safeguard your SEO domain by installing an SSL certificate.
Your domain name is the one part of your website that your visitors absolutely need to remember. To create a memorable SEO domain name, keep your it short, simple, and super easy to type! And for the love of all that is good, install an SSL certificate.