There is a right way and a wrong way to use keywords in your domain name. Unfortunately, far too many companies fall into the wrong mindset when it comes to choosing domains with keywords and believe that stuffing a name with searchable terms (like: keyword1keyword2keyword3.com) will provide a lot of value and help them rank on Google.
A premium domain name can have some impact on how the search engines view your website and what level of relevance they attribute to you. However, just appearing on the first page of the search engine results isn’t enough to really grow your business. Your customers have to have a reason to click your listing rather than the competition.
The key to effectively use keywords in your domain name is not to go for the lengthy, keyword-stuffed phrases, but to consider how you can use those terms to approach your target audience and create a memorable brand. When you can establish yourself as a recognizable and trustworthy brand, your audience will have no problem clicking through to your site and doing business with you.
Target Your Audience
Think about who you want to visit your website and how you’ll attract them. Companies with extensive marketing budgets can afford to market their brand names, such as Amazon, BestBuy, and Target. They are short, easy to remember, and the constant barrage of such names get branded into the target audience’s minds. This means when they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll think of those companies first.
This is the kind of branding you want to imitate by choosing an effective domain name. Someone who is looking for products or services from a company named “goods” is more likely to find what they need online with the domain name “goods.com” than “goods4you.com.”
Keep it short and sweet, but make sure your domain conveys the relevance and value that you offer to a specific audience.
Can This Be Done with a Smaller Advertising Budget?
What about smaller businesses that do not have a vast amount of money to throw at their advertising budget? Does this mean you can’t pick a unique but irrelevant name and build a brand around it?
This is where online campaigns come into play. Quality content can be key for smaller businesses, and in these cases you can focus less on the keywords and more on the types of content you are providing. The nature of your domain name may not play as big of a role as you may think. However, keywords within a URL can help shape your corporate identity and help customers recognize you for what you are.
How to Select a Successful Domain Name
Once you select a domain name, it is fairly permanent. However, with Google’s Webmaster Tools it has become easier to move or re-index your site should you want to change your domain name. But, choosing the right one the first go around will help you firmly establish your name within the marketplace. So, choose wisely.
How Search Engines Treat Keywords in Domain Names
Exact match keywords in your domain name may not be quite the ranking factor that they used to be, but the major search engines do still look at them when they are weighing the relevance of your site.
Keywords in your domain name are more important than just a potential rankings boost. You need to think about how much actual traffic you will get from potential customers seeing and recognizing the terms they searched for. You may not have a brand like “BestBuy” or “Target” yet, but you can get a lot of recognition just by having the right words in your domain – the words that people are actually searching for.
How Google’s Search Engine Updates Will Affect Your Domain Name
In 2013 Keyword Planner officially replaced Google’s Keyword Tool. Keyword Planner comes with features that can be used to find new keywords and ad group ideas, get performance estimates, and add them to your campaigns. However, Google’s PageRank toolbar has remained the same since February 2013. History shows that toolbars are usually updated every three months. When asked about this, Google simply responds with “no comment.” The theory is that toolbars may soon be obsolete.
So with Google changing everything on different occasions, will their updates impact the effectiveness of your domain name?
The algorithms that could potentially affect domain names could, theoretically, get updated on a regular basis. However, relevance never changes, and a strong brand always carries a lot of weight. So if you’ve chosen an effective domain and built a strong domain brand around it, it can survive the changes.
Domain Names Count, But Quality Content is Key
The quality of a site’s content can make or break how a search engine ranks your company’s website. Many spend too much of their time focusing on search engine technicalities, but high-quality content, usable web designs, and effective advertising can promote your business and turn your website into something people and search engines will want to discover.
Exact match keywords are not always necessary when it comes to choosing a domain name. At the same time, being overly creative with your domain name may have difficulty attracting customers. If the name is easy to remember and makes it obvious as to what your business is about, that is what really counts, and when you can immediately show customers the value and relevance of your site, it will be much more effective.