A domain name is the basis of your online identity that represents a website or internet location. It’s how people remember and revisit your site. Domain names were created to make IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses more human-friendly. Once you register a domain name, you can use it as your website address or as an email address.
Your Domain Name IS Your Brand Name
In spite Google has frequently changed its algorithms, one thing that hasn’t changed and emphasized more, is original quality content, relevance and meet audience query. A component of this is your domain name – it’s unique, only you can have it.
Even though it may not directly impact your rankings anymore, a good domain name will give you more brand recognition, trust and higher click-through-rates (CTR).
In 2012, Google decided to downgrade those Exact Domain Name’s (EMD) websites that with little substance. In those days, businesses would essentially purchase keyword domains to rank for a particular keyword. And the Exact Domain Name was sufficient for them to rank: they hardly focused on quality content and relevance (two things that matter greatly for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) nowadays). That strategy no longer works.
So how should you decide on a domain name to maximize SEO? You need only do two things: choose a memorable brand name (to make your domain name) and pick a .com extension.
Google now cares more about brands for SEO than it does about keywords and links in the back days. For that reason, using your brand name is more important than keywords.
Therefore, be brandable and be as hip as you prefer. You need a brand that you adore and that impacts you. By the day’s end, your domain will be the long haul mark for your site and you need to like it.
In fact, the more customers are using your brand name to search for you online, the more your SEO and rankings will improve. This is referred to as brand signaling (any reference to your business online). Therefore, it is important to have a memorable brand name and consequently, a memorable domain name. For instance – “Apple for IPhone”, Orange for Telcom”
Don’t worry if your brand name contains a keyword, or in other words, is a PMD (partial match domain). That’s because Google is only penalized those spam sites with EMDs and PMDs – the actual problem isn’t the keywords, but rather the content and quality of the site. A PMD or EMD with bad user experience and low-quality content would experience a steep downgrade in rankings. Whereas, a PMD or EMD with great user experience and content would not be greatly affected and even get ranked highly.
However, if you are just starting out, you should go with a memorable brand name domain and try to avoid using keywords.
How To Choose a Brandable Domain Name
Choosing your domain name can be a bit of a process.
To keep things simple, when choosing a domain name for your website, consider the following:
1. Make it brandable, use your Brand. Brandable, meaning that when anyone see or hear the domain name, it sounds like a brand. Which means that hyphens and numbers are a real problem because they don’t sound like a brand. They sound generic, or strange.
2. Choose a domain that is easy to remember and write. Avoid domains with too many words, one to two words is preferable.
Keep it short and simple, 15 characters the most, catchy and memorable, and also make sure your domain name is easy to spell and easy to pronounce.
3. Avoid using hyphens or separators in the domain name. Try to avoid using a hyphen in your domain name. If you must use a hyphen to separate the words, don’t use more than one.
More often than not hyphens and numbers are misunderstood and forgotten.
4. Avoid misspelling words on purpose. It’s a no-no for branding
5. Exact match domains no longer have an advantage. Partial match domains are OK but a brand name is always more effective.
6. Opt for a .COM – this is the best top-level domain extension you can have. But if for some reason the .COM is taken you safely choose .NET or .ORG.
However, in order to optimize a local SEO website let says United Kingdom – and for that reason, you would want a .CO.UK domain extension.
7. Self Hosted domains are better. It’s better if your domain is hosted on your own website rather than using a subdomain from any other platform. For example, is better to have ‘yourdomain.com’ rather than ‘yourdomain.siterubix.com or yourdomain.medium.com’.
8. Domain age does matter. Older domains have an advantage in SEO over newer domains. It is easier to rank a website that is 5 or 6 years old than a brand new website. But make sure that domain is not being penalized by Google.
Of course besides the age of the domain, you have to take into account all the SEO factors, but other things being equal, the website that is ‘older’ will rank better than the newer website.
9. Do a domain name research first before purchasing to make sure that your domain name is not too close to someone else’s domain name (spelling and sounding alike) and absolutely make sure you’re not violating someone’s trademark and copyright.
Where To Get Your Domain Name?
I always recommend that you choose the “.com” version of a domain if possible as they tend to rank the best, you could also use other variations like .org, or .net of your ‘brand’ if you like, but it is not required.
To come up with lots of ideas, I recommend you to use Namecheap or GoDaddy.com. It is a completely free tool and I really enjoy using it to come up with “brand worthy” domain ideas and you can purchase it instantly.
How To Get A Domain Name And Hosting For Free
Did I mention it’s FREE!
Yes, it’s absolutely true. I recommend you to my #1 choice – Wealthy Affiliate (of which I am a Premium Member).
You’re welcomed to join me as a Free Starter Member and you will provide with 2 free websites and hosting to start your online business.
And don’t worry if you’ve never built a website. The wealthy affiliate has the most powerful web builder called SiteRubix in which you can set up a website in less than 30 seconds. Literally.
But there is so much more wealthy affiliate has to help start building a thriving online business. Including step by step training to build your online business, 24/7 support, tools and additional resources. You can check out everything Wealthy Affiliate has to offer you right here.
And what I really like about buying a domain through wealthy affiliate is that it includes unlimited email, WHOis privacy protection, Domain security and DNS Automation, all that for only $13.99 per year when other registrars charged for the additional features.
Remember you’re building your affiliate business for a lifetime! So choose wisely do your due diligence research.
I hope you found this information helpful. If so, feel free to share it with your audience, and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.