Last Updated: 2 weeks ago by BrodNeil
- What is a domain name and why is it important?
- So the question is: How do we choose our domain names?
- Keyword-Rich Domain vs. Brandable Domain
- Here are more pointers for choosing a domain name:
- Best Practices in Identifying a Domain Name
- My Preference
- Which is a better prefix domain for SEO: WWW or non-WWW?
- Google: Hyphens in Domain Names are OK
- 13 Proven Steps to Grow Your Domain Authority Fast
- Sites with similar names: what is the impact on SEO?
I’m glad you are now in tip 3. Congratulations and thank you for making it this far.
I hope you found the past tips important and applicable:
What is a domain name and why is it important?
2017 July 14
While domains and websites are closely related, they are completely different. Your domain name can be used for the website, email, or for both. You can have a domain name without a website, which will be used for your email. On the other hand, you can also use a domain name for your website without using it for your email. And obviously, you can use your domain name for both your website and email.
A domain is created to assign a unique name to each of the numeric IP address (184.108.40.206) for computers on the Internet to interact with one another. On a very basic understanding, without domain names, the Internet’s addressing scheme would not be that effective and convenient.
Imagine trying to remember the IP address of all the websites you’d like to browse or visit. It is just like trying to memorize all the phone numbers of your mobile phone’s contacts.
Therefore for the end user, domain names can make it easy for Internet users to visit particular websites conveniently.
Domains names are also used by businesses to build their brands and to broaden their business exposure.
To further explain, here is an example of a URL (a specific address of a World Wide Web page): https://www.brodneil.com
To break it down:
- https:// is the protocol.
- www. is the subdomain.
- brodneil.com is the root domain.
- brodneil is the domain name.
- .com is the top-level domain.
So the question is: How do we choose our domain names?
For those who have an existing business, most probably you would choose your business name as your domain name. This makes sense to build your brand. But how about those who already have a domain for their business, yet would like to expand their online presence by creating more websites? Furthermore, how about those work-at-home moms wanting to build an online presence like a startup online business or a personal blog, how should they go about it?
There are 2 basic ways of choosing for a domain name: keyword-rich domain and brandable domain.
Keyword-Rich Domain vs. Brandable Domain
Keyword-rich domain are usually generic keywords you’d like to use and rank for in the search engines.
For example, a person hoping to sell domain names online to those living particularly in Cebu might go for this keyword-rich domain: cebudomainnames.com.ph or cebu-domain-names.com.ph.
Note: Keyword-rich domains are not as effective as they used to be when trying to make your domain rank for that particular keyword, which is Cebu domain names. I’m not saying that it is not effective; it is not as effective. In fact, when using keyword-rich domain, make sure your website would really appear as legitimate as possible — not a spammy-looking website.
Brandable domain on the other hand does not need any generic keyword in the domain name. These are domains that you can easily use to be a brand.
For example, brodneil.com is a brandable domain. And hopefully very soon, it can become a brand. Just like moz.com or neilpatel.com. When I think about SEO and Internet marketing, I go to these sites. And oh, there is one more: marketersbraintrust.com. (It is from Dan Thies’ SEO Fast Start that I’ve understood what SEO was when I first started around 2007.)
Note: I am in no way monetarily affiliated to these sites, (yet I’m not closing the doors on opportunities). So if you want to learn more on SEO, Internet marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing — I highly recommend those 3 sites. Just don’t forget to come back and visit this site as well as a token of pointing you there. 🙂
Currently, if I am to choose between a keyword-rich domain and a brandable domain, I would choose a brandable domain without a doubt for 2 reasons:
- I can have it a short as possible to people can easily remember my domain name.
- I can be as creative as possible in making a domain name.
- Most importantly, it can be easily taken as a brand.
- A domain name that can match your brand is very important in business.
And who says you can’t have a third option: that is a combination of keyword-rich and brandable domain.
- fermenting101.com can be a good example for a person trying to build an online presence on the basics of how to ferment.
- rusticlab.com can be another website for craftsmen engaged on rustic furniture.
Another note: To the domain names I mentioned above, these are just examples and I am not sure if they are already owned by someone.
Here are more pointers for choosing a domain name:
- Limit to 1 hyphen on your domain if you find it necessary to have a hyphen.
- For top-level domains, I prefer to buy a .com TLD and country specific TLDs like .com.ph for websites catering particularly to Philippine users/clientele.
- In case you would buy TLDs like .biz, .net, or .info (which is somehow cheaper), make sure to include the TLD when handing it over to friends. Say: “My website is brodneil.net” instead of just saying brodneil. People tend to think all domains are .com.
If you think you need further reading, visit the links below:
Before I end this post, let me make a recap below as best practices in identifying a domain name.
Best Practices in Identifying a Domain Name
- It can carry your brand.
- It is creative and intuitive.
- Easy to Remember
- Spelling: It is easy to Spell.
- Pronunciation: It is easy to Pronounce.
- Short: It is Short.
- Domains to Avoid
- Domains with 2 or more hyphens.
- TLD usually used for spamming.
- WordPress-ready: It is great for WordPress as it specifically caters to WP sites;
- Staging Feature: It has a staging feature for your site’s ongoing development and maintenance — not all web host has this;
- Caching Feature: It has it’s own caching feature called the SG optimizer;
- Free SSL: It has free SSL, which you do not have to purchase separately; and very importantly,
- Customer Support: This is very important. Customer support is great, responsive, and very knowledgeable.
Just a note of transparency, in case you will buy from SiteGround a domain/hosting account, I would get a free month for the account that I also signed up in SiteGround (just so you know). Regardless with the referral bonus, it is a great web host especially for WordPress sites. If you are decided on buying a domain and you think that I deserve to get a free month in my subscription for sharing to you this article, click this link: You deserve to have a free month subscription.
Lastly, before you go, why don’t you watch Matt Cutts explanation on domain names.
Over the years, I prefer domains with .com TLD.
A domain with a .com TLD normally costs US$12/year.
Which is a better prefix domain for SEO: WWW or non-WWW?
2022 September 8
In conclusion, using www or a non-www URL won’t affect your site’s SEO. The prefix domain in your URL is not a significant consideration for your search ranking.
Google: Hyphens in Domain Names are OK
John Mueller answered whether it’s OK to use a hyphenated domain name in a Google SEO office hours hangout. He stated that choosing such a domain is entirely acceptable. However, he also believes that keywords in domain names are overrated.
There is a notion that including keywords in the domain name will improve a site’s ranking. In the early days of SEO, the usage of keywords in domains had some value. Parked domains (keyword-rich domains with no content and solely advertisements) were permitted to appear in search results until Google change that in 2011.
- A hyphenated domain name is an old-school strategy that fell out of popularity years ago due to the lack of ranking effect.
- Hyphens make a domain name look tacky and spammy.
- Google’s algorithm does not consider the presence or absence of a hyphen in a domain name.
13 Proven Steps to Grow Your Domain Authority Fast
Every website out there is assigned a domain authority, which is a score that reflects your website’s authority in your industry. Domain authority is different from page authority, because while page authority reflects the importance of just a singular page, domain authority includes the entire domain. You can find out your website’s domain authority by going to a website called Moz. Once you’re on the site, you will be asked to enter your website’s URL, and the system will automatically detect your domain authority score.
- Work on both your off page and on page SEO as they can help you increase your search rankings and grow your domain.
- Increase your sites speed by compressing images, trimming your programming code and enabling browser caching.
- Apply good site navigation so that your site is both functional and easy to work around. Make sure that search engines know what pages are on your site as well.
“Domain authority refers to a score that indicates the authority of your website and predicts how well the site will rank on search engine result pages.”
Sites with similar names: what is the impact on SEO?
Google’s John Mueller was asked if it is okay for two websites to have the same name on the internet. He stated that while he cannot give legal advice around copyright issues, it is fine when it comes to Google Search and SEO. He also mentioned that many sites have similar names due to the different top-level domains and that there is no rule against it from Google. However, the issue may be more around legal issues, and it would be best to check with a lawyer. He also advised that if you want your website to come up first for your company name and someone more established uses that name, you might be out of luck and suggest changing your company’s name if it is not too late.