Written by Digital Impact Solutions on May 24, 2015
As a Search Engine Optimisation company we often get as asked about domain names and to advise on the domains people should buy. After watching a recent whiteboard Friday by Moz master Rand Fishkin I decided to put together a helpful blog post on what to do when researching domain names or planning a rebrand.
Avoid Exact Match Domain
In the olden days of SEO (we call the olden days anything prior to 2013) you would see a lot of domain names with very specific targeted words in them to describe what it was the site owner wanted to be found for. So for example someone selling Wooden Toys might have the domain name “bestwoodentoys.com” rather than there actual shop name “Acme Wooden Toys”. This had a huge impact on getting ranked highly in Google’s searches. In fact us SEO’s loved this so much when we worked with a client with an exact match domain, we knew this would give the site a massive boost when we started working with them. With the exact match name penalty, this has taken away the boost an exact match name gave and now it’s almost pointless not having your brand as your website URL. Also doesn’t it reflect on your brand a lot better when people are clicking on a store they know rather than a lot of keywords!!!
Don’t Buy Lots of Domains
We get a lot of local clients asking us whether or not they should buy domains for every area they want to cover, the answer is no! One brand, one domain. As well as possibly being penalised for duplicate content issues (if you have the multiple domains showing the same website), you also run the risk of Google’s doorway page update, if they feel these domains are just feeders for your main site. Trying to build lots of authority to mini sites is extremely difficult now, especially with Google’s emphasis on quality. One brand, one domain! Unless of course you have specific sites serving a specific problem for example a solicitor may have expertise in many areas of law and might want to put together quality content on each area they cover. But if you aren’t willing to give each of these sites enough time and resources, don’t bother.
Sexy Domain Names
Whilst having .tech, .ly, .london may appear sexy and differentiate you from your competitors they don’t really work. How many of these have you seen on the first page of Google? Our opinion is .com or .co.uk or country specific TLD’s (top level domains) are the only domains you should be looking at. Unless of course you’re a charity (.org) a school (.edu) or a government office (.gov). It’s not just a matter of SEO either. Think of your user. You may be aware it is .tech or .london but how many potential visitors will you lose who type in .co.uk or .com!! I would even stay away from .biz
Our copywriter here at Digital Impact Solutions is always advising on reading ages of potential visitors. Did you know that most visitors visiting your site will have a reading age of 9! Don’t use complicated or difficult to spell words in your domain name. “neighbourhood” or “remember” or words people often struggle to spell correctly, could again lose you potential visitors. We also recommend avoiding hyphens in website domain names for the same reason. People will often forget to use them and they just look unsightly and untrustworthy.
I hope you find the above useful. So in summary when thinking of buying a domain or doing a rebrand think of the potential visitor and think of your brand. Of course if you need any specific help or advice were always happy to help, give us a call on 0114 360 0340 or fill in our enquiry form