For most entrepreneurs, launching a business brings up a number of crucial questions. Where are you hosting? Which platform will you use? Will you accept payments on your website? What domain name will you choose?
While all are important questions to address, we will explore how the right domain name can have more far-reaching implications than most entrepreneurs realize, especially regarding SEO impact.
Your Domain Name is your Online Identity, so Select Wisely
Your domain name essentially is your online identity. And generally, a domain name that visitors can easily connect to your business and remember is the best choice for optimum SEO impact.
For instance, Jim Fuhs and Chris Stone, founders of Dealcasters, an Amazon influencer brand, carefully chose their domain name to reflect their business identity. They claim their SEO for dealcasters.live has allowed them to pretty much own page one on Google with their domain name showing up as the first .live listing.
You aren’t alone when you have envisioned that perfect name but discovered thatname.com is not available. Recent research from domain and hosting analytics provider DomainsBot found that searches for an available two-word .com name only return exact matches 13 percent of the time. The chances are better if you want a longer domain, but you have to expand the name to at least 20 characters to increase your odds of a perfect match to 50 percent. The problem is that a long domain name is harder to read and remember, share on social media, and more likely to have spelling mistakes when someone attempts to use it.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of options beyond traditional extensions such as .com and .net. You can choose a descriptive top-level domain (TLD), such as .boutique, .cafe, and .associates. Using both sides of the dot, your domain name does justice to your core expertise and defines what you do, like emily.salon or vacation.rentals.
SEO Starts with your Domain Name
We all know searchability is huge because it affects search rankings, which improves your online traffic that drives business success. Most people looking online for a type of business have very little information before clicking through to an online search of names, and as a result, the domain name plays the most important part in search results. In particular, domain names that contain meaningful keywords can get good search results. Entrepreneurs who want to make an informed decision should factor that in when choosing a domain name.
For instance, Amna Suleiman, digital marketing specialist at OneStream wanted two clear, meaningful and effective words for the company’s domain. Research showed that ‘onestream’ and ‘live’ were high-volume search keywords for live streaming, so the company chose onestream.live, which gave them the desired SEO results.
While having the keywords you want to rank for in your domain won’t automatically earn your website a spot on page one of search results, it can be a part of a strategy that does. If your domain name makes your website clear, it can give you a leg up in convincing Google algorithms that the site is a relevant resource on that topic.
Unlike common misperceptions, Google doesn’t have a bias toward certain TLDs. Google states that its systems treat descriptive domains the same as conventional TLDs, like .com and .org
With memorable industry-specific domain names such as .loans, .travel, .tours, .live, and more, businesses can create descriptive domain names that include the primary keyword they want their websites to rank for in search engines, anchoring a successful SEO strategy.
Moving with the Times
We see more companies move towards industry-specific, short, and memorable descriptive domain extensions that can positively impact SEO. TrueName, a global leader in descriptive domains, recently announced more than 1,000 of its customers rank on the first page of search results for their primary keyword.
Selecting your domain name should be a part of your marketing plan and complementary to all marketing efforts. It is a saturated market, and branding is crucial. It would be best to select a domain name to match that.
Once you’ve landed the best descriptive domain name for your venture and have implemented a complete SEO strategy, you are well underway to building strong authority for your website. And every SEO win you earn will make the domain you chose stronger in search engines’ eyes. You might also want to consider using similar domain names across all your online channels to help build brand visibility across platforms.
Blake Janover, founder and CEO of Janover Ventures implemented this strategy with great success. He built an online network with some of the most valuable, highly trafficked commercial real estate, multifamily and small business finance websites in the industry using memorable descriptive domain names such as multifamily.loans, hud.loans, apartment.loans, and commercialrealestate.loans. Starting with descriptive domain names and using logical organization to support it with content focused on related keywords and strong technical SEO practices resulted in 1 million unique visitors to its websites, primarily consisting of organic traffic from its target audience driving a business growth of 184 percent in 2020.
In today’s digital world, you should carefully consider your domain name. It will help establish your startup’s brand name, become your global identity, and can help transform your company into a well-known brand.
A strategy of primary keywords in the domain, supported by valuable content and technical SEO, will go a long way toward putting you on the first page of search results.