Tips for the Best Domain Name for SEO 

 January 16, 2021

When it comes to the best domain name for SEO, there are a number of things you want to keep in mind. 

Domain names are human-readable and unique internet addresses that are made up of three parts. The top-level domain, which is sometimes called the domain suffix or extension, a domain name or IP address, and an optional subdomain. The combo of the domain name and top-level domain is called the root domain. The top-level domain is the suffix at the end, such as .ONLINE. The domain name is the second level of the hierarchy and represents the unique location of the website, such as example.ONLINE. Subdomains are the third level of the hierarchy and are part of the top-level domain, for example, blog.example. ONLINE. Subdomains are free to create but are not always the best SEO practice. 

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Make the Domain Name Memorable

You want a name that is going to be easy to remember, type and say, and it should be short. This is going to be helpful for word-of-mouth marketing since those people will need to get to your domain directly, but it also is important for processing fluency. This is a concept that it’s easier to remember things that you can easily say and think about and this includes pronunciation. This means you don’t want to choose a domain name that includes non-standard characters or has numbers or any unusual spellings. Since search engines are relying more on usability and accessibility as part of the ranking factor than the easier the domain name is to read for humans, the better it’s going to be for search results. 

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Use Broad Keywords When It Makes Sense

If you are able to use keywords that make it very clear what your business does while still keeping your domain name unique and catchy then you can do that. However, it’s best to stay away from a domain name that is considered too keyword-targeted or keyword-rich. While these types of domain names were once an important ranking factor, these can be associated with low-quality content, which means search engines now view these domain names with a negative bias. In fact, in recent years, Google has made changes to have sites deprioritized that have keyword-rich domains that are not high quality. Having a keyword in your domain can be beneficial, but it may also lead to more scrutiny and even a negative ranking effect if you aren’t careful. 

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Avoid Hyphens

If your domain is two words then you may want to separate the words with a hyphen in order to increase readability. However, keep in mind that the use of hyphens can also correlate with spammy behavior and decrease memorability and readability. Generally, you don’t want to use more than one hyphen if you even use one at all.  

Favor Subfolders Instead of Subdomains

Search engines have different metrics for domains than for subdomains so even though content in subdomain and subdirectories is treated pretty equally, it’s still recommended that a webmaster place any link-worthy content, such as blogs, in subfolders instead of subdomains. Exceptions are language-specific websites. 

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Don’t Worry about Domain Age

The idea that the domain age (how long it has been registered) is important to SEO rankings factor is a myth. No search engine has confirmed that the length of the domain name plays a role in scoring. The main reason to renew a domain name is if it’s your main domain and you plan to keep it a while. What does matter to Google is how long it has been since your site was crawled or when the first inbound link was recorded. The difference between a domain that is six months old and one year isn’t going to make much of a difference. 

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Moving Domain Names

If you need to move your domain from one name to another then there are different factors you want to consider. It’s important to set up redirects on a page-to-page basis so that deep content pages also go to the deep content pages on the new domain. You should avoid redirecting all the pages from one domain just to the homepage of another domain in order to get the best result for SEO.

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