What’s in a domain name?

Google claims that the domain name is a minor factor in search engine rankings, but I have found it to be a tad more important than they suggest. They first started saying domain names didn’t matter in 2010 at a conference in New York City, and I foolishly believed them.

The weight of the factor depends on the number of competitors, and in local SEO, you can use every advantage.

Having a keyword in your domain name helps for two reasons:

  1. Branding
  2. SEO

In most cases, I would only add a keyword to your domain if it is either short, or your domain name isn’t available for your brand name. I would also add a keyword only if it is related to the majority of your business.

In the case of Caravela, I recommend that they add “Communications” the domain name. They do copywriting, web design, and market research, but all under the umbrella of communications. Nobody really searches for a communications company, but using “copywriting” would have been too narrow.

Go Web Go SEO had areal simple solution. Include “SEO” in the URL.

In addition to the domain name, you will have to choose a domain extension. I always recommend .com in 90% of the use cases. Non-profits should use .org.

Before you buy a domain, check WHOIS to make sure it is available. Once you find a name and an extension you like, ask yourself “Would you click on it?” if you saw this site in the SERPs.