How to Name a Domain for SEO
Picking a new domain name is one of the first steps for getting a website up and running. If done properly it sets your site on a solid path for earning traffic from search engines. Here’s a quick breakdown on how to do this and save yourself a ton of headaches later.
Definition: A domain is simply what you type into your browser: www.YourSiteName.com – often called a URL as well.
Picking the Right Domain
I’ve seen over and over that a simple domain name with a strong keyword phrase can rank well. Yet, if this is flubbed it can create headaches for building out the site and rising in the rankings.
- Identify what your business or service does or your brand name.
- Use the Keyword Tool from Google to get a sense of what people are searching on and use your User Persona to spark ideas.
- Go to BustaName.com and type in different variations to see what’s available.
- Consider tying domain name and site hosting through one provider like Bluehost. This makes it drastically easier for getting sites up and renewals. (Disclaimer: I’ve been on Bluehost for 6+ years and been very pleased)
- You can also add in geography into the URL, if you have a local focus and don’t plan on a national or global presence.
Quick Example of Picking a Domain Name
Say for example we want to build a website to sell squirt guns. We’d love to have the domain name of SquirtGuns.com but it has been reserved long ago. Not to worry, we can still come up with a keyword-rich URL.
- We brainstorm a couple phrases around “squirt guns” and “water guns”
- A quick check of the keyword search volume on the Keyword Tool reveals that “squirt guns” has roughly 33,000 global monthly searches done. Yet, “water guns” has roughly 74,000 global searches – quite a difference. We instantly know that there is almost 2.5 times more volume done on the keyword phrase with “water guns”. Whoa, that’s quite a difference and good to know in advance!
- Next, we hit up BustaName.com and start trying out variations with the keyword Water Guns in the title.
- A couple variations might include “WaterGunsDirect.com” – we can get the .com, .net, .org etc.
Takeaway: Our above core URL has a very good keyword phrase and while not terribly brief, it isn’t ridiculously long like “WaterGunsForSaleOnline.com” – that’s a horrible domain name. We have a good foundation for building out our site.
Should I get a .com?
Yes, if you can come up with a .com that’s usually best but the hardest to acquire.
Picking a solid domain name for SEO that is brief takes a bit of research and fiddling but can reap huge benefits.