Establish Dominance: Website Domain Names

Domain name selection can be difficult or it can be extremely easy. It all depends on who your audience is and what context your name will be taken in. It’s a fact that popular and generic domain names are being bought up all the time. And it will only become harder to claim a domain name in a flooded market using generic terms. Your domain could appear on promotional material, business cards, and may have thousands to millions of impressions online. Undoubtedly, it’s important and part of your brand. It could make the difference in being in/out of the Top 3 in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) that could mean big bucks for your company.

Domain Name Length

Two studies done by Open Algorithm in 2011 and another by SEOmoz state that shorter names are related to higher search rankings. Their data shows that longer domain names tend to rank lower than shorter ones. This doesn’t mean longer domains cause lower rankings, it just shows there is a correlation between the two. This is because of various factors like:

    • Well established older domains usually are shorter because of name availability
    • Exact match domains that are long, have a higher probability of being owned by spammers. Larger well-established companies use shorter names and build its recognition through great content and SEO, not off domain name manipulation.
    • People can recognize and remember shorter domain names more easily.

It may be obvious to choose the name over What is harder is drawing the fine line between modifying your perfect domain name to fit what is available and still keeping it short and relevant.

Hyphens on domain name


Don’t abuse hyphens! Google has recently filed a patent that shows how they may plan to handle hyphenated domains. You should be good with one hyphen like but not with

… when two, three, or more hyphens are present, this is often an indication that these domain names are associated with companies that are attempting to trick search engines into ranking their web pages more highly. United States Patent 8,046,350 

Exact Match

Choosing a domain name with an exact match for your product or service may be in bad taste and less creative. This is why it has caused an appropriate debate. Recent a SEOmoz study shows that it is still worth exploring. Proving there is a 0.22 correlation between higher rankings and names. Remember though that Google update Penguin is targeting over-optimized anchor text, so this may be a thing of the past.  Mark Collier of Open Algorithm states that having partial matches in your domain won’t help much. And it’s either exact match or not much of a benefit. This doesn’t mean your domain can’t start out not being an exact match and then grow into one with great branding.

Test Your Domain name with Ads

Use control ads that are the same, with different URL’s in the title and link, to test the response from AdWords. This is a great way to test which one stands up to a third party audience. This uses Click Through Rates (CTR’s) and engagement to measure the results at a low cost.

Domain Naming Tips – Remember the goal is to choose a short, possibly, with no hyphens, that people can spell, remember, and is relevant to your brand.

    1. Tell people the name. Say it out loud and pronounce is correctly. Or ask others to read it out loud so you don’t have any confusion.
    2. Some countries associate words with different meanings. Make sure you aren’t losing something in translation if you are branding for international markets.
    3. Some cultures are drawn to odd letter combinations like palindromes. Experiment and think of catchy and memorable features to the words.
    4. Directories list alphabetically. Using a domain name with a letter early in the alphabet doesn’t hurt.
    5. Double check the domain names availability via Patent and Trademark Office’s search system.

At last don’t forget to select Best Domain name provider in the market to buy your domain name since it has a direct effect on your business.

Establish Dominance: Website Domain Names
Written by: AFRIDA YANTI
Reting: 4.9

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