Do domain names help with SEO?

The simple answer is yes. Having the right domain name can influence how your website performs in search engines like Google. But perhaps not in the way you might think.

To understand how a domain name affects SEO, we need to understand some basics about a domain name.

What's in a domain name?

Domain names are a human readable way of communicating addresses across a network, in this case, the internet.

For example the IP address for the RPL Marketing website is 77.68.14.94 but it's far easier for people to use and remember the URL www.rplmarketing.co.uk

Domain names are made up of 3 parts;

Domain Name Breakdown
Domain Name Breakdown

SEO Domain Name Tips

In times past search engines placed more emphasis on domain names. If you had a name like fluffy-pancakes-glasgow.co.uk you were more likely to rank for those terms. These days the value of keyword rich domains has decreased as search engine algorithms have become better a understanding the content of websites.

Ultimately, if your domain is meaningful to your target audience it will be meaningful to search engines.

Here are a few helpful SEO tips for choosing an SEO domain name:

Memorable

Choose a domain that 'rolls of the tongue' if you can. It should be easily remembered. Strive for shorter, simpler words that are easy to pronounce.

Simple

The longer and more complicated a domain name the harder it is to remember, and the more likely it will be for typos and errors to creep in while your target audience types it in.

Use words that are familiar to your target audience, avoid terms that are spelt one way but sound completely different when spoken. ie: whetterskneadingdough1963.com

If you have to spell it out for people, it's best to avoid it.

Relevant

Choose a domain that is relevant to your business and your target audience. Unless you have a well established brand, we recommend choosing a domain name that includes who you are and what you do.

Use terminology that your target audience will understand, your domain name should be tied to the overall purpose of your website.

robertsautomatondevices.com A bit longwinded and complicated unless you are a robotics enthusiast
robertsrobots.com Much clearer and does what it says on the tin

 

How to choose the right domain name?

Keyword Research

Use tools like Moz Keyword Explorer or SEMRush to see which keywords people are using to find your products and services.

Ask the Audience

Speak to your current customers. Find out which terms they would associate with your business, how do they perceive your brand? What terms are your competitors using?

It is also important to differentiate yourself from your competition. Pay careful attention to other companies that might be using a similar domain name to the one you have in mind.

If an organisation with a similar domain name has products, services and a target audience that are significantly similar to yours, look for a different domain name.

Ask a Digital Marketing Expert

Sometimes it pays to have an expert carry out the necessary research and SEO analysis on a potential domain name. RPL marketing have years of experience in branding and digital marketing if you're struggling to find the right domain name for you, get in touch.

Make sure Google Knows

Once you have your perfect domain you'll want to make sure everyone knows about it. Find out how you can do that in our article on Search Engine Optimisation