Search Engine Optimization: Domain Names

While many web developers and marketers will go through great lengths to explain how placing specific quantities of keywords arranged in the right way, in the right positions, on the right pages will result in better search engine optimization and better results. And although much of this is true, in my line of work, I am continually surprised on how many people – developers and website owners alike – miss one of the biggest SEO boosts a website can have…

…an optimized domain name!

The Search-Engine-Friendly Domain Name

Companies like Amazon.com and Facebook don’t need to have the keywords “shopping” or “social network” in their domain names since practically everyone who has every placed a finger on a computer mouse has either heard of these websites or uses them regularly. But what of small businesses or brand new websites that haven’t made a name for themselves?

For example: If one were to create a website for a car repair business in Cleveland, and your business name was “Zigamabob”, a business owner might register the zigamabob.com domain name for their website. Although this would function as a domain name for this site, they would get zero SEO benefit from the domain name.

However, if one registered something along the lines of clevelandautorepair.com, they would get the keyword “Cleveland”, plus the key phrase “Auto Repair” smack-dab on the domain name! A fantastic boost to your searchability right from the get-go.

The Human-Friendly Domain Name

Some people might not want to have a monstrously long domain name on their promo or business cards, so another trick of the trade is this:

Set up a “human-friendly” domain name. In the example above, it could be zigamabob.com or something like zigrepair.com. Then one would set that domain name as a “forwarder”, meaning anyone who goes to zigamabob.com ends up at clevelandautorepair.com.

You now have one domain name that looks good on paper, and another one that looks good to Google.

Brilliant, right?

Well, as simple as this trick is, it’s still not as well-known as it could be. Use this secrecy to your advantage, and get a boost to your SEO by simply having a search-friendly domain name. I’ve personally seen small business websites climb to the first page of Google search results within weeks using this method!

Give it a shot. You won’t be sorry.