Years ago, the conventional wisdom when it came to selecting a domain name was to keep it simple, short and ended with a .com. Think Pets.com, Cars.com, Shopping.com, etc. The idea was to give web searchers something easy to remember that also said what the site was all about.
However, domain names like this have long been registered. So, how do you name a blog or website for maximum profit? Thankfully search engine optimization (SEO) has changed what is considered a “good” domain name.
How SEO Has Changed Domain Name Registration
SEO has changed domain name registration principally because most surfers find information via organic searches, instead of heading to a specific site, for example.
Search Engine Optimization Definition: What is Organic Search?
People use the internet to find information. Organic search is when web surfers type in a search terms (ie, keyword phrases) and sites pop up. As most surfers have no specific site in mind when they use the internet to find information, they type in search terms and head to the sites that pop up in their search results. Most keep doing this until they find what they want.
Hence, it’s important for sites to be optimized well (eg, have lots of SEO content populated with relevant keyword phrases) so that surfers looking for the type of information they provide will to be able to find them.
It helps to have a domain name that clues surfers into what the site is all about.
Yesterday, I received an email from a reader of one of my past posts here about using dashes/hyphens in a domain name. She wanted to know how the search engines treat them. I wrote her the following:
These days, a site’s domain name doesn’t matter as much as how it’s optimized for SEO. This is because most surfers find a site via organic search, not by specific site name. . . . In fact, some SEO experts say that it’s better to have the subject matter of your site as part of its domain name because it makes it easer to find. For example, if someone typed in the keyword phrase “buy organic oranges”, they would land on your site (eg, buy-organic-oranges.com) faster than one that’s named, “buyorganicoranges.com” for example.
*Note: Domain names buy-organic-oranges.com and buyorganicoranges.com used for illustrative purposes only.
Now, you don’t want to go crazy and have a domain name with five, six or seven hyphens, but don’t shy away from using hyphenated domain names. They can actually boost your search engine rankings, particularly if it’s a commonly searched term.
Search Engine Optimization Tip: Which Is Better — .com, .biz. .info, etc.?
Domain names don’t have to end in .com anymore either. Again, a site that’s optimized well will rank high in search engines, even if it ends in a .info, .biz or any other kind of “dot”.
Remember, search engines spider content. If you have relevant content on your site that incorporates well-researched, popular keyword phrases as it relates to your niche, your blog/website will get good search engine ranking – no matter what its named, or what dot it ends in.