The most important decision when creating a website is likely to be the domain name. When the time comes to make this selection, there are two schools of thought. The first is creating a domain that comes close to a popular search term people use to find a companies product or service. The opposing concept is to brand a company by creating a domain name that is company specific. This article talks to both approaches and weighs the benefits of each.
For illustration, let’s assume that a business named Tiny Treats sells cupcakes in New York City. A potential customer may use various searches to find what they want. If we assume we’re not limited to domain names, it makes sense to concatenate a geography to a product or service. Through keyword analysis we might find that a typical person uses “new york city cupcakes” to search. A perfectly matched domain would then be newyorkcitycupcakes.com. Since this domain name matches a customers target search, they are very likely to get the jump on a non-matching domain. This is because the search engines give relevance to domain names and since they match it provides a benefit.
There might also be some adverse effects of going with a search matching domain name. Knowledgeable searchers may see your domain name as an attempt at an advertising scheme. Also, if a domain owner wants to expand their business offerings they will want to still make sense to the selection. “Ultimately, the biggest detriment to an exact match is the lack of a brand association since the company name is not involved,” says Kyle Beauchamp of a Attorney SEO Company.
The other way to go is with a brand or company name as the domain decision. This typically means using the company name as the domain name. This can create a brand association with your customers in the long-term. Think of common name brand products or services. Often their names are meaningless from a product perspective. The name Ford, for example, is known for cars and trucks but has nothing to do with them by name alone. Also, a typical SEO approach is to use keywords and phrases as internal slugs so that their URL still caters to the search engines. An address like mystore.com/what-I-sell can both retain a brand and make the URL search engine friendly.
I think most people would want to use a branded name as a domain but often choose a matching name to help their on-line visibility. A site will certainly see a positive gain in the search results from doing so. While these gains might be short-lived due to other search factors, it’s evident it helps to some degree. Customer will also find that the obvious domain names are already taken and be forced to create a branded name or risk a silly URL as a result. Ultimately, the domain name should fit a customers needs regardless of which approach.
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