Search engines are your customers’ first line of defense when looking for the right business for their needs. Are you being found where they need you?
It turns out, your website’s domain name (e.g. YourBusiness.com) can have a serious impact on your ability to be found on search engine results pages. That is, the url you choose for your business’ website can affect your SEO, either helping you rise up in results or sink below the competition.
So what factors matter when choosing your domain?
Branding is huge for your business, both on and offline, so it only stands to reason that it matters for your domain as well. Consider this – would you be more likely to click on Joy’sFlowerShop.com or Joy’sStore.com if you’re looking for floral arrangements? Include your business name in your domain to be recognizable to your customers (and to Google).
Your business name is key, but so is your location. Targeted keywords help your domain name seem even more relevant to the search engine and to your customers. If you’re a plumber in Troy, New York, it helps to be BobsPlumbingofTroy.com instead of just BobsPlumbing to get found for location-based searches.
Age might just be a number, but it’s a number that counts in the eyes of the search engine. The older your domain name is, the more clout it has. Older domains are generally more trusted by search engines, helping them appear higher up in results as reliable sources.
Non-.com domain extensions are becoming an interesting new way of focusing your website url by industry. These “generic top-level domains” include extensions like .tools and .dental and have been proven to boost SEO rankings, though the jury’s still out on long-term impact.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is choosing a domain that’s relevant to you and your business. And when every business decision is a make-or-break moment, you need to make sure you’re choosing wisely.