domain namesObviously, one very important decision you will make when you start a website is the domain name. After all, your domain name is what you will be know by all across the web forever and ever!

So, the questions are: What makes a good domain name? and What doesn’t? This post is part 1 of 2 that will seek to set the record straight, because there are often many misconceptions when it comes to domain names.

Keyword Rich Domains

Should you spend hours upon end trying to find a domain with every keyword you want included in it? I wouldn’t recommend it. In fact, statistically speaking, keyword rich domains are insignificant. HOWEVER, an exact domain match is GOLD.

What this means is that just having a domain name stuffed with keywords won’t do squat, but having a domain name that is an exact match to what people search online will likely give you a boost in the rankings.

If you don’t believe me, just try it out on a few terms. It may take you a while to find one (because there are so many other factors that go into rankings) but guaranteed, you’ll come across a website who’s domain is the exact phrase you typed in to the search engine.

If you are worried about your brand or want to have a short, easy-to-remember website address, you can always 301 redirect this address to the exact domain match you’ve found. This way, you can optimize your site better while still having a simple domain you feel everyone can remember.

Subdomains

Let’s say you have a totally stellar website called: www.stellar.com but you want to add a subdomain about “totally rad” things. So you decide to make www.rad.stellar.com the URL everyone will go to to find all things rad. Is this the right approach? What other options are there?

The most obvious option is rather than creating a subdomain you could simply create your page about all things “totally rad” as a separate directory within the main domain by creating: www.stellar.com/rad. What benefit is there to choosing this option? 2 words: Link Juice.

A subdomain like www.rad.stellar.com is treated as it’s own domain and does not rank better or worse because of www.stellar.com. In fact, only 11% of the top 10 results are subdomains.

On the other hand, in a URL like www.stellar.com/rad, your webpage “rad” gets passed the link juice from www.stellar.com and benefits (or suffers) from its standing.

There are many more things when it comes to choosing domain names so be sure to “tune in” next week for the rest of the story.

Jamie Bates