The Pros and Cons of Using Hyphens (Dashes) in Domain Names
After weeks of careful consideration, you’re ready to reserve your domain name. You sit down at the computer, go to your favorite domain registration company, type in the name you want and – oh no. It’s taken! But the registrar has a few suggestions. One of those suggestions is to use a hyphenated version of the name you want. Should you reserve that domain or hunt for another?
There are several pros and cons to using a hyphenated domain name.
- Hyphens can help you choose keyword-rich domain names. Most domain names with literal keywords in them are already taken. Hyphens can help you create keyword-rich domains more easily.
- The same goes for generic terms – most are taken by now. Hyphens can help you create domains out of generic terms. This may be especially useful if your company name itself consists of generic words or phrases.
- Hyphens can be used to break up words or phrases that, if glanced at too quickly, may spell something funny, undesirable, or off-putting to your customers.
- Hyphenated domain names can be hard to remember. Many people will accidently omit the dash when typing in the URL. Before reserving a hyphenated domain name, try typing the domain in without the hyphen to see if a competitor’s website comes up. If it does, you may want to consider another name so you don’t accidently bump traffic to a competitor.
- Some SEO experts believe that the popular search engines view hyphenated domain names as SPAM. There’s no consensus on this issue, but if you are actively pursuing organic search traffic as part of your online marketing strategy, you may want to avoid a hyphenated domain.
- The resale value on hyphenated domain names is poor. That may not be a consideration for most people, but it’s worth mentioning.
Before reserving a hyphenated domain name, look at all the possibilities for your website’s address. Think about different combinations of words, and brainstorm additional names. Depending on your digital marketing needs, you may find that holding out for a great, non-hyphenated domain name is a better choice, or you may want those keyword-rich, albeit hyphenated names as your domain. The choice is up to you, but understanding the pros and cons of dashes or hyphens in domain names can help you make wise decisions for your business.
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