How Domain Names Affect Position on Search Engine Results Pages
Anyone involved in search engine marketing knows that the higher a website’s position on the search engine results page, the better. Numerous studies show that websites near the top of the first page of the results get more clicks and organic traffic than other pages. Few people have the time or patience to wade through dozens of websites deeper in the results pages, and instead just go with what’s near the top.
But how do you get your website near the top of the search engine results page (SERP)? Countless books and articles have tackled this question, and it’s not something that can be answered quickly or easily. Search engine optimization, or the art and science of creating web pages that both search engines rank well (and human website visitors enjoy reading) builds on over 100 factors used in what is called the search engine algorithm, a proprietary formula developed by the popular search engines such as google, Yahoo! and Bing to find, rank and serve pages upon searching. While no one except the search engine gurus know exactly which aspects of a website’s coding, design and functionality are weighed in the special formula used to calculate a site’s final position, digital marketers and webmasters have used their data to study various factors. Recommendations for search engine optimization are based on these studies and observations. One factor most digital marketers can agree upon is the importance of the domain name for position on the SERPs.
Why Is the Domain Name Important for SERP?
Search engines scour millions of web pages daily looking for clues that tell them what each page is about. They note these clues in gigantic databases that help search engines find and rank pages based on what people are searching for each day.
Search engines read from the top of a web page down to its bottom, and from left to right. Consequently, any text near the top of the page gets noticed first.
Can you guess why a domain name is important? It’s the first thing a search engine “reads” when it visits a web page! It’s also on every page of a website, adding to the search engine robot’s knowledge of what that site is about.
Company Name, Branded Name or Keyword-Based Name?
Deciding which domain name to choose – your company name, a branded product or conceptual name, or a keyword-rich domain name – gets tricky. The search engines used to weigh keyword-rich domains more heavily, and some digital marketers still swear by them. However, search engines change their secret formula frequently to tweak it, update it, and refine it.
Today’s prevailing wisdom suggests the following tips for choosing a great domain name that will help boost your website’s SERPs:
- Include keyword phrases in a domain if it makes sense to do so. We think it’s a great idea and helps your overall search engine optimization.
- You may want to use a keyword-rich phrase as a domain in addition to your company’s domain.
- Keyword-rich domains help in advertisements more than organic search traffic. If you plan to run online ads, consider using keyword-rich domains.
- When choosing keyword-rich domains, look at search traffic for the phrases you’re interested in just as you would when planning an advertising campaign or otherwise selecting keyword phrases.
- Don’t rely solely on a keyword-rich domain to boost your website’s position on the SERPs. Other factors, including proper meta-tagging, inbound links, website text, loading speed and other factors combine to form the overall rank for a web page. One element alone won’t help (or hurt) your ranking.
As you search for the perfect domain name, keep these tips in mind. Remember that you don’t have to purchase just one domain. You may even want to purchase and test domains to see which one works best for your digital marketing needs. As you grow your business, you can use those domains elsewhere, or build upon what you already have to dominate your niche online.
Web Design of Palm Beach offers expert help with domain names, website hosting and website development. Call us at 561.262.5886