Posts Tagged ‘Domain Name’

Basic SEO For Everyone Chapter 2

[ Basic SEO: OneTwoThreeFourFive ]

In Basic SEO Chapter 1 I discussed domain name age and registration as well as redirects. Now let’s take a step back for those that don’t have a domain name yet. What should it be? Some suggestions I see are company name, company name padded with a keyword or phrase, and keywords separated by dashes. My personal preference is your “real” business name for a main site and NO dashes. It looks more professional, it helps brand your company and you don’t lose traffic to a competitor because a prospect forgets to include the dash. As of this writing there is proof that search engines give extra weight to words in a domain name but there are other ways to rank for keywords so why choose a name for SEO reasons only? A good example for not using your company name would be a company that sells widgets, if they can afford a name like then this could be very beneficial for search and most important it is easy for customers to remember. Good luck with finding a single word domain, the days of inexpensive common word names are long gone with the exception of a few non-DotCom names. If you are planning a site that is not for promoting a business entity then you might want to use keywords for your domain name. I suggest trying to pad it with local terms like the city or state you are targeting and the items or service you will be promoting. If you use dashes I would limit it to one. If you are buying a personal domain name try to get your first and last name.

What top level domain should you purchase .com .org .net .us ? If you are planning a business site then you should try to purchase DotCom. If you advertise your domain name or tell it to people there is a very good chance by the time they try to find you on the net they will type it as a DotCom even if you told them it was DotNet. They will also leave out the dashes so beware when choosing a name. If you buy a DotNet it’s probably because the DotCom was taken so you are automatically sending the DotCom domain owner traffic just by the nature of how people think and browse. The same is true with a dashed domain name. Your best choice is a name that you can secure the DotCom and the DotNet for.

Let’s move on to URLs (file and path names). Should you pad them with keywords? Simple answer, yes. Don’t go all out spamfest but it does help with search and navigation if your primary topic is in the URL. Try not to use more than two dashes. Keeping it less spammy is future looking in case the natural search stops giving credit for stuffed URLs. It is definitely a turn off for some visitors that associate the tactic with spammers so I advise against using more than two dashes. When creating URLs make sure you like them even if there was no search benefit. Does it provide value to the user or your sitemap?

Should you use an underscore in a URL? Almost always the answer is no. Unless you use a term that requires an underscore naturally then you are better served by using dashes.

That’s it for Chapter 2. Be sure to tune in for Chapter 3 where I start talking about your titles, description, and keywords.

—David Blizzard

Basic SEO For Everyone Chapter 1

[ Basic SEO: OneTwoThreeFourFive ]

Basic SEO, what is it? I consider basic SEO the easy stuff, the gravy, but it is often overlooked. Let’s start at the top.

Domain Name: The longer it has been active the better but wait, how long before it expires? If your domain name expires in 2 or 3 months then you might be penalized. It makes sense doesn’t it? If you waited that long to renew it and you aren’t willing to get off your wallet for more than a 1 year registration then you might be losing points with the search engines. Are you letting it expire? What if a potential client does a little Whois research and sees that your domain expires in 20 days? Stop being cheap and cough up a few bucks for 2 or more years registration fees.

Domain Names: If you have multiple domain names pointing to the same website then be sure to have your webmaster set up a permanent 301 redirect. If you don’t then you might be indexed as multiple, separate, websites and that’s not good for a few reasons including duplicate content issues. This is well known but what about vs ? Yes, some search engines might index these as two different sites. It makes sense doesn’t it? Replace “www.” with “blog.” and you see what I mean. Imagine you have 25 inbound links to your domain name with www and 8 without the www. You had no control over those inbound links. People found your site, thought it was worth linking to and they created the link without any input from you. You can try to look up or track those inbound links, contact the webmaster, beg them to add the www, or you can have a permanent 301 redirect and the search engines can do their job. You could use Google Webmaster Tools to inform Google that you want them to index with or without the www but that only takes care of the issue for one search engine.

This is one more area that you have control, take advantage of it and go fix those domain name issues, then come back for the next chapter. If you need to choose a domain name then you need to read chapter 2.

—David Blizzard