Using The Right Domain Name - SEO Tips From Semalt

The domain name of any website is a very important decision to make. This alone can easily make or destroy the success of any website. Are you stuck on deciding the best domain name for your website? Stick around cause we will be giving you the best strategies that will help you pick the perfect domain name that will stand the test of time. 

Ever since Semalt took on making websites great, choosing the right domain has been a priority. Throughout its history, Semalt has chosen dozens of domain names and has developed a keen understanding of the dos and don'ts of this art. 

Here, Semalt will be giving tips it uses in choosing top-class domain names it registers for its clients. 

What does a domain name mean? 

A domain name is a collection of words that defines a realm of administrative authority, autonomy, and control within the Internet. Sounds like a mouth full, doesn't it? Well, your domain name is simply the word or string of words Internet users need to type in to discover your website. For example, In this example, is a domain name. 

In general, a domain name is used to identify a network domain or can be used in identifying an Internet protocol resource. To register a domain name, the applicant will have to contact a domain name registrar who sells the service of registering domain names to the public. 

How can I choose the right domain name for my business?

When choosing a domain name, you want the best. The best domain names are names that benefit your business and enable it to stand the test of time. Meeting these conditions has a lot of factors involved, and we will be discussing as many as we can. Here are the factors you should understand before making up your mind on which domain name you use. 

Businesses don't own domain names

One of the first rules that matter is that whatever domain name you choose to use, you are only registering it and not buying it. No one really owns a domain name, at least not in the same way that you own your business or cars. 

Many times, business owners develop a false sense of ownership with their domains. Although this doesn't sound like the ultimate life hack to choosing the right domain name, it is important that you keep this in mind when you finally register your domain name. 

Matching your domain name and business name

Having your domain name and your business name in the same characters is completely optional. Some choose to do it, while to others, it's not a necessity. Google's domain names are owned by Alphabets, which is another business. However, Google isn't named Alphabet. This makes it possible to have your domain brand owned by another company. 

On the other hand, you may want to brand your online business with something similar to your business name. Your marketing approach may suggest that keeping your company name in the background helps you build your brand. 

When making this decision, you have to consider the nature of your business. As an international business, there's less to worry about. For local businesses, we suggest that registering a domain name that matches your brick and mortar business is a safer approach. 

Is it wise to use a domain name with keywords in it?

In our experience, we've realized that domain names with the exact match keywords often convert more. Now, remember that for this to work, your domain must be of good quality. We believe that when a searcher goes through the results on SERP and comes across a domain name with the keywords in it, they subconsciously consider that website to be better than the rest. 

In our survey, we discovered that these customers immediately validate such websites or webpages to have the information they need. After that, you have one more click, and more traffic goes to your website. 

Keyword domain names are a quick information source for your audience. They tell your potential site visitors that you have focused all your attention on dealing with a specific issue. This helps you come off as a professional of the highest standards. 

If you want quality coffee, will you feel more attracted to a "coffee shop" or a "restaurant"? Definitely, you will go for the coffee shop because it is more dedicated to providing coffee, unlike a restaurant which has to spread its services over a wider scope of foods and drinks. 

Having keywords in your domain tells your audience that you do not only have what they want but that you are specialized in handling such problems. Having Keywords in your domain name is often considered to improve the ranking value.  However, it doesn't have as much value. 

The true value lies in attracting an audience that has a greater intention of converting into a sale. When a customer clicks on your link, the odds are high that they will find your services or products satisfying. 

The shorter the domain name, the better

It is common practice at Semalt to keep the domain name as short as possible. An average of three words. To make perfect sense of a domain name, we will have to use more than one word. If it weren't so, the chances are that we may be using one word. 

You want to keep your domain name simple. In reality, no one wants to read a complete sentence as your domain names. Most times, having over four words makes things a bit rowdy. Yes, it avoidable to using certain words without the other, like "search" without "engine" it doesn't make perfect sense. However, ensure that your domain name is as short as possible. 

Having a domain that conveys a meaning

Sometimes, it is wise to register a domain name that sends a message. Your domain name should be able to tell your audience what your website is all about. 

There used to be a trend of where the suffix "watch" at the end of every domain name. The domain also had a keyword as the prefix. This didn't stick around for long because if you think about it, the word "watch" is adversarial within certain contexts. However, this is what some people felt, while others saw it as a "domain hack".

A visitor who is uncommon with the word "watch" was added at the end of a domain name might see the "widget watch" and assume it is a website that keeps watching on the latest widgets even though that's not the purpose of the site. 

When choosing your domain name, you should choose a meaningful one, and one way you can do this is by considering the qualities you want your website to be associated with. If it rhymes with the domain name, then you know that you're on track. 

Write down the words you want your audience to remember when they remember your domain name: 
  • friendly; 
  • affordable; 
  • fast;
  • professional; 
  • best;
  • friends; 
  • trustworthy; 
  • comfortable; 
  • office;
  • showroom;
  • online;
  • café;
  • hangout.

Now review your list and find synonyms for the qualities you've written down. Play around until you find a domain name that is the right match. 

Using hyphens in domain names 

We've had clients come in worried sick about the use of hyphens in domain names. We calm them down and tell them that using hyphens for your domain name is a mistake. You shouldn't try it. 

Having keywords as your domain name is not so important for ranking. However, certain domains try to cramp in as many keywords as possible, which forces them to use hyphens. Once you have hyphens on your domain name, your website automatically begins to look spammy and sketchy. 

In addition to this disadvantage, having hyphens in your domain name has no benefits. So there is no benefit in using hyphens on a domain name. 

Defensive domain registration

DDR is a type of domain registration that stops your competition from registering a domain name that your competition may register in the future. Many agree or disagree with registering the singular and plural versions of a domain name. Others, also register the .net, .org, .biz,  .info and .us versions. 

If you have international visitors who generally understand the English language, it will be useful to register the .ca, .co.Uk versions of your domain name. Note that this isn't compulsory, and you can choose not to.

However, doing this stops your competition from registering any of these variants. Even if they tried, the publisher would have to go through a painful process of hiring a lawyer to send a cease and desist order to someone. Now, this is only a scare tactic to get you to turn over the domain name, but you can choose to decline and maintain your branded domain name. 


There are many things that need to be duly considered before you make up your mind on your domain name. That is why you need well-experienced professionals who can create a domain name that lasts forever. Speak to our customer care representative at Semalt so that we can be there to serve you. Choosing a domain name isn't generally a simple thing. 

We look forward to hearing from you.