The name of a domain directly affects the overall success of a website, not only through search engine optimization, but also through the eyes of the visitors themselves. A memorable domain name will ensure repeat traffic in many cases, based simply on the fact that most visitors will find it easy to return to a site with a domain name that is easy to remember. Nonetheless, there are many other factors to consider when judging the overall worth of a domain name.
It is important to distinguish the difference between the worth of a domain name, and the value of an entire web site. A domain name is simply a web address that represents site, even so, this title has value in and of itself. Judging the value of domain names can be quite confusing. To simplify the process, consider some of the following factors.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a domain name is the keyword that it is targeting. The most valuable kind of domain name is one that is an exact match of a keyword that is commonly searched for. Also known as an exact match domain, these names are sought after because they tend to go straight to the top of the search engines for specific phrases, with little or no effort. For example, if someone searches for the term “credit cards,” it would not be surprising to see creditcards.com in the number one spot, even if the content and on-page design has not been search engine optimized. Registering a domain name with one of these phrases is becoming increasingly rare, however it is possible.
Another important factor to consider is the syntax; the arrangement of words or letters within the domain name. A domain name with numbers that substitute words are generally less valuable. For example, the domain name keywords4ranking.com would be less valuable than the domain name keywordsforranking.com. The reason for this is simple, when someone executes a search for a particular keyword, the chances of them typing in the number 2 or 4 instead of the words “to” or “for” are very low. Following the same reasoning, dashes also take away from the value of a domain name, as most people do not include dashes in their search queries.
The length of the domain name is also very important, as it directly affects the memorability of the name. If a domain name is 30 characters and 4 words long there is a very slim chance that someone will remember it. Thus, it is very unlikely that you will receive repeat organic traffic unless you are highly ranked for a common keyword.
The domain name extension or TLD is another crucial factor. The extension of a domain is simply the letters that follow the dot, for example – .com, .net, and .org – are all domain extensions. Dot com domains seem to outperform their counterparts in almost all instances, however .org and .net domains also rank well in the search engines. Surprisingly, even though they only cost about a dollar, .info domains can often rank #1 in Google if the right keyword is targeted.