SEO Friendly Domain Names

SEO Friendly Domain Names

By Luke on April 8, 2010

my name is url

Why is it important to have an SEO Friendly Domain Name

When purchasing a new domain name for a website it is a good idea to consider a number of different factors as a good memorable domain name can have a big impact on the success of a website. Your website URL is the first full-text block that a search engine will see, it is the equivalent of the name of a magazine sitting on a shelf and if it stands out as being appropriate to the content within this can be impactful. I always recommend to my clients to look at domain names with their keywords in so this adds value to the user and the search engine that this keyword is important to the rest of the site.

David Viney (the SEO expert) says:

You may have read on SEO forums that keyword-rich domain names are a waste of time, that users see them as spammy, and that brand presence is more important. As usual, there is some truth in all these arguments, but recognise that if you choose to follow this advice you are opting not to use one of the most powerful SEO tools at your disposal.

If you type in a keyword into any of the search engines you will find a few websites in the top ten that have that keyword in the domain name. For example, Manchester SEO brings up a few websites with Manchester and SEO in the domain name and one with SEO in the domain name (as of 8th April 2010). It is not the only factor that will help you do well in the search engines, but why make things harder for you if you only have one or two keywords to focus on.

B&Q have notably used a keyword rich domain of “”. The old domains “” and “” now re-direct to this main domain, they are now ranked number 1 in Google for the keyword “DIY”, this is a combination of the strength of the previous domains being 301 redirected to the new domain and the keyword rich domain name.

Hugh Boyle (head of digital for Europe, Middle East and Asia at Ogilvy Action) said of B&Qs decision to buy and use this domain name:

It’s brilliant. What it is saying is, B&Q is DIY. It’s a clear statement of market leadership and of confidence.

Another factor to consider is the use of hyphens in the domain url. Google observes hyphens as natural spaces, although some SEO’s argue that hyphenated names are harder to remember or tell people over the phone/radio marketing, Google can already read the keywords in a long string so it isn’t always necessary,however, we think the following domains could have benefited from hyphens in the domain to prevent any embarrassing confusions (although they are quite amusing!):

Experts Exchange

Pen Island

By using hyphens, i.e., both of these domains could have had SEO friendly URLs and avoided confusion of where the string of words ware supposed to be separated.

We are not suggesting you change your company name to be the same as your keyword rich domain name but they can work in conjunction with one another and increase the organic ranking of your website. If you are in a competitive industry and think that there will not be many keyword rich domains left, check out the hyphenated equivalents and you may be surprised by the results.