We all know you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. A person’s overall opinion of someone else is formed in the first twenty seconds of meeting them. Their clothes, hair, facial expression, hygiene, eye contact, handshake and voice inflection all tell you something about that person that will be indelibly printed on your brain every other time you see them from then on. And that first impression will likely stick with that person throughout the relationship, barring any life or death situations that bring out the superhero in us all.
For the most part, the first impression is the only impression. For the purposes of your website, and in using SEO, your first impression is your domain name. It’s your address in the bustling metropolis of the World Wide Web, your front door on Main Street.
So how do you use SEO to make sure your front door is one people will want to walk through? Now, in the peak of the internet age, most of the best domain names have been taken and are being used . Still, if you have the means, buying an existing domain name that is something recognizable and easy to remember, is still your best bet. If you’re a fashion designer that specializes in weddings, wedding.com or bride.com would be a great purchase. It might cost you a few million but the millions of hits you’d get in the end would probably offset that initial cost in no time.
But, if you don’t have millions to spend on an already taken domain name, there are other things to consider.
What keywords are associated with your site? Do you sell your product locally or worldwide? Will people associate your business with a specific product or service? Are you personally already well known in the industry? What or who is your target market, and what will they associate your business with? Thinking about these questions and coming up with your own will give you a good head start on picking your domain name.
A couple other things to think about when choosing a domain is how memorable the combination of words you’ve chosen is and the way the words you’ve chosen, hopefully some SEO friendly keywords, go together in a url. If someone can’t remember where you live, it is unlikely that they will visit you again, even if they liked what they saw. Similarly, if someone can’t remember your domain name, you better have good SEO so that the next time they search their keywords they can find your site. But why not skip all that “shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’” and just have a domain name people will remember. Short and sweet is usually the way to go. Or maybe, short and memorable. The combination of words is also important. Remember, a url doesn’t have spaces between the words so be careful of putting words that end and begin with the same letter next to each other as it could lead to misspellings and misdirection.
If you have good SEO on your website, it is only logical that you would employ good SEO in your domain name. Do your research, find the right keywords and put them together in a way that will be easy and efficient for your users to find.
Your first impression is sometimes the only one that matters. You don’t want to be that weird house at the end of the block with the shady lawn gnomes whose eyes seem to follow you as you cross the yard. So be the big white house with the red door and porch swing, so make sure your domain name is an SEO, and user, friendly one.