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Is Your Domain Name Hurting Your Traffic?

You visited a great website some time ago that had some fantastic information on it. It is not easily found in search engines results so you decide to head over to your favorite browser and try to remember the domain name. The problem is that the domain spells out something like keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword-keyword.com. Does that sound normal, let alone ethical to you? It maybe helpful with those search engine rankings but for many visitors that can be a pain in you know what to type out.

For years now I’ve worked as a consultant and was surprised when I had learned just how many people can’t type in a hyphen. Instead of finding out how to do it, they just move on to an alternate site; hence a loss of traffic. The average computer user can be a lazy fellow indeed. That’s why there are so many keyboard shortcuts. He needs to complete his task as soon as possible. Ever wonder why the Googles, Yahoos, Amazons and Ebays of the online world are so successful? It’s because there domain names play a significant role in there branding. There are countless amounts of people logging on to the Internet for the first time each day in search of information that can assist them in some way, shape, or form. It is imperative that your domain name play a major part in creating a bond with your viewers.

For almost two years I marketed a free website that was hosted on Geocities. My domain name spelt out Geocities.com/Myname – which made marketing feel like running with an anchor tied to my legs. I can’t even imagine the amount of traffic and credibility that I lost due to that single factor.

So do keyword filled domain names work? It could, and sometimes it won’t. I believe that having a domain with too many words in it can be a turnoff, just like having a Geocities site. It seems unprofessional for a company to have a name that contrasts the credibility that they are trying to create. Some domain names are like a cargo train several compartments long. Why? Since some search engines do not give any significance to the meta keyword tag, some webmasters fill their domain names with their keywords.

Let me give you another personal example. A client of mine owns http://attentiontodetailmanagement.com – a fairly long domain name however for branding and SEO purposes it does the job well. However creating employee email accounts with this domain wouldn’t really be practical. It’s a hassle for customers and vendors to type in, and, it takes up a lot of space on business cards and promotional material. In the end it hurts you offline, while it only helps you slightly online. So for this reason we went ahead and registered http://atdmcms.com – a short and memorable domain that can easily be used everywhere.

A good domain name does not guarantee success however, but a memorable and easy to spell name can be beneficial to both you and your visitors. You can have an easier time reaching them and they will have an easier time finding you with a quick type in of your domain.

In the long run, your website should focus on your visitors first, and search engines later. Choose a memorable and easy to enter domain name to market to your customers and use 90% of the time; and use your keywords in your title and h1 tags instead, and any secondary domains you wish to purchase.

About Michael Boguslavskiy

Michael Boguslavskiy is a full-stack developer & online presence consultant based out of New York City. He's been offering freelance marketing & development services for over a decade. He currently manages Rapid Purple - and online webmaster resources center; and Media Explode - a full service marketing agency.

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