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Choosing Domain Names – a Cunning Plan?

When you first get involved in search engine marketing it is very tempting to race off and register all the keyword rich domains you can think of with the objective of getting better rankings in Google AND stopping your sneaky competitors getting their grubby little claws on them.

It can be quite addictive. In no time at all you’ve blown $500 and now own more domain names than Gina Rinehart.

Having your keywords in your domain name does help a little in the search engine rankings, but it is only a very small factor compared to more important ranking factors like metatag construction, on-page keyword density, page structure, bounce-rate and the quality and quantity of incoming links.

The trouble with keyword rich domains is that they are not brandable or memorable.

Here’s an example. Say I was setting up a widget washing business and was looking to register a new domain name. It may be tempting to buy a bunch of domains like:


The trouble is many other widget washing companies have had similar cunning plans which means very few exact match domains are still available AND more importantly, there are now hundreds of very similar sounding domain names.

This plethora of similar sounding domain names means visitors will not remember the correct domain name and if they try to revisit your web site, there’s a good chance they will end up at one of your competitors.

When picking a domain name there are several criteria you should consider:

  • Is the domain name available?
  • Is it easy to remember?
  • Is it short?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Is it easy to say and pronounce?

These days it may make more sense to decide on the domain name first, THEN register the business or trading name.

So in the widget washing example above, some better domain name choices may include: