How Important Are Keywords in the Domain Name for SEO?
There still exists different schools of thought on what the right approach for naming a domain is. Google’s ranking algorithms evolve from time to time, and knowing the best approach is somewhat of a gamble. With the end goal being to ascend to the top of search results, should you base your domain name on the keywords that will represent your website?
The great significance once assigned to domain name keywords has reduced as search engines adapt different algorithms. There is still some SEO purpose served by having domains with targeted keywords, but it is highly watered down now.
Ranking of Domain Keywords
Not so long ago, search engines trusted websites a lot more, and determined their relevance by how close the domain name matched the search queries. Many people exploited this realisation by optimising their sites for search engines, rather than the users who would visit them. Domain names became crammed with keywords, as did the websites. This made the search for useful information harder, and Google had to rethink its search algorithms as keyword domains no longer promised relevant websites. This has brought us to the present where the focus is more on the quality and value of the content.
Success in ranking now has even less to do with certain keywords in the domain name. They are still important to some degree, but they should not be prioritised. If they are, then the performance of your website will actually be worse. Remember that domain names are supposed to make it easier for users to find your website, not search engines. Thus they should be easy to remember.
Using Keywords the Right Way
Despite the amount of negativity attached to keywords so far, you should not completely disregard them. Simply learn how to use them the right way. When the domain name has naturally integrated keywords, SEO performance improves because of the amount of backlinks to your website that indicate strongly to search engines that your keyword domain is actually legitimate. This strategy only works if you can find a domain name that is able to include a keyword in a brandable way.
The ultimate goal for your domain name is to have something that will be easily remembered and liked. If your site’s offerings are strong enough to invite high traffic, the search engines will eventually pick this up, keyword use aside.