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Domain Names


Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name is an important decision that you will live with for a long time. There are three basic flavours or types of domain names to consider when choosing a domain name for your website. A domain name also includes a domain suffix or domain extension. This page is geared to businesses that are new to choosing a domain name.

A domain name is string of letters and-or numbers with a suffix that is registered in the DNS or Domain Name System. The DNS routes the visitor to the correct IP address where the website is located. For example: The domain XYZconstruction.com has two parts. XYZconstruction is the name and .com is the suffix. The suffix is also referred to as the domain extension. These are the two basic parts that need to be considered when choosing a domain name.

There are hundreds of domain suffixes. The .COM suffix is associated with businesses but name selection can be limited, as many of the best domain names have already been taken. The domain suffix .CA is used by Canadian companies. In Canada, .COM and .CA are the most preferable suffixes for domain names.

When choosing a domain name be sure to use a domain name checker to see if your possible domain name is available. This will save a lot of time and you should be aware of a unique phenomenon that happens with domain names. If you find a killer domain name that is available in the .COM and .CA suffixes then grab it. It is absolutely amazing how many times someone hesitates in buying a domain, only to find the next day that the domain name was purchased by someone else. Always keep this in mind when shopping for a domain.

3 Basic Types of Domain Names

There are 3 basic types of domain names: Branding, Keyword or a Branding-Keyword Combination. All 3 should be considered when choosing a domain name.

Branding Domain Name. A good example would be a shoe company named XYZ shoes that has the brand XYZ and the domain XYZ.COM.

Keyword Domain Name. Using the previous example of XYZ shoes a keyword domain name would not include their name, XYZ. In this case, if XYZ used trackshoes.COM then they would have a keyword domain name.

Keyword and Branding Combined. Using XYZ as an example the domain XYZtrackshoes.COM is a Keyword-Branding domain name.

Domain Names and SEO

From an SEO standpoint, there are numerous pros and cons to each type of domain name. In fact, in the SEO world this topic is highly controversial with opinions. Years ago the search engines placed more weight on keyword domains. This has been reduced dramatically, but in our opinion it is still beneficial to use a keyword or Combination domain name.

Perhaps the best analysis was a CanIRank study on keyword Domains. This study resulted in the following key findings:

  • Keyword domains rank on average 11% higher than brandable domains

  • Brandable domains needed an average of 40,000 more links to hit #1, and 35,000 more links to reach the Top 10

  • Brandable domains needed 69% higher Domain Authority and 22% higher Page Authority to rank in the Top 10

  • Keyword domains were able to hit #1 with half as much content, and only using the keyword half as frequently

  • Looking at all Ranking Factors, it's clear that keyword domains rank more easily due to higher Website Relevancy and Website Ext Relevancy scores

  • Other Domain Name Factors

    There are a lot of other factors that influence which is the best type of domain name to use for a business. Companies that already have an established branding domain name are usually best to keep the same domain when launching a new website. Every company has different factors that can come in to play when choosing a domain name.

    Choosing a domain name is a big decision, especially if you are getting a new website for the first time. It is always preferable to talk to a SEO professional when choosing a domain name. If you have any questions, or if we can be of assistance, give us a call or schedule a free consultation on choosing a domain name.