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An article contributed by Cybersite Services Pte Ltd.

Cybersite Services Pte Ltd is an accredited registrar of SGNIC.

How to choose an SEO-friendly domain name

When starting a new website, one of the first and most important decisions you have to make is choosing a domain name. That choice will impact the website’s success in nearly every area, including search engine optimisation (SEO). Let’s examine the factors that make a good domain name and how it will impact SEO.
SEO is a technique used to increase the visibility of a website or a webpage in a web search engine, and turning that “visibility” into revenue. It can be a lucrative pursuit if you choose the right domain name. 

Keep the following factors in mind when choosing a domain name.

Keywords
Historically, most businesses choose domain names that include their relevant keywords and phrase, or exact match domains (EMDs). For example, if you want to rank for Green products, you may want to purchase greenproducts.com.

However, in light of Google announcing that EMD no longer rank as well as before, it may be wise to also consider branding when you choose a domain name. In some cases, you can consider a premium name, keeping in mind the search volume this premium name will generate. Most premium names are also more expensive. 
 

Branding
As mentioned earlier, branding has become more important in terms of SEO consideration, as it is how people perceive and remember you. Said Google CEO Mr Eric Schmidt: “Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”

What is a "brandable" domain name? Start with these factors: 

  • Uniformity: Select a domain name that is the same as your company’s official name. It builds uniformity across your business, and it also reinforces your brand.
  • Relevance: Relate your domain name to an industry specific, so that people know what your website or business is all about. For example, a food blog can consider ".food" in the domain name.
  • Short: Keep your domain short and easy to spell. A study has shown that the top 50 websites have six characters in their domain name.
  • Location: If you are targeting a specific location/country, say Singapore, using an extension (or geographical suffix) such as .org.sg is advised. Having a geographic extension will help rank high for that specific country as people are inclined to choose local links. Google will also give prority to local results.
  • Hyphens: Avoid hyphens when registering for a domain, as they usually rank low in SEO. Also think of a user habit, where many will type domains without hyphens. With this habit the user may be misled to a different website which is not yours.
In a nutshell, having a good domain name, that is, uniform, relevant and short, will definitely build up your brand and reputation. Meanwhile, coupling it with geo-specific and .com extensions will help you reach the target audience.

Don’t forget your web hosting service provider


After selecting the right domain name, choosing a suitable web hosting provider is also critical to keeping your website alive on the web.  Web hosting issues can lead to improper loading of pages, which can also affect search engine rankings.

The following list of features can be the guidance for you to choose the most suitable web hosting your business demands:
 
• Server Uptime
As mentioned, staying alive on the web 24×7 is the bottom line requirement for every website. Especially for e-Commerce websites, every single moment your site is not accessible by your users may mean a loss of sale, and defeats the very purpose of your business. Typical industry standard of a server uptime is 99.9%.

• Page loading speed 
According to Kissmetrics, delay of one second in page response can result in 7% reduction in conversions. You can also lose up to 40% of your customers if it’s more than two seconds.
The RAM and the bandwidth of your web hosting decide this important factor of your website. Here, purchasing a Virtual Private Server can help, as you have specific RAM and bandwidth specially assigned to you.