How to choose a domain name for SEO?

April 16, 2022
April 16, 2022 Mark Acornley

If you’re starting a website and thinking about how do I choose a domain name for SEO then you’re in luck because it’s not that difficult.

Ideally, you want to choose a domain name that’s short, easy to pronounce and has a trusted domain extension for example. a . COM or . CO.UK domain extension.

But with a lot of these popular extension domains already in use or even worse, for sale at astronomically high prices then you need to get a bit more creative in your selection.

Finding an SEO-friendly domain name made easy

Choosing a suitable name for a new site with SEO in mind isn’t too difficult. This is the first step in establishing an online presence and a lot of people get it wrong by choosing a domain that isn’t just SEO unfriendly but not great for user experience either.

If you pick the wrong type of domain name extension too, your web page could be deemed to be more likely to be spam, this is especially true if your website has a lot of thin content.

For example, the .work and .london domains are amongst the highest extensions most associated with spam, that’s not a great look.

What is a domain name?

Domains represent your website name.

This is a URL that is accessed through a browser when someone visits your website. In some domain names, the initial portion (before the dot symbol) is called the domain name and the final portion after the dot symbol has been called the domain extension.

For example, for the domain extension is .com and klubclicks is the domain name.

Domain names are fairly cheap to buy too. At first, when you’re in the decision-making stage, it’s simple to buy some domains just in case you want to use them.

It’s rare, if a domain name has been available for some time then the chances are that it won’t be taken in the next few weeks or months but in our opinion, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, domain names can get taken at any time.

A subdomain can sometimes indicate other parts of the website like, so if that’s something you’re considering for SEO purposes, that can also influence the domain name you’re going for.

What is domain SEO?

Choosing an SEO-friendly domain is important but there’s no magic touch.  It used to be much easier to rank if you had an exact match domain name but that’s no longer the case.

Domain SEO is essentially a technique for optimising the domain for search engine-based content. Having one domain though won’t make or break your SEO strategy.

Whilst getting an exact match domain is cool, you can do just as well using a different domain name, with high-quality content and backlinks, it will be just as powerful.

Root domain

While “the root domain” was originally conceived under DNS domain names, primarily refers to combining one unique domain name with one domain extension to create the complete website address.

The domains in your site root are the top pages in the web hierarchy of the website.

The root domain for each page may be constructed, but the URL for each page should technically use the same root domain. A common example of the root website is: All of your pages are on the same root web page. No two websites are identical.


Subdomains represent the second level of the domain hierarchy and represent an important component of the larger top-level domain. They can be added to the root domain and separated by periods from the domain names.

What’s the most important thing when choosing a domain name?

Currently, 71.73% of the world’s top-level domain names use the .com extension. This is nearly three-quarters of the internet which nearly totals 160 million domains.

The closest competitor is .net which has a 5.87% share. Ideally, the preference is clearly for a .com domain however it’s likely the domain name you want is already registered.

If it’s not in use, usually there’s a chance it’s for sale, but likely you’ll be paying a lot more than from an internet registry service.

Does domain name matter for SEO?

Yes and no. Yes, it matters because you want to have a great domain name but then no because the domain itself won’t help you rank. Ideally, you want to have an attractive domain, not too long and on a trustworthy extension.

It’s likely the.COM or CO.UK version of the domain name you want is already taken which leads people to go with different extensions.

Different extensions aren’t bad, you won’t be penalised for using them but they might not appear as trustworthy as familiar .coms or .co. UK domains are.

Do I need to change my domain name for SEO?

Domain names affect SEO. There’s no guarantee that these elements will not be the decisive aspect of your strategy. A change in domain name might confuse the search engine crawler, causing the site to fail.

A domain name update can help your visitors return and reduce your traffic on the site.

If your site name is not optimised for search engine marketing, you must change your name. Changing or revamping it could confuse customers as well as search engines.

What are Exact Match Domains (EMD)

As Google evolved this is no longer a significant ranking signal in search engine rankings. EMDs can be punished by Google if website owners are not careful when they administer their content.

If you understand how Google views a brand it can establish a solid reputation when it is unique. Keep your future in mind when looking for a suitable domain. Keep a close eye on how Google treats companies that brand themselves online.

SEO Best Practices for Your Domain Name

What do you think of domain names? How can I get a good domain name for my website from a good domain name search engine optimisation company? Remember that search engine results can vary depending on your website design.

Opt for a Good TLD

The best domain will significantly influence the ranking of a site’s web traffic. It also influences what users view your webpage in search results. You can only use TLDs that have strong reputations.

Buying domains like the .com domain would be the best bet.

Some industries may decide your TLD. examples of this. Govs. Edu indicates government or educational institution. Another example is listed below. The organisation aims to promote non-profits.

Io Technology Company. Avoid TLDs with a bad reputation on spam sites like the one below. – and. The following factors can have adverse effects if the page was placed in the wrong position or if the content is poorly read.

Use a Short Domain Name

Using shortened name extensions can be a good tool to boost the domain’s search rankings. Generally, short domain names can be easily understood or shared. Short domains also provide authority and professionalism, which can improve SEO rankings.

If possible, use at least 3 letters on your domain name. Even if the words are limited. It’s already possible for domain owners to register domain names with 2 letters.

Make your domain name memorable

Try and find a short, simple name. Those visitors have to visit your site directly, but it also needs a good processing process. An implicit cognitive bias processing fluency means a concept of remembering things that can easily be spoken and thought about and includes pronounceability.

Avoid domain names which contain several other ambiguous characters, use unusual words or spellings or have less than 15 characters.

Avoid hyphens if possible

Using two different domain names you might have to separate these words with hyphens. This use of the hyphen also significantly affects spamming behaviour, reducing the memorability and reading quality of domain names.

For this purpose, a maximum number of hyphens can be utilised.

Does domain extension affect SEO?

The TopLevel Domains or Domain Name extensions are generally not considered ranking factors for the search engine results page. Using country codes for top-level domains in such cases can help Google determine which countries your website will target.

Does changing your domain name affect SEO?

Changed domain names affect search engine optimisation. If you’re changing domains then it’s possible to carry on with your SEO efforts however you need to inform Google of the change of address and redirect your website using 301 redirects (this is the type of redirect for a permanent change of address).

If done correctly, you should suffer no long-term loss, there may be a little disruption in the first days or weeks however if it lasts longer, there could be a problem with the domain migration.

Where to buy domain names?

Our favourite place to buy domain names is Namecheap. We find them to be consistently the cheapest, especially for .com and domains.

There are many other places to buy from, and a quick Google search will show you a load of sellers, however, be wary that there’s not just one official price, and each registry service will charge its prices for different domains.

Whilst one might seem cheaper with “free domains” or first-year 99p, what you’ll often find is that you’re paying a premium for year two of the domain, whereas you could find two years separately paying less.

Getting actual free domains

You may be able to get a free domain from your hosting company. If you’re still in the idea phase, look for a hosting company that offers free domains with a hosting plan.

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