How do you decide whether a long or short domain name is better? Does it affect how many visitors you get to your website, or does that not even play a factor? Before you buy a domain name, read ahead as we work through which way is best to proceed.
If you are thinking about starting a new website or are looking at renaming an existing one, you may be deciding if you are better off using a long or short domain name. We have many years of experience in this area. Because we want our clients to get the best possible outcomes with their website, we have put together this article to better understand the right decision. In addition, we walk through how users experience SEO metrics and other best general practices you need to consider.
Domain Names: What Are They?
The name that users type into Google and other search engines is referred to as a domain name and helps the user find your online website. For example, if you were to type into your browser www.sydneysouthsem.com.au, you will land on our website because this is our domain name. Just as we have physical addresses for homes we live in or places we work at, a domain name is your “home” address online.
Once you have a name for your website, it is then that you can purchase your name of choice from the registrar, specifically for domain names. Within Australia, we have many options, hundreds even when choosing different options for domain name registrars. However, once the purchase is made, it’s essential to remember you can always transfer it between the company through which you made your purchase and whoever will be hosting your website.
As a general rule, you will find that domain names are cheap to obtain and register; however, it’s essential to remember you will be required to pay a yearly renewal fee for it to remain yours. The renewal fees vary based on whether your choice is .com, .com.au, .name, .co, and the many other variations to choose from. Your renewal fees can vary between a small $5 and $100+ depending on your top-level domain specification.
Short Domain Name Benefits
You probably wonder what the benefits are of choosing a short domain name for your business, usually 15 characters or less. Generally, consumers are more likely to remember one, two, or three words than a more extended option. For example, when advertising your domain name across different platforms including, social media, radion, print and television. Having a domain name that is easy to remember means the consumer is more likely to recall it and type it into their browser.
Using a shorter and easy to remember name means that your brand recognition is more likely to be achieved a lot faster than a longer choice. If you are a business that pints business cards, t-shirts, keyrings or other goods down the line, a shorter domain name is easier to print and leaves more room for a logo or design. Again, seeing it short on the merchandise will also make it more likely to recall and type into a search browser.
The Benefits of Long Domain Names
While it may seem that short domain names are favourable, there are many great benefits of longer names too. Some of these positive attributes are not had by shorter options. For example, if you have a long company name, you can conveniently use it for your entire brand name. Additionally, in 2021 there have been many domain names registered; however, choosing a longer one means more of a chance you can register it.
Currently, domain names with four characters or less are unavailable because of the simple fact that there are none left. This means that using a larger domain name means a higher chance you can register it than a shorter one.
There are overlooked reasons why a longer one is beneficial, and this one could be considered one of the most important – you can put keywords in it. Currently, when keywords are included, they receive preferential treatment in search results. So, for example, if you decided to register your domain name as “brandname+service.com.au” rather than just your brand name, it would rank better. You are giving Google a better understanding of your website, which means adding keywords to your URL worthwhile.
Keywords: Are They Important in Your Domain Name
We cannot reiterate enough how, as of 2021, URLs that include keywords have preferential treatment in search engines results. Exact or partial match domains include either all or part of your keywords. For example:
If your website is “booksaboutbees.com.au”, it would be considered a domain that is an exact match.
However, if it was called “barbarasbooksaboutbees.com.au”, this is a partial match.
While Google has been evolving, they have placed less of an emphasis on partial and exact match domain; however, many in the SEO community believe it impacts on positions and rankings. This belief by Google is wrong, and you can see this by doing a simple search such as “SEO Sydney”, where you will discover the many companies benefiting from that exact domain.
Results show that featured pages have all or part keywords in their domain names on page one of Google. The algorithm for Google is less than perfect for identifying the difference between matches in domain names and websites with good SEO.
What Should I Choose, a Long or Short Domain Name
The best advice we can give is to choose a domain name that reflects your service or products and keep it short if possible. An ideal choice would be to include your brand name and a word that alludes to your products and is our primary recommendation.
It is also recommended that you choose something easy for consumers to recall, especially when used in various different types of advertising. However, be mindful that you may need to compromise a little on your choice given the reduced availability of shorter domain names, so brainstorm a few before long domain names.
For more information on long domain name, short domain name, and SEO , get in touch with our SEO team to move forward.