As part of our series of blogs for getting started with SEO we have put together a short article describing what makes a great Domain name with the aim of improving your websites SEO ranking. If you already have a URL this article may not be for you however you may be looking to have a second website with supporting content for your main website in which case the information below should be very useful.
Registering your domain name is incredibly important the worst thing that can happen is to not register your domain name and it gets picked up by someone else.
However just registering your business name as your domain name may not be the best domain name for your website unless your company name is renowned or well known, the reason for this is your domain name is one to the biggest indications that search engines use to identify what your business is lets look at an example how to build a good domain name for search engines.
If you are an electrician based in Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire UK) with the business name “Smiths Electricians” the obvious domain name could be www.smiths-electricians.co.uk.
Good news if you ate Mr Smith and your an electrician this domain name is currently available.
Now lets imagine a potential customer from Aylesbury is searching for an electrician what search terms will they be searching for?
If it was me I would be looking for terms like “Electrician Buckinghamshire”, “Corgi Registered Electrician Aylesbury” or similar the problem is that the only thing that matches these search terms to your website is “Electrician” and your URL is not doing a great job bringing you to the top of any searches in fact your are just as likely to appear in the search results when people search for you when they search in Glasgow, Slough, or America.
To get around this one popular way of getting your domain name to get you near the top of search results is to add your location or area you cover so…
www.aylesbury-electrician.co.uk – This would be great if you live in Aylesbury for one you have both Electrician and Aylesbury in your domain meaning you are more likely to attract more local potential customers.
www.buckinghamshire-electrician.co.uk – This would offer you customers to a wider area however they would need to search Buckinghamshire as opposed to Aylesbury
There are other indications you can add using other SEO techniques to get your website noticed however these are good to get really strong keywords on the first thing search engines will see giving really strong indication as to where you are and what you do.
Another scenario is you run a deliver company from Tring (Hertfordshire UK) called “foobar”, now you have depots all over the UK where you send packages to to be sent out from to reach their destinations, the above solution to get a strong URL would not work or be advisable.
foobar.co.uk would be the first suggestion for a domain name and yes it identifies your company name however it doesn’t identify what you do.
foobar-deliveries.co.uk would be better alternative as it also identifies what you do.
foobar-uk-parcel-deliveries.co.uk would also work in that your url has key words UK and deliveries meaning if someone searched “UK Deliveries” your company is more likely to rank above others.
The draw back to this is that your main URL gets very long very quickly which means people are less likely to find you by entering your url, some companies get around this by having a second URL that acts as a sign post to the main full URL for example www.foobar.co.uk could be redirected through to www.oobar-uk-parcel-deliveries.co.uk meaning all your trucks and vans have the shorter URL on making it easier for people to remember.
Just because you have no website doesn’t mean that you cannot advertise online and start getting your company noticed online. indeed there are many websites where depending on your industry you can register to get free advertising, I like to think of these as signposts to your website and the more signposts there are out there the more likely people are to find you.
Now until your website goes live I would not recommend publishing its URL as this will result in a dead link and only frustrate potential customers but also muck things up with the search engines…. however any other information entered is absolutely fine to do just remember you will need to go back through these once your website is live to add your url later.
Google business is essentially an online directory of businesses, it is completely free and requires very little effort to set up but you can start by clicking the below link.
Once registered google will verify your company/organization and this can take many forms however as long as the data you enter is accurate this should be no problem.
Once verified your company will display on google maps and localized search results, not only that is your company is the top result your company could appear in the right hand column right at the top of the search results.
Your website could be the number 1 driving factor for attracting new customers to your business, however there are plenty of places to register your company with to maximise the chances of you being found.
Websites such as yelp, yell, thomson local to find more click here.
As well as getting your company listed in more locations on the internet on most directory services they also allow you to add a URL/link to your home page, this can build credibility for your domain but also gives potential customers more chances to find you.
If you have not launched your website do not worry you can always update the information at a later date, alternately you can subscribe to other services you can pay to keep all this information updated however why pay when for the sake of a few hours there is no monthly fee.
This is a tough one as the social networks you set up should be relevant to what you do, some B2B businesses do not see the point in Facebook and Twitter however will get set up with linked in.
At AME WebTech we take a more liberal take on social networks and advise to sign up to 2-5 different social networks, if you sell a lot of products Pinterest can be a great way of making your products visible to potential customers whilst Instagram is great for photographers to show off their work.
The great thing is that this can all start before your website is launched and if you have any followers what better way to lanch your website then to add a post or comment letting every one know it is now live.
The draw back to any social networking is that you will need to keep new content trickling in, if you are not posting frequently your engagement with your customer is seen as low and they are less likely to keep as close an eye on your company, for b2b we advise a post every 2 weeks for b2c depending on your industry we advise posting from twice a week to 2-3 times a day.
Your website needs to be full of well written content that will let every one who visits your website what you do, but you also need to start collecting images that you have permission to use or own.
A website with out content is completely pointless as no search engine will rank you particularly highly but also your visitors will loose interest very quickly.
When writing your content try to put your self in your customers shoes, what do they want to know, what questions will they have and how well can your company satisfy their needs.
Each page should have atleast 2-3 paragraphs and no fewer then 300 words as this will give you a good chance to include terms in your content that people on google etc may enter when looking for your website.
Marketing is an ongoing process, a website is a great tool to show you are a legitimate company and to show everything you do however getting people to visit your website can be hard work.
Whilst getting to the top of google may seem the best solution this can only be achieved over time and why limit your self to only being found on google when millions of potential customers may prefer to use directory services or notice a post on a social network that takes their interest.
The most important thing is to take time don’t rush and earn your customers in the right way, don’t flood un-related social channels with content that no one will be interested in when your efforts could be better spent adding your company to directory services.
At AME WebTech we advise all the above is done before your website goes live, we can help but generally this is a task for our clients to under take as you will have a much better idea then any one else in the world about the type of customer you want to attract.