A Singapore SME’s Guide On How To Get An SEO Friendly Domain Name

You have a brilliant blogging or startup concept – one you’re sure the world will fawn over.

Congratulation on all that and the great future that awaits you. But here’s something to rain on your cheer parade – before you even think of sharing the million dollar idea with the rest of the world do you have a fabulous domain name for your online business portal?

Come to think of it, we’re living in a globally connected world, where having a great product, service or idea isn’t enough to set you up for success. Whether you’re selling a great product the world can’t do without, you still need a nicely designed web portal to compete effectively in the current business setting.

We’re NOT talking app, YouTube channel, or social media page, but a well-branded business website that allows you to plant your products or services firmly in the consumers’ public radar.

And that’s NOT where it all stops – the website set has to perform well. It’s has to be well marketed and optimised for search engines for it to drive business. So in a way, if you’re having a website that doesn’t perform well by driving you enough traffic and leads, then what you’re running isn’t anything more than a money pit.

Running ads or carrying out an intensified online campaign is certainly NOT going to take your business anywhere if you haven’t taken time to reconsider a few cruxes of running a successful web portal for your business.

And it all starts by ensuring you’ve secured the most fitting, search engine optimised domain name for the central hub of all your online operations.

Why Does the Domain Name You Choose Really Matter?

The domain name you choose is certainly going to affect your search engine ranking.

It’s NO secret that you want your brand to get noticed. You also want people to know what your business is all about by just looking at your domain name.

By optimising your domain name for search engines, NOT only will you be helping potential visitors find out what your site or business is all about, or the products and services to expect should they decide to check it out, you’ll also be making your site visible in the search engine result pages.

Your domain name gets to stick out, thus making it easy to be found every time online users hit the search engine with search terms that relate to your line of business.

If there’s a group of marketers that has perfected the art of leveraging SEO-friendly domain names, it has to be spam sites. If you’ve been keen on observing, you must have noticed that most of them try to purchase domain names that feature their targeted keywords. By doing so, their links get to receive an impressive count of click-through’s, compared to a situation where they’d have just settled for a random domain name they can pick. Their sites also tend to get ranked favourably well, particularly on targeted keywords.

This goes on to show that the domain name you choose will most likely affect how well you rank in the SERPs. By choosing a more appropriate domain name, you’ll have an easy time targeting the right audience, thus accelerating your Google search placement.

It’s however important to note that choosing an appropriate domain name runs deeper than cashing in on keywords.

How the Domain Name You Choose Impacts Your Search Engine Ranking

There are two ways the domain name you choose can impact your SEO. These are:

  • Branding
  • Keywords

Branding Domain

Branding domain name represents your business to the core. It’s what enables your user to identify and remember your business whenever they’re online searching for a product or service you’re offering.

With branding, you choose your domain name the same time you come up with an appropriate name for your business. And just in case you already have a business name, then you’re allowed to use it as the domain name for your website, unless otherwise.

Branding domain names are mostly concerned about raising awareness around your business. A classic example is Apple – instead of using a domain name such as most-advanced-smartphone, they simply opted to use the brand name instead. And that’s because Apple is already an established brand that doesn’t depend on keyword stuffing to be successful online.

Google and other search engines know about brands. They also know the kind of keywords people associate certain brands with.

As a marketer looking to establish a solid online presence, it’s important that you start working towards creating a strong online brand that people will be clicking on, reading, sharing and linking to their websites and blogs with little to no inveigling on your part.

You’re simply working towards creating a positive brand, which will go a long way to ensure your website gains some credibility and trust. Once you’ve succeeded in achieving this, search engines will take note of it and reward you accordingly with a prime ranking.

Here are a few scenarios when it’s more appropriate for you to use your brand name as a domain name:

  1. After you’ve succeeded in establishing a strong brand that’s widely recognised.
  2. Once you’ve successfully promoted your brand, creating a tremendous amount of awareness around it.
  3. When your brand is the name you use. This applies to musicians, authors, and motivational speakers. You’re allowed to use your name as your domain name, unless you’re writing under a pen-name – in which case, you’ll be required to use the pen-name instead.
  4. You have a very unique brand – the only one of its kind.
  5. Your plan is to secure a prime rank for your brand name.

Keyword Branding

With keyword branding, you basically choose a domain name based on a search term that’s related to your line of business. It could be a name of a product or service you’re offering or a simple description of what it is that you do.

For instance, you could be a web developer based in Singapore. Instead of using your business name or anything of the sort, you go ahead and pick something like singaporewebdeveloper.com as your business domain name.

But do this bearing in mind that brand domains tends to carry more weight compared to their keywords counterpart.

Domain Name Options

You have a broad range of domain name options to decide on. Here’s a list of them:

Branding Domains

This involves using your business name as your domain. The domain doesn’t have to relate to your business, products or the services you offer. But just another random domain that you’ll be working towards making it known.

Good thing about branding domain names is that it provides you with a blank slate upon which you’ll be building your business. You’re the man in charge, and the person to decide on what you want the domain name to be associated with.

The only limitation is that it actually requires that you spend the bulk of your marketing time and effort working around your brand to make it known.

Local Domain Names

Local domain names feature corresponding locations. The domain name can still feature a keyword describing your products or services, but there has to be the name of the location where your business is based somewhere in the domain name.

An example includes trustedwebdeveloperinSingapore.com. The name Singapore is purposely integrated in the domain name to help out with local SEO. It specifies that you’re located in Singapore and, as a marketer, your primary target are the people within this geographical location.

The only downfall is that it limits you from scaling your business beyond the borders of your region. Not just for search engines, it also make it a bit difficult to brand your business.

Service Domain Name

As the name suggests, this one describes the product or service you offer. It simply highlights what you do, making it easy for people to find your site by entering your targeted keyword into the search engine bar.

This domain name option also makes it easy for you to market your products and services. Online users simply get to look at your site’s domain name can easily tell what your business is involved with in the first place.

The problem comes when there are so many other people taking the same approach as you or if you’re operating in a saturated line of business. As you’re likely to find out, securing a favourable ranking when the industry you’re in is saturated is a bit difficult, unless otherwise.

Service plus Local Domain Names

This is a combination of your product description together with your geographical area of operation. You want people to find out about what you do, and at the same time, you want to narrow down your audience to a certain geographic location for a higher conversion rate.

Will Your Domain Name Length Also Affect Your ranking in the SERPs?

No, it doesn’t really – and that’s because ranking algorithms never consider domain name lengths as part of their ranking factors.

So as long as the domain name is okay with you, no matter the length, you don’t have to worry about getting thrown off the search engine results simply because you didn’t observe your domain name length.

What about Domain Name Extensions?

Again, there’s no direct correlation between the domain name extension that you choose and SEO.

It’s to be however noted that country code top level domain names such as sg, ca, us, and .uk to name a few can affect your ranking at a geographical level.

Let’s say for instance your domain name has the sg extension. If a Singapore based searches for a product or service within your area of operation, then there’s a fair chance your site will be considered first over another site using the .com extension, other factors held constant.

It’s a Wrap

With this information in mind, choosing a domain name that’s optimised for search engine ranking shouldn’t be that much of a hassle. Don’t overthink the whole thing. Instead, focus on keeping it simple and easy to remember and brand. Do this keeping in mind that choosing an SEO-friendly domain name is only but the first step to ensuring your site secures a favourable spot in the SERPs.

Head on down to this post to see the best domain name registrars for Singapore domains:

How To Register A Singapore Domain Name Like .COM.SG or .SG?

Now after you’ve figured out the right domain name for your business, you might want to reach out to MediaOne for a free SEO or domain name consultation.