You’ve completed the design and coding for your new website, now you’re ready to make your site live. What do you do? Find a hosting site and search for available domain names. Inevitably, unless you have a long unique name for your site chances are you’ll be given a ton of options with unfamiliar domain names (.net, .biz, .me, .ca). Above is the list of domain options that pop up if you were to type in “” Of course our California website design firm has already taken it, so we’re left with these options. Choosing the best domain name for your site can be a daunting task, but have no fear! Our fifth installment of How to Master the Art of SEO will provide you with some helpful tips about making your domain work for you.

Our design firm specializes in web page development, print & multimedia design as well as SEO . Choosing a suitable domain name is the first step towards building a solid, user friendly site that can easily be found by the top search engines today. Now let’s take a look at the advantages of choosing a great domain name!


Keyword Heavy URLS
If you are already aware of what keywords are pertinent to potential clients who are searching for your site, it’d be an excellent idea to incorporate it into your domain name. For example, if you’re a dentist it’d be ideal to have the word “dentist” somewhere in your domain name: super happy This is especially true for search engines like Yahoo! and Bing.

Site Accessibility
A feature that is often taken for granted is the fact that you’re site needs to be accessible in order for it to be indexed and therefore ranked by search engines. If you have any broken links, 404 errors or password protected areas these will not be read by search engines.

Site Map
Having a complete site map is crucial to creating an SEO friendly site. Websites today often like to display their entire site map as a large footer at the end of their page (see above) which is extremely user friendly since it gives web browsers a second navigation option and SEO friendly.

Site Size
In general, search engines love large sites. Probably because expansive websites are associated with depth and thus credibility. However, make sure that you’re not just adding fluff to your site just to make it bigger; this can lead to bad usability and difficulty of navigation. Remember you’re creating a website for the user, not the search engines.

Site Age
While it’s important to constantly refresh the actual content of a site, the actual age of the site itself plays a vital role from a credibility standpoint. Spiders love older sites because it shows that they are more established and trustworthy in oppose to a new site.

File Location on Site
It’s vital that important files on your site are located in the either the root directory or somewhere near it; they will be ranked higher than files that are buried a few levels deeper.

Separate Domains
It is usually better to have separate domains instead of sub domains because they can boost the strength of its keywords more so. For example, it would be better to have instead of

Top Level Domains
As you can see when we searched for available domain names .com was already taken. While .com trumps .ws, .biz or .info, .edu and .org are just as credible.

Hyphens in URLs
These help your domain name to be easier read by search engines and thus improves your ranking.

Now that you’ve learned more about how domain names can help boost your SEO rankings, stay tuned next week for Vol. 5, Visual Extras!

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