Tossing up between a Long Domain Name or Short Domain Name? Before you buy your new domain name, read this article.
Are you thinking about starting a new website or renaming an existing one? You may be wondering, “Which is best, a long domain name vs. short domain name?”. This page has been created to help answer that question and to put you on the right track when it comes to choosing the best possible domain name for your new website.
Before you pull the trigger on a new domain name, take a read of this article to decide whether a short domain name or long domain name is going to be the best option for you. We take into consideration the user experience metrics, SEO metrics, and general best practices that you should consider when choosing a new domain name for your website.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is the name the users will use to type into google (along with your TLD specification) to find your website online. For example, when you type in safaridigital.com.au, you will land on this website. That is our domain name. Just like a physical address, our domain name is the place where you can find us online.
When you decide on what you want to call your new website, you can purchase the domain name from a domain name registrar. In Australia, there are hundreds of different options for domain name registrar. It’s important to remember that once you purchase the domain name, you can always transfer it between the company you bought it from, to the company that will be hosting your website.
Generally speaking, domain names are cheap to purchase and register. Users will pay a yearly renewal fee to keep the domain name. The average yearly fee will vary depending on whether you choose a .com, .com.au, .Sydney, .co etc. Your top level domain specification will determine how much your yearly renewal fees are. Depending on your TLD, yearly renewal fees can range from $5 all the way up to $100+.
The Benefits of Short Domain Names
Wondering why you should choose a short domain name for your business? Shorter domains are usually 15 characters or less. They can be comprised of one, two, or three words and a generally much easier to remember than longer domain names. This means that when you are advertising your domain name across different mediums such as print, social, radio, television etc. it is easier for users to recall and type your domain name into their browser.
Short domain names are easy to remember and generally mean that you can build brand recognition much faster than a longer domain name. Let’s say that you get company t-shirts, business cards, or stickers made down the line, they are also much easier to print and take up less room. Users are more likely to recall the name of the brand and then type it into a search browser or Google using a brand name search.
Benefits of Long Domain Names
If you are thinking about a long domain name, it might not be a bad idea! Long domain names have a number of benefits that shorter domain names do not have. For starters, you are able to use your entire brand name which is convenient if you have a longer company name. Secondly, given the sheer number of domain names that are registered in 2021, there is a much higher chance that you will be able to register the domain name that you want.
As of 2021, there are no domain names with four characters or less currently for sale on the market. For instance, we would have loved to register the domain name safari.com.au, however, given the name had already been registered to an existing company, we had to register safaridigitial.com.au. When you register a longer domain name, your chances of getting a brand name that you want is much higher than a shorter domain name.
One of the most overlooked benefits of choosing a longer domain name is that you are able to put your target keywords in them. As of 2021, websites that include their target keywords in them still receive preferential treatment in the search engine results pages. For instance if you were to register your domain name as “brandname+service.com.au” it would be easier to rank than just a brand name. By adding your keywords to the URL, you are giving Google a clearer picture about what they can expect to find on your website.
Are Keywords Important in Your Domain Name?
We touched on this above. But let me reiterate the sentiment. As of 2021, websites that include keywords in their URL receive preferential treatment in the search engine results pages.
Exact Match Domains or Partial Match Domains are domains that include all or part of your keyword as the domain name. For instance:
If your website was “roofrepairs.com.au”, this would be considered an exact match domain.
If your website name was “dansroofrepairs.com.au”, this is considered a partial match domain.
Over the years, Google has evolved to place less emphasis on exact and partial match domains. There are people in the SEO community that will debate the point that exact or partial match domains do not impact rankings or positions. In 2021, we are here to tell you that they are flat out wrong. A simple search for a phrase like “SEO Sydney” will show the sheer number of companies that are benefiting from an exact match domain. Many of the companies that feature on page one of Google are there because they have all or part of the keyword in their domain name. If they were to try to repeat the same result with a domain name without exact or partial keyword, there is a very low chance that they would be able to repeat the same results.
Officially speaking, Google rolled out an update back in 2012 that was designed to reduce the power of exact match domains (EMDs) to rank for competitive search terms. As of 2021, the algorithm is still less than perfect with separating website with good SEO vs. those with partial or exact match in their domain name.
Should I Go with a Long Domain Name or Short Domain Name?
We advise that you choose a domain name that reflects the service or goods that you are offering and try to keep it as short as possible. If you can choose a domain that includes your brand name + a word that alludes to the product or service that you are offering, then that would be our recommendation.
Choose something that is going to be easy for consumers to remember and something that is going to be easy to recall if it were used in other forms of advertising. The long domain name vs. short domain name argument is still going strong in the SEO community and wider web development community. Given the sheer number of domain names that have been registered over the last decade, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a name that is suitable.
We would recommend brainstorming five or ten different domain names that you could use and running them past a control group such as employees, friends, or family to get an impartial opinion. Don’t get caught up on a long domain name vs. short domain name, just because a domain name is short does not inherently make it easier to remember. Choose a domain name that reflects the products or services you will be selling and build around that.
A long domain name or short domain name will not be the determining factor of your SEO success in 2021 and beyond. Over the last five years we have helped businesses with exact match, partial match, no match, long domain name, and short domain names to achieve exceptional results with SEO. Creating a strong website foundation and architecture is more important than choosing a domain name. As we move forward, we expect that partial and exact match domains play a diminishing role in Google’s search ranking algorithm. If you’d like to talk to an expert from our SEO company about your existing or prospective domain, get in touch with the Safari Digital team today.