How to Choose Your Domain Name for Maximum SEO

Choosing the right domain name is the first and arguably crucial step when launching a website. Your domain name is the flagship of your business, and apart from it serving as a window into your venture, it also needs to be optimized for search engines. Keeping up with the times is important, and those who don’t evolve and adapt to these new trends suffer a huge loss in traffic. So, here are a few guidelines on how to pick the right domain name for your website in order to maximize its SEO.

Keyword Domains

In order to come up with the optimal domain name, you need to take a few things into consideration. First, if you don’t already have a recognizable brand name that can be used as your domain name, you have two options. Either you make a brand name from scratch and then use that as your domain name, or you use some keyword relevant to your business as the domain name. If you opt for the first suggestion, then you need to work on spreading brand awareness over the internet. If you chose the latter, it’s a bit more complex. In the past, keywords were the main thing when it came to domain name SEO, and it’s easy to understand why. Imagine someone looking to buy some healthy food. In the case that you named your domain, when this person types ‘healthy foods’ into their Google search bar, it will probably be the first thing to pop up. Nowadays, things are a bit different. In 2012, Google updated its search algorithm, and as a result, keyword domains were no longer the best option. Namely, Google is now more interested in the quality of the content on your website than the keyword in the domain’s name. You can still go for keyword domains if you feel like you don’t have a specific brand name you can use, just make sure that you utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner if you want to find the optimal keyword for your website.

Branded Domains

Today, these domains are greatly preferred by search engines. Not only that, but they have unique names that are a lot easier to remember than keywords. This is why Amazon uses for its domain name and not The brand is more important than the keyword. Moreover, it is extremely recognizable, which will in turn have much lower bounce rates as people will know exactly what to expect on that website. For example, people searching for Adidas shoes won’t go to, right? Apart from being more memorable, branded domain names have clearer backlinks and longer retention times than keyword domains. The main downside of this method is that it takes a lot of time and effort to create a new brand from scratch. You’ll need to do some aggressive marketing on social media and the like to spread your brand awareness enough, so that people can actually recognize your brand. Just make sure that you buy domain name with your brand’s name in it before starting this marketing campaign, unless you want to risk someone else snatching it right under your nose.

Things to Avoid

Now, bear in mind that there are a few things you should avoid at all costs. Using hyphens, for one, is ill advised, as people often forget about them and then go to the wrong site when they don’t type them out. Another downside of hyphens is that they make your site look spammy, as fake sites are notorious for their use of hyphens. They use hyphens to mimic famous domain names like, for example, to generate more traffic on their website. Obviously, you don’t want to be associated with them. Similarly, don’t use low-quality TLD’s, which are .biz, .info, .ws and .name. Such extensions are generally shunned by the online community as they too are used by scammers most of the time. Likewise, having a local extension, such as .uk, will rank your website highly in the UK, but not the rest of the world, so using .com is better in both cases. Finally, keeping your domain name under fifteen characters will make it easier for people to remember it and thus reduce the likelihood of typos, as well as making it more SEO friendly overall.

To sum up, if you are choosing between a keyword domain name and a branded domain name, the latter is probably the better option. Moreover, make sure to avoid using hyphens and low-quality extensions in your domain name to disassociate your website from scammers, and use a short memorable name instead.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on

The Need for Properly Marketing the Travel Industry

If you work in the travel industry, you know the importance of using social media to advertise your business, get your name out there and gain new clients.

travel_blogWhether you’re a travel agent, travel insurance associate or you simply are a full-time traveler, having a blog and a social media presence are essential to your business’ marketing efforts.

Think about the last time you planned a vacation. What inspired you to plan one?

Most likely, it was seeing photos of family and friends’ vacations on social media in addition to needing a break from work.

When it came time to actually plan the trip, you probably searched online for the best deals and vacation packages. You might have visited travel websites and travel blogs to learn even more about your destination of choice.

Travelers all over the world plan vacations online.

That is why you absolutely need a blog and a social media following.

How to Start a Travel Blog

The idea of starting a travel blog might seem a bit confusing, but once you dive in it’s really not that difficult at all.

In fact, you can probably have one up and running within an hour.

As the following article looks at, here are the steps needed on how to start a travel blog:

Step 1: Purchase a Domain Name

A domain name is your blog’s URL. You’ll want it to be easy to remember and to fully encompass what it is you do.

If you’re a travel agent, for example, you may want “Traveling with (insert your name)” as your domain name. If you already own a travel agency, you should be able to use your website’s existing domain name and add a “Blog” section to the site.

Step 2: Find a Host

A host is the company that your blog will run on. Bluehost is an affordable option chosen by many.

Here, you can pick your domain name and purchase your hosting all on one site.

Once that’s taken care of, download WordPress or another self-hosted blogging platform.

Step 3: Choose a Theme

A theme is what viewers will see when they visit your blog. You want to pick a theme that’s easy to read and that can be navigated easily.

Simple, clean themes usually attract the most viewers because the viewer isn’t distracted with ads or bright colors.

Step 4: Create Engaging Content

When creating content for your travel blog, think about what people are searching for.

If you specialize in tropical vacations, you might want to do a series of posts on “affordable vacations in the Caribbean” or “how to save money on tropical vacations.”

By writing about what people are searching for, you’ll bring more readers to your site. These readers could easily wind up using your services to book their next vacation.

To get your blog exposure, create social media pages to go alongside your blog.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the platforms you should start with, as those three have millions of users and growing.

When you post a new blog, share the post with your followers on your social media sites.

Hopefully your followers will also share your post and your blog will slowly increase in traffic.

Travel agents and those working in the travel industry need to have both a blog and social media profiles in order to market their companies and see continued success in the travel business.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including social media, small businesses and travel.