Keywords in your web address don't help with SEO, so focus instead on a brand that customers will remember.
If you've been around for a while, you might know that Google search used give a slight edge to domains (primary web addresses) containing relevant keywords. If a user searched on a specific keyword, and your domain name contained that keyword, you got a little bump in the results.
Not anymore. Today, Google recommends choosing a domain name based on long-term marketing goals, not on potential SEO value. Select a name that reflects your brand, communicates your style, and can be easily remembered by the customers you're attempting to attract.
URL keywords aren't ignored, but their impact on relevance is minimal, and they don't affect ranking at all. "Keywords in the URL might mean something, but they carry incredibly little weight." [Google Webmasters Forum, November, 2016]
Google points out that some of the largest, most well-known companies in the world have chosen business names and domains that don't incorporate relevant keywords. One obvious example is, well, Google. A few others you might recognize are Amazon, Ikea, Apple, Canon, Lego, and so on. Google suggests that you "worry more about the effect on the humans than about the possible effect on the [SEO] machine." [Google Webmasters Forum, May, 2014]
As with everything nowadays, Google continues to recommend sites that connect with customers in a natural way, with straightforward, quality content, and branding that makes logical and emotional sense to visitors.
"The failure road is paved with people with good intentions who put emphasis on what they thought was a slight SEO lift over solid brand building." [Google Webmasters Forum, September, 2016]
For marketing purposes, you might want to use a descriptive word in your business name or domain to give customers a clear idea of what your business is all about. But for keywords, focus on the title field of your main site page as the correct place for your top searchable site terms. Website hosting platforms provide a place where you can customize this information. On Etsy, it's the first part of your Etsy title, which is the line that appears under your shop name.
Also keep in mind that Google search tends to be less important for small or new businesses, because it's hard to rank without a strong, visible following. Consider spending more time on marketing, less time on worrying about exact SEO details. It isn't just about keywords.
How do you feel about your own business name and domain? Feel free to comment or ask a question. And look through the blog for more tips on SEO, marketing, social media and copywriting.
Free group coaching available now! SEO, marketing, copywriting, social media. Tips daily, plus one-on-one advice for your e-commerce website or Etsy shop. For members of The Copywriting Coach group on Facebook.
Barbara Clavan provides copywriting, coaching and consulting services to high-growth businesses, high-profile individuals and creative entrepreneurs.
Visit Services to learn more.