Why the Right Domain Name Matters

Wondering whether or not it really matters what domain name you choose for your website? We’re here to satisfy your curiosity about that, and to assure you that the right domain name does, indeed, matter a great deal.

There are plenty of reasons to take care in choosing an outstanding domain name. One of the most important reasons is that the search engines display your complete page URL prominently in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and your domain name is a critical part of the URL. If web searchers see that your domain name closely matches their intended search, it is likely to motivate them to click on your URL and visit your website as a result.

Let’s check out an example of this. If you’ve just moved to the Los Angeles area and you need to locate a dentist, perhaps you would go online to search for one. You might enter “Los Angeles Dentist” into the search engine’s search bar, and then you would see the first SERP offering 10 different choices. Which one are you likeliest to click on?

If you’re like most web searchers, you will naturally choose losangelesdentist.com over other similar choices like orangecountydentist.com, losangelesorthodontics.com or losangelesdentistryschools.com. Obviously, losangelesdentist.com has the greatest likelihood of offering you exactly what you’re looking for. Since you’re in LA, you can rule out orangecountydentist.com because the dentist who owns that site is probably located further away than you’d like. You can eliminate losangelesdentistryschools.com because you’re looking for a dentist, not a dentistry school. You can also eliminate losangelesorthodontics.com unless you’re specifically looking for an orthodontist.

In this example, the most relevant choice was the exact match domain. “Exact match domain” is a term that refers to the domain name being an exact match for the query the web searcher entered into his search bar. While it’s uncertain whether an exact match domain offers search engine optimization benefits, there’s no denying that an exact match domain can influence users’ clickthroughs.

It’s possible that an exact match domain does also offer a certain edge when the search engine ‘bots algorithmically determine where in the SERPs to display your URL. It really depends on the intent of the user’s search, and the current status of the search engine algorithms.

In the case of the search query “Los Angeles Dentist,” the likeliest intent is that the searcher would be interested in finding information about any dentist located in Los Angeles. The search engine would be likely to give priority to Losangelesdentist.com over choices like Losangelesorthodontist.com. However, there is a no specific reason for a search engine to give priority to Losangelesdentist.com in the SERPs over other choices like Ladentist.com, and the search engine is likely to not give it any special treatment when evaluating it along with other equally relevant possibilities.

However, if it can be determined that the user intends to search for a specific website by name, the search engine is likely to give it special priority. Let’s take, for example, the search query “Amazon.” When a user enters this query into their search bar, there are some different possibilities as to their intent. They could be specifically searching for Amazon.com, and so the search engine might give Amazon.com a certain amount of priority in the SERPs for that query. It’s also possible that the user might be searching for information about the Amazon river, and so the search engine is also likely to prominently display relevant results for that information as well.

As you can see from these examples, it is definitely beneficial to choose a highly relevant domain name for your website, and exact match domains do offer their owners quite a few benefits. It can be very worthwhile to locate and acquire exact match domains for any websites you own or manage.