The domain name and the whole URL of a site tell a search engine a lot about what your sites subject matter. The presumption is that if your site is about adopting kittens, you will have “cat”, “kitty”, or “kittens” as part of your domain name. For instance, if your site is about adopting kittens, it is much better to name your kitten site “kitten-adopt.net” than “animal-care.org”, for example, because in the first case you have two major keywords in the URL, while in the second one you have no more than one potential minor keyword.

However, when searching and deciding for a keyword rich domain name, don’t get greedy. From an SEO point of view, it is better to have 4 or 5 keywords in a URL, just imagine how long and difficult to memorize and type without error a long URL will be for your potential customers. So you must strike a balance between the keywords in the URL and site usability, which says that more than three words in the URL are a way too much.

Four reasons to keep your keyword rich URL

Perhaps the most valuable reason to have keywords in your URL is that they are presented in bold text in search results as displayed in the screen shot below: bold keyword rich URL value

This bold text draws a users eye, improving your chances of getting notices as a site that has what a user is looking for, there by improving your click-through rate (CTR)

Higher CTR strengthens your sites authority, and thereby page rank, even though Matt Cutts, stated that the search engine giant has directly abated the value of keyword rich domain names, what they have not and most likely will never fault a company for is having an URL that is brand and content relevant. This higher CTR will most definitely positively affect your positioning in both Google and Bing.

Google does state that a links CTR will direct affect any PPC cost or quality ratting. This is due to Google’s consistent good business of “paying their customers in some fashion” for producing better quality content for them.  They do not want to show poor quality product, ads that have a higher CTR state to Google that customers like what they see, and are using that ad, that it is quality, causing Google to provide incentive in a lower cost to an advertiser as incentive to continue with their good practices, or incentivise to an advertiser to improve their ads with lower costs!  The same can be said for CTR in organic results, Google has been very consistent in that what they will pay PPC customers for improving their paid ads, they will equally reward organic advertisers similarly, what do they have of value?  Higher organic placement of course! Who doesn’t want that?

Panda & Penguin can help you even though you have a keyword rich domain name. That’s right, telling users what they are looking at right off the bat gives you ample opportunities to spend your time talking about your service or product rather than spending added time trying to figure out how to say adopt and kittens in your site more than adopt-a-kitten.com does.  Being able to focus on what your cats do, or what they look like, where they came from,  more so than the fact that they are adoptable kittens is much more important to your users!  Google understands that and will reward you for NOT keyword stuffing.

In example 1 above, we show that the keywords show up in bold, improving your page title and meta descriptions to include these words will put more bold text, indicating that the searchers search is even more relevant to your site than your competitors, thereby, increasing your chances for the searcher to click on kitten-adopt.net v. adopt-a-kitten.com.  Matt Cutts himself describes the importance of keyword rich titles and descriptions in the video below: (NOTE: we used kitten-adopt.net as searchers are more apt to type adopt a kitten when searching and we want users to avoid the dreaded EMD)

So as with my other SEO posts, the best advice I can give on any SEO subject is to do what feels right to you, follow the instructions that have been there since the creation of the internet.  If you are doing something that feels, bad, or if you question if it’s breaking the rules…it probably is kids.  However, good, solid content that is relevant to your product or service, with quality links (internal and external) from quality sources, will get you solid results time and time again.  The search engines want to provide your product to their customers, they do.  What they dont want is someone who just wants to be number 1 without putting in the effort to provide a product that is worthy of the position.

About the Author of this article Carol James is an EssayLab psychology department writer and senior editor. She has MA degree in social sciences and is an excellent specialist in this field. Carol worked with numerous materials on the subject and is eager to share her knowledge with our readers.