Most businesses understand the importance of — and the general idea behind — search engine optimization, the practice of getting a website URL to appear at the top of a search results page in order to make it easier for customers to find and use a business. But the deeper into the mechanics of SEO you get, the less clear best practices become. This is especially true of domain SEO keyword practices — using keywords in website domain names in hopes of improving search ranking.
Many businesses share questions about the impact keywords have on a company’s search engine rankings, whether including a keyword in a website domain name is necessary for better rankings, and how to choose a domain name for SEO.
Domain SEO Case Study: HigherVisibility finds majority of top page results include keywords
In response to these questions, HigherVisibility conducted a domain SEO study and found some interesting — and surprising — results. They first hypothesized that the importance of keywords in domain names for SEO differs depending on industry. Then, using WordStream, they identified the top 10 keywords for 10 major industries. From there, a variety of SEO tools were used to analyze the URLs and top page results across industries.
Step 1: Industries and fields of business
The industries the domain SEO study included were business, credit cards, debt, email software, food and beverage, government and trade, hotel, plumbing, software and weight loss. Here’s the breakdown of the results:
As you can see, the research showed that including a keyword in a website domain name has a widespread and positive impact on SEO.
The study found that 63 percent of the top page results were for websites that included keywords in their URLs.
The study also found that when broken down by industry, some fields are more likely than others to include keywords when constructing website domain names. The debt and business fields are most likely to include keywords in their domain names, whereas email software and government and trade are much less likely to do so.
If you’re in an industry where most companies are including keywords in domain names, then it’s probably in your best interest to follow suit. Likewise, if you’re in a field like email software, where less than half of companies are using keywords in their domain names, it might not be as important.
Even so, the research still shows that at 63 percent, using keywords in domain names for SEO is practiced by the majority of top page results.
Step 2: Keywords broken down by Industry
The study was broken down by each individual industry to show the most common domain name keywords in the top page results, as well as which websites ranked the best — domain names included. The percentages following the keywords refer to how many of the top businesses used that specific keyword in their URL:
This information is invaluable for your company if you fall within one of the industries that show it’s valuable for your SEO to include keywords in your website domain name.
Instead of relying on trial and error to determine which keyword(s) might be worth including, HigherVisibility has provided extensively researched information that takes the guesswork out of domain name construction for SEO.
Put study results into practice to choose a domain name for SEO
Using the list of 10 high-performing keywords provided by the study, all you have to do is figure out which one(s) relate to your website content the best. You can also use the list of top page results to see how other successful companies have gone about incorporating keywords into their domain names.
Start your domain name search here: