Domain SEO: Does Having Keywords Inside your Domain Name Increase it’s Search Engine Ranking?

6 Oct 2017 / Aliesha Ellington

The majority of businesses have a general understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it’s benefits and importance. It has the aim of raising your website higher to the top of the search engine results page, in order for customers to find your business more easily. However, the further you delve into SEO, the less clear the concept of ‘best practice’ becomes. There is currently not a large amount of knowledge and research into domain SEO keyword practices.

A Case Study for Domain SEO

HigherVisibility conducted a study, and the results were somewhat surprising. At first they hypothesized that how important keywords inside domains were, was directly dependent on the industry which they were part of. Then by using Wordstream the top ten keywords for ten of the biggest industries were identified. Following that, they then used a range of SEO tools to analyse the URL’s and highest ranking search results across each industry.

The majority of top search results in the study included keywords in their domain names.

The industries included in the SEO study were business, credit cards, debt, email software, food and beverages, government and trade, hotel, plumbing, software, and weight loss. An analysis of the results of the study can be seen here.

The research clearly showed that incorporating a keyword into a domain name has a positive affect on SEO rankings. With 63% of the top ranking sites including keywords in their URL’s, the practice does seem to be beneficial in general.

It was discussed in the study that certain industries were more likely to use key words than others, such as debt, and business, whereas others like government and email software were less likely to use them.

The general consensus is that it’s best to follow suit with your industry. If you are in an industry where most others add keywords in their domains, it’s wise to do so yourself. Likewise if your industry does not often add keywords, you probably don’t need to either.

To see a breakdown of each industry you can read the full research onHigherVisibility.  

Using the top 10 highest performing keywords under each industry, from the study, saves you the time of researching and analysing which keywords are the most effective. You can simply work within their list to see which word/words can be best incorporated with your domain name and contents. Here is the top ten for business as an example.



Carefully choosing your domain name in the initial start-up stage of your business will pay off long term, as it’s likely to enhance your search rankings and boost your web traffic.

Overall, the study gives evidence that including keywords in your domain has at least some positive effects on SEO across all industries.

Domain SEO: Best Practice

If you choose to incorporate keywords into your domain name, keeping SEO best practice in mind is important.

It’s not the quantity of keyword but the quality that has the most impact when working to increase your rank. The keywords chosen must also describe your site contents accurately.

Hubspot businesses to use the formula ‘’ to avoid penalties from Google or the other search engines for keyword stuffing. There is guidelines and limits to how many keywords you can use in a domain and how to use them.


The URL must remain user friendly, and an accurate description of the landing page readers will end up on.


The experience of the user and ease of access are crucial components of SEO as well. It is important to keep in mind that search engines such as Google are able to determine the websites that provide the best value for users. It is beneficial in this regard to omit unnecessary words and conjunctions like in, a, and, to, the etc. and ensure the total length of the domain name is not too long, cut straight to the chase.


By following the simple strategies mentioned you will be well on your way towards gaining the SEO benefits of including keywords in your domain name.



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