Should You Use A Hyphenated Domain Name?

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on August 24, 2009
Posted Under: Website Usability

When should you use a hyphenated domain name, if ever, for your website?

Hyphenated domain names are inconvenient for many visitors to type into a search engine.

People are generally unaccustomed to using hyphenated domain names.

And, when they do type a hyphenated domain name into a search engine, there is the distinct possibility of omitting the hyphen, and getting erroneous search results, or perhaps none at all.

A keyword rich, search engine optimized, hyphenated domain name, has a greater chance of obtaining a decent search engine ranking, than a non hyphenated domain name, that is not search engine optimized.

The disadvantage of a hyphenated domain name, can be overcome by a higher search engine ranking.

The reason for this, is that a hyphenated domain with a high ranking, will not need to be typed into the search bar by the web searcher.

The high ranking of the hyphenated domain, allows people to simply click on the search engine results listing,  to access the site.

If the visitor is interested in what the website has to offer, they simply bookmark the site for future access.

In this scenario, the high ranking of the hyphenated domain outweighs the disadvantages of using a hyphen in the domain name.

A good reason to use a hyphenated domain name, is to enhance user readability.

There are many instances where a long domain name, when typed out, is difficult to read and understand .  In these cases, a hyphen breaking the words apart, will make the domain name more easily readable.

In many cases, a hyphenated domain name is also better for search engine optimization.

As you can see, there are pro’s and con’s to using hyphenated domain names.

If you believe that the domain name you are after will bring in a lot of web traffic and is already registered, try using hyphens to get the name you want.

Otherwise, try to create non-hyphenated domain names.

When you are trying to decide whether you should use a hyphenated domain name for your website, consider all the pro’s and con’s.

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