Which domain is better - a Long descriptive or Short URL

05/02/2018 | 176

Credit : Tirachard Kumtanom

Are you looking to buy a domain name and wondering if long domain names will affect your audience? Or you are not sure if short url is better? Can purchasing either help or harm your site?

Well you are in good hands. We have scoured the internet to research this particular issue and will provide professional opinions from webmasters who have bought both long and short domain names. Let us consider a few things.

What is a domain name?

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Domain names are addresses with which an internet user locates your website. According to InternetLiveStats, there are more than 1 billion websites in the worlds. This means that in choosing your own domain name, you have to be deliberate about its uniqueness. You may also need to choose a web address that describes what your brand does succinctly. Sometimes one word will not be able to convey what your brand is all about, so you need to combine words together like FaceBook.com or AirBedAndBreakfast.com.

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But how long should your domain name be? Can your domain name be more than 17 characters?  Below are some things to consider when answering these questions.

  • Mobile Users

The majority of people who roam the web today do so through a smart mobile device. And they are characteristically impatient. If your website address is too long, they may abandon it and visit other sites. Because it will  take too long to be able to type it in full.

Difficulty can arise for users typing in through email, mobile phones, internal links. It will also be challenging to print out the long domain name in advertisement and offline flyers because the string will take too much space. And there could be inconsistency when sharing links across social media because some platforms like Twitter and Instagram will shorten your url.

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Considering the domain names in the image above, would you consider typing out any of them from your phone’s browser? Each of the domain names is at least 17 characters long. In the first url, it is easier to make mistakes because of the dashes (-) that exist between the words. You can find shorter domain names on Certaspace.

What you should do is select a domain name that would be easy to remember and whose words do not have any ambiguity in them. Let it be easy to pronounce the words of the domain name without people asking what you said.

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The better thing to do is to purchase the long and a short version of the domain names. Check Certaspace for the availability of those addresses. Print the short version on banners, advertisement campaigns, and business cards. Mobile users should be able to type that out.

This is what AirBedAndBreakFast.com did, they bought a shorter domain name - Airbnb.com - and used that in advertisements so it’s easier for people to type out. If you visit both addresses you will notice that they render the same content, just like when you enter a house through either the front or back door, you are still entering the same house.

People on PC can use the longer version if they wish. And you will be killing two birds with one stone because the longer URL can help improve the SEO rating of your website.

The problem is most of the good short urls are taken. So you can try to be ingenious by modifying the words of your URL to patterns like twitr, tumblr, fiverr or truppr. But it can be tricky and messy. People may get confused at what you are trying to do. Make sure to find the balance and let people be able to find your address easily.

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Avoid ambiguity in pronunciation.

  1.  SEO Considerations

Long URL may have better description of what your brand is all about. People who read the longer version can guess what your website is all about. Also, people who search for contents of pertaining to your products or service will get to see your sites listed because you have optimized the SEO ratings.

Rand Fishkin, former CEO of renowned Moz.com, said his team carried out a comprehensive analysis and realised that shorter URLs are more correlated with higher rankings. Quoting him “In our rank modeling, things like dynamic strings (the use of the ? character) appears to be surprisingly negative.”

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And he advises webmasters to focus more on making their site static by using keywords intelligently. Because if the page is requesting for too many resources, the crawler will be confused as what to serve the internet user.

In essence, having a long URL can optimise and improve your website’s SEO rating but it’s not the only thing that will contribute to being listed first on filtered list returned by Google.

Are you a creative person ?

Let’s cut out the drama, you are reading this article, so you probably are. Then you must have heard about CertaSpace - the web hosting and software development company.

Certaspace can help register your domain and host your server. The company also builds website that gives your brand a unique advantage.

Give them a call +234 905748 5275. If you’re not convinced, then try their free hosting plan.