Domain Name Buying Tips – Should You Buy a Domain Name With a Hyphen in It?

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Many people who are searching for the perfect domain name wonder if they should buy a domain name with a hyphen in it. For instance if the domain name redwidgets.com is taken, they may consider buying red-widgets.com.

Before buying a domain name with a hyphen in it, there are a few points to consider.

Pros of a Domain Name with Hyphen(s):

1. Many times if the domain name you desire (without a hyphen) is already registered, you can purchase the same domain name, yet with hyphens between the two words or three words (try to avoid more than 2 hyphens in a domain name at all times).

2. Most search engines ignore the fact that there is a hyphen in the domain name (this is a controversial opinion), and “read” the name as it is, which may help in search engine optimization and rankings of the website. If you have a keyword rich domain name with hyphens, your site may appear before another website that lacks the Exact keywords.

Cons of a Domain Name with Hyphen(s):

1. You probably will not receive “type-in” traffic. This means when someone is looking for whatever your domain name keywords are, let’s say red widgets, they will sometimes simply enter redwidgets.com in the search field. If you are lucky enough to own redwigets.com, it is very likely that your website will appear in the very top of the rankings.

Keeping this in mind, even if you have a customer who would like to re-visit your website, they may completely leave out the hyphens when they wish to visit again. They may wind up on your competitor’s site!

3. If you have a visitor who likes your site & wishes to recommend it to their friends, they will probably Not include the hyphens when they tell their friends the domain name. For example, they may say, “I love the red widgets dot com site, you should visit;” and Not say, “I love the red “hyphen” widgets dot com site, you should visit.” Instead, again, your competitor may get the visitor meant for you.

4. Typing a domain name with hyphens is not as easy as typing one without a hyphen. Think about it, you have to use your “ring” finger on your right hand to add a hyphen when typing. This interrupts the easy flow of typing.

5. Resell value may be lowered because of the hyphen (again a controversial point – if the website on a domain name has hyphen in it AND has proven profitability, having a hyphen is a mute point.).

Bottomline: are hyphen domain names without merit? No they are not without merit.

It all depends on how and what type of website you will building on your domain name. If you are looking for a good domain name that will pop you up in rankings quite well based on Exact keywords, then a hyphen is not such a bad idea. If you are trying to “brand” your website and business and want “word of mouth” visitors and/or type-in traffic, you may wish to re-think your decision on buying a domain name with a hyphen it.

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