Hyphen Domain Names.
Hyphen Domain Names and why you should not use them.
I was approached last week to tender for a bank and upon closer inspection I found that they are using a hyphen domain name. This got me thinking outside the box so to speak and the keywords they were using within their domain name were hyphanated. I found that they were pointing what would be their MAIN non hyphen domain name to their hyphen domain name not the other way round. Not only that they were not using the keywords that a consumer would search for, although there are 654,000,000 results for their keywords business bank, but the first word in their domain name would not be something that people neccessarily would search for. Google does not use exact match searchable phrases but will list a broad match of search results based on the searchable keywords.
I then thought how can I help this bank with their marketing when they are looking for a marketing agency that would be a sub contractor. I for one cannot be a sub contractor, cannot work out of hours or weekends and can only commit to a few hours each month. I work on my own terms.
So I decided to register a domain name any bank would want in the UK but rather than just put the domain name up for sale I will be doing extensive SEO. I have already launched the domain even though the website is under construction and will eventually have a directory of all the banks in the UK.
Once I get the domain on the first page of Google I will contact the bank in question, although any bank will be biting my arm off to get the domain, especially when it will be generating traffic. I will not annouce the domain name until it is 100% developed.
So needless to say I come across another domain name that had a marketing campaign sent to my inbox today and I was very suprised that they too were using a hyphen domain name.
Again I did some investigating and found that the non hyphen domain name was actually for sale, which means that the powers that be have no intention of buying domain names that are being brokered and are up for sale as opposed to hand registering what is available.
Good luck to them is all I can say and even though I am not brokering www.neomproperty.com and as opposed to what Neom City have www.neom-property.com gives me a better understanding of their marketing strategy.
As for the word “Neom” it is trademarked therefore no one should be able to use the word other than the London Organic Beauty Company. Hence in my opinion and considering the London Organic Company came first www.neom.com by rights should belong to the beauty company, just saying…. The same goes booking(s).com trademarked their name so no one can use the word booking (s) in a domain name.
PROS & CONS.
Advantages of using hyphens
Domain names comprised of generic terms are more likely to be available; particularly when seeking to the non available tld.
Disadvantages of hyphenated domain names
People are less likely to remember a hyphen and it adds an extra character to the domain name.
More difficult to market non flowing words and long winded expecially when advertising on radio or through word of mouth.
Is not as valuable as a flowing two or three word domain name and won’t have as good a resale value.
If your domain name is two words (like www.renataentrepreneur.com), you may want to separate the words with a hyphen for readability: www.renata-entrepreneur.com. But one has to consider that hyphens strongly correlates with spammy behavior and decreases domain name readability and memorability. People tend to ignore or avoid clicking links that go to these types of domain names for fear of landing on a non authentic scam website or a virus.
What about using underscores instead of hyphens?
Ultimately one should perform a radio test for memorability. A radio test is a way of finding out if the domain names is easility remembered publically e.g. on the phone, in meetings, on presentations, at a bar, in an taxi, or in a Zoom call. The verbal communication enables us to remember words easily, using hyphens can cause confusion and may be deemed as untrustworthy. Symbols and underscores can’t be used in domains anyway as the characters are not permitted, however numbers can.
It may an idea for a business to secure the hyphen domain name but not use it for SEO or marketing purposes more so to stop cyber criminals cloning sites.
For your information I have secured the hyphen for my example earlier www.renataentrepreneur.com plus the .co.uk so that no one gets the better of me.