Should You Add Keywords to Your URL for an SEO Boost?

If you had to choose between higher rankings or a memorable business name, which one would you choose?

The SEO in you would probably lean toward the former: Choose a business name that contains as many relevant keywords as possible. For example, if your site is about commodities trading, consider being as close as possible to that as possible.

And you wouldn’t be the only one. Many local businesses are changing their real names with this in mind, especially as more businesses become increasingly digital.

More and more companies are rebranding themselves

Since Google accepts the GMB name as long as it matches your website logo and in-store signage, businesses are changing their real names to include keywords.

Smart move?

Not always. While this tactic may cause a quick SEO boost, there are some downsides to consider.

If you’re thinking about proposing such strategies to your clients

Keep in mind that:

  • If your entire market is adding descriptors to their names, the ranking power of it diminishes. (It doesn’t provide the SEO benefit it did a decade ago and is believed to only be somewhat of a ranking factor.)
  • Your competitors can still edit their names.
  • Keywords may change over time.
  • It’s a branding mess: If 10 companies in the same niche, in the same area, have similar names, there’s no differentiation.

If you’re in the handbags niche, and you have the following domains competing for search queries:

  • and so on…

…there’s probably not a lot of extra advantage from putting the keyword handbag in your URL for SEO purposes.

Before you or a client rebrands to get that top spot in Google My Business, consider whether it’ll be a good business strategy long-term.

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