When it comes to generating website visitors and leads from your website without placing paid search ads, your website address, or “domain,” is an essential part of your success.

First, a quick definition of domain. We’re talking about what people type in to their browser to see your site, i.e.,“JohnSmithRealtor.com” or “Reno-Sparks-Condos.com.”

Why Your Domain Is Important…

It’s Your Title. People read a web domain like the title of a book, and they will judge it quickly. Your domain will drive more clicks if you are clear about what services and information you provide.

It’s Your Brand. You’re probably putting your domain on all your print materials—which is a best practice. People will then need to type your domain into a browser, and that means your domain is part of your business’s identity, just like your logo.

It’s Part of Your Lead Generation System. If you’re looking to grow your business online, your website must be geared toward generating leads that you can convert into clients. Your domain helps bring people to your site, and then your site encourages and enables them to provide you with their contact information. All the pieces must work together for you to close more business.

…And Why It’s Not Important…

Some people think you need to include keywords in your domain to make sure it appears high in the search results on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. While having a keyword rich domain may have its merits in some circumstances—when it comes to search ranking, your website’s content matters much more than the domain name.

Nevertheless, it’s people—not search engines—who decide which link to click on. Make sure your domain is one that helps you grow your business.

Aldona Clottey is Senior Director of Product Management at Market Leader.  In this role, Aldona oversees Market Leader’s product planning and strategy.