What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Unless we can’t find the rose at all.
I have been going through the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization by University of California, Davis on Coursera and have completed all but the capstone course. I recently started as a mentor for the second course in the specialization, Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals where I help out with the forums and assignments.
There was a great question recently posted in the forums that had never crossed my mind. What happens when your brand’s name is composed with a hyphen in the middle? Is this read as one word or two by search engines?
Our names, our brands, our identities are essential despite what Shakespeare said.
A brand name with a hyphen would be read as two words by Google which sees hyphens as a separator. So if your brand name is for example “Red-Roses” this would be read as “Red” and “Roses, ” but if your name were RedRoses or “Red_Roses,” it would be read as a single word. Now depending on your business, industry, etc. you may want the search results to read as two words or one. If in this example you only sell red roses and no other colors, you may want your name read as a single word highlighting your specialty and target audience, people searching for red roses. But if you sold other types of roses, you may want your name to show up as two words so that people looking for roses in general or different colors of roses would be able to find you in a search.
It is important to know how your brand name appears in search results, especially if you are using your brand name as your domain name so that people can find you and smell your roses.
If you’re looking for some tips on picking a domain and brand name check out this article.
And these resources have some great explanations on using hyphens versus underscores.