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For example, the business name could be "purple valley grand artists" and the domain might be pvga.com.

Is this incongruence problematic for branding?

Which should the website logo reflect, PVGA or the full business name? Is 4 words too much for a business name?

  • Good luck getting the correct 4 letter domain name. All four letter .com domain names have been registered since 2007: domaininvesting.com/… – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 7 '17 at 16:11
  • Not problematic, just not beneficial. It would be fine, just a 0 sum gain since there is no semantic value for the domain name you suggest. If you want a shorter brand name, then that could be beneficial providing you effectively build a brand. You may want to think in these terms. Cheers!! – closetnoc Sep 7 '17 at 16:37
  • no luck required Stephen, I own the domain. cheers closetnoc. I would love to shorten the business name. I might go down that route eventually. – Richard H Sep 7 '17 at 18:19
  • If you already own the domain, then consider using it and branding the initials. While search term match to domain names are limited, there is semantic value that allows some strength in search. I do understand not wanting a long domain name. I get it. If you had not bought the domain, I would ask you if there is a known shorter way people refer to you. For example, the local hardware is Zimmermans. It could be that your are known as valley artist on the street. I would have recommended that for a domain name. Any suggestion I could make would require more time to figure things out. – closetnoc Sep 8 '17 at 0:43
  • Having keywords in the domain name hasn't been important for Google SEO for a few years now. I'd think that the usability of so much less to type for users would make using the shorter domain worthwhile. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 8 '17 at 15:38
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Is this incongruence problematic for branding?

That's a context-dependent measure I'm afraid. Some brands it might work perfect, others not so much. For example: Southern Expert Xerox Yogis —> sexy.com while other names like Prescott Williams Murphy McMahon Williams & Schroedinger Attorneys at Law —> wmmwslaw.com would probably be a lot more user-friendly.

Which should the website logo reflect, PVGA or the full business name?

Again, it's all about context and application. On the website, there's not much SEO impact of adding a new logo, though you probably want to stay away from changing the homepage title too often. That should really only be done a lot initially when you're still playing around, or down the road as a very concerted re-branding effort.

There's a lot of stuff like meta tags and publisher information that you can add to help keep SEO organizational attribution static, and are more actively consumed by search engines as well. For example, the JSON-LD convention:

<script type="application/ld+json">
    {
        "@context": "http://schema.org/",
        "@type": "Website",
        "name": "Your Business Name",
        "image": "https://www.yourdomain.com/yourlogo.png",
        "description": "A description of your website",
        "author": {
            "@type": "Corporation",
            "name": "Your Brand",
            "url": "https://www.yourdomain.com",
            "sameAs":  ["https://twitter.com/@yourhandle","https://www.facebook.com/yourhandle","https://www.linkedin.com/company/yourhandle"],
        },
    }
</script>

There's really not too many SEO concerns when it comes to actual domain name, even for obscure tlds like .kitchen or etc. It's really more a matter of UX and brandability. xjys.contractor looks sketchy compared to xjys.com but both look off-putting compared to (IMO) xjyardservice.com. I think it's all about the site audience, their preferences, and ultimately the impression the name gives them. Indirectly, I suppose that could have an effect on UX-related site interactions like bounce rate, organic CTR, etc. but that'd be guesswork and hard to measure in any practical manner.

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Which should the website logo reflect, PVGA or the full business name (purple valley grand artists)?

The full name should appear on your site somewhere near the logo in large enough letters so people know exactly what your site is.

You may put the abbreviation in the logo but if users subscribe to emails on your website and your emails to the guests consist of a message with a website logo, then it would make better sense to include the full name in the logo. I also suggest including the full name in the logo if you are distributing the logo by any other means or the logo by itself.

Is 4 words too much for a business name?

Since grand is a generic-ish word, you may want to remove it if possible. People like to type fewer words to get the results they want.

Is it problematic for SEO to abbreviate a business name in the domain name?

No. A domain name in itself might have a tiny effect on SEO.

What is more important is that you use words in your paragraphs that match your business name in full if you expect your visitors to arrive at your site from a search engine with your business name as a query.

Better yet, add some keywords to your paragraphs that make your business stand out from the rest and that match what guests are looking for.

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