Some Hawaiian words are easier to spell than others. This can be important when choosing a name or a domain name for your company.
People usually only search for things they can remember & spell.
If your business is based on the Big Island, you probably don’t have this problem. Kona and Hilo are both easy to memorize and spell. You’re probably safe with a geo-location based domain name. Businesses on Maui aren’t as fortunate. Both Kahului and Lahaina can be hard to spell properly for people on the mainland and the names aren’t as familiar or as easy to remember as Honolulu or Kona.
If a person can’t remember how to spell your company name or domain name they will be forced to guess or broaden the scope of their search to something more generic they Can spell like Maui. This can lead to increased competition in the search results. The search term Maui is extremely competitive for this reason. Instead of searching for “Kahului Widgets” they need to back up search for “Maui Widgets” where every widget maker on the island is struggling to be on top.
Instead of “Kahului Widgets”, you might be able to use “Valley Island Widgets” instead.
Google can usually differentiate multiple words in a URL that are bunched together.
(valleyislandwidgets.com) and credit the website for those words, but anecdotal evidence suggests that putting a hyphen between the words can increase your page rank slightly so I always place a hyphen in the URL when appropriate. (valley-island-widgets.com). Hyphens also usually work much better than underscores with Google. In my opinion, hyphens also help to make it slightly easier to read.
Sometimes you have a choice. I think humuhumunukunukuapuaa.com would be a cool URL to have, and it’s probably for sale but I wouldn’t expect a lot of people on the mainland to memories it. (I don’t think I would want it for an email address though.)
It’s always best if you can keep the URL short, descriptive, on topic, easy to remember and spell.
The Hawaiian Okina can also create problems in the search engines. It’s “Correct” but… if you are fortunate enough to have an easy to spell name, you might sabotage your website by using the Okina in the text of your page.
Search engines are looking for a text match. No one searches for Hawaii with the Okina, so if you use that character, Google will not be able to match the query to the copy on your page or page title.
Browsers also have a problem displaying it properly on the web. My Blog isn’t set up to display the character properly either. If you can’t avoid using it, you can usually manually insert the Unicode hex value 02BB (decimal 699) but it can still cause appearance problems in some browsers.
That’s all for now,