How To Pick A Good Domain Name
Why It Is Important To Pick A Good Domain Name?
Quite simply your domain name is your identity on the internet. It is how your customers will remember your web site. The words you choose for your domain name are a key component in how well your web site will rank in the search engines for your chosen keywords. So after reading this you will be able to make a more informed decision when choosing and buying a your domain name.
You have three basic choices as to the type of domain name to buy.1) Business name 2) Keyword name 3) a word that has no meaning because you made it up. Usually these are rather short, catchy names. Both Google and Yahoo fit this category. Examples
Using Your Business Name As Your Domain Name
If you already have a brick and mortar business, that is a store people can walk into, then you could use the name you are already using. That is assuming no one else has already bought it yet. If your mind is made up that this is the name you wish to use then your work is done.
Just go to a domain name registar and buy it before someone else beats you to it. But first continue reading to learn why this is not always the best choice if you wish to be easily found in the search engines.
Buying A Keyword Domain Name
This is my favorite type of domain name. And for good reason. Here is why. But first you may be asking yourself, what is a keyword? It is word or phrase a person may search for in a search engine to find whatever it is they are looking for. If you typed in "Round Blue Widgets" into Google then then those would be the keywords you were searching on, aka a keyword phrase
When using keyword names use generic words. There is very little chance of you infringing on another persons trademarked name. No one is allowed to trademark a generic word, like for example the word "Fruit".
Now lets says your company sells "Round Blue Widgets". This is your one and only product and its crucial you sell tons of these little things. When a person searches for the keyword phrase "Round Blue Widgets" it is very desirable for them to find you without you having to spend money on Pay Per Click advertisements, commonly abreviated as just PPC.
When your site shows up naturally for this keyword phrase this is called an Organic Listing, verses a PPC listing that you paid for. A Keyword domain name that has keywords in it targeted to whatever it is your trying to sell is much easier to get to page one of the Search Engine Result Page, aka SERP, with other proper Search Engine Optimization. This is commonly abbreviated as SEO.
If your business name was We Make Cool Toys inc. and you used this business domain name. You might buy something like WeMakeCoolToys.com or We-Make-Cool-Toys.com. If someone searched for "Round Blue Widgets" your site would not as easily rank highly since "We Make Cool Toys" and "Round Blue Widgets" are totally different words and not even related in any kind of way.
But what if you had instead chosen a keyword domain name like RoundBlueWidgets.com or possibly even better Round-Blue-Widgets.com. The keyword name has in it exactly what the user is searching for so it is much more relevant to the search being conducted. Actually its an exact match which is great! Now having a relevant keyword name of and by itself is NOT going to get you to page #1. It will require many other things to be done properly as well. But since its not desirable to change your domain name its best to get this right from the start. The other factors that affect your ranking are easily tweaked as needed until you hit the sweet spot.
You can use this Google Traffic Estimator Tool to get an idea for which keywords are the most valuable. This Google Keyword Tool gives you an idea of how many times per month a keyword is searched for. It also suggests keyword variations you probably have not have thought of. Be sure to click on "Show Estimated Average CPC" column in the drop down box where it says "Show/Hide Columns".
[UPDATE] A recent Google update seems to penalize EMD, exact match domain names in some instances according to another writer here on HubPages. Go check out here hub on Exact Match Domains for the latest news. In my opinion EMD are still good and all, this new update just means that your website must have good high quality unique content to hit top ten on Google. Stuff you should be doing anyway. This new update seems to target low quality EMD websites.
Buying a Domain Name With A Word You Created
Yahoo and Google are pretty much words that were made up. While Google does have an actual meaning. The average person probably never had heard of the word prior to Google.com taking over the world, I mean becoming the #1 web site in the world. Google means a very large number. A googol is a 1 followed by 100 0's.
The advantage to making up your own word is that it will most likely be available for registration. You will have a much better shot at getting a short domain name since pretty much all dictionary words have been registered long ago. Make it a catchy word or phrase to help people remember it since it is a new word.
Its all in the name.
Factors To Consider When Picking Out A Domain Name
- Whoever said short was no good lied. The shorter the better! All you men can be proud of your ummm ... short names now.
- A catchy word or phrase helps to make it easier to remember. You do want people to remember your name and return again and again, right?.
- Avoid tricky, confusing names that you must explain how to spell. i.e. Internet-Dotcom.com
- Use dashes - to separate keyword or words in the name helps search engines to pick out each word. Google has said that its bots recognize the - as a word separator. Examples: iPhoneForSale.com would count as one big word whereas iPhone-For-Sale.com would be seen as 3 distinct words, which is what you want. Some people will argue that having more than one or two dashes in a domain name are too many. I think two is the most I would use. Others dislike them all togather.
- It should be easy to remember. houses.com = great -- Las-Vegas-Houses-For-Sale-Cheap.com = not so much so (but this would still make for a good long tail keyword domain name)
- It should be easy for the average person to spell it, otherwise consider also buying common misspellings too and redirecting them all to the same web site.
- Keyword domain names require less SEO work to rank well for your main keywords. It is worth repeating this again here.
- If you ever plan to sell the domain name it is best to buy a .com as they are the most desirable on the domain name resale markets. Sadly just about every good .com that you can think of, you will discover someone has beat you to it long ago.
- Consider other Generic Top Level Domain names, gTLD, like .com, .net, .org, .biz,.info, .name, .mobi, .cat, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .aero, .coop, .museum, .asia, .pro, .cat, .jobs, .tel and .travel There are many other TLD choices besides .com and it is often easier to get what you want if you willing not to have a .com. For keyword domain names it won't matter one bit if it's a .com or a .biz. All TLD's will rank equally well in the Search Engines given the proper SEO work. Certain gTLD's have restrictions on who may register one, like .edu is only for colleges. .gov for official government entities. I have bolded the gTLD's that are most commonly used.
- Avoid Country Code Top Level Domain names, aka ccTLD's for the most part. Each country was issued at least one ccTLD for their country to use. The UK has .uk, Japan .jp, China .cn. Only get a ccTLD if your web site is trying to only target that one country. Otherwise you're better off with a generic TLD that can be used to target the whole globe. While there are ways to get around this somewhat it's best to avoid these issues in my opinion. Personally I have had success with a .ws domain ranking very well, #1 - #3, for all regions worldwide in Google even though .ws is a ccTLD. Because of this and based upon the choices given me in Webmaster Tools I tend to think that Google treats .ws as a gTLD . Google Geotargeting information.
- Spend some time researching and thinking about a name before purchasing it. After I have decided on a name, then I like to sleep on it for a few days to make sure. You might think of something better in the meantime. Or you might think of something that's not so good about the name. While its not a lot of money to register a name there is no point in buying a year or two, and then not using it because you went with something different in the end. Of course by waiting you are taking a chance someone else could grab the name first.
Feel free to leave suggestions and comments below. What has worked well for you? Feel free to disagree with me about anything presented here. I would like to know why you feel I am wrong and ask for some kind of evidence to back up your claims.
Best Type of Domain Name To Register Poll
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By Anthony Goodley ©Anthony Goodley 2010 All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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