Choosing a good domain name can make us gripe especially in terms of SEO. What I mean is when you want to have your Site Concept keyword in it as well. Depending on your site’s theme, the domain name may become very long, making it difficult to remember properly.
Let’s say you target the audience of tennis, therefore your Site Concept keyword (i.e., the keyword you focus on on your site) may be tennis. tennis.com is already taken, so you end up searching for a good alternative. And to decide upon that alternative may take a little while.
Here are the rules I follow when searching for profitable domain names in my Internet business endeavors…
- If possible, include your Site Concept keyword. It shall give you a 20% ranking nudge in terms of SEO.
- Keep the domain name as short as possible. Every character counts (more often than not!)
- OK, I agree it depends on your Site Concept keyword, because when that is “bed and breakfast” you already have three words—15 characters—plus any additional characters that make the name fairly long already. Still, keep it as short as possible or word of mouth may not work so well.
- Use a memorable, perhaps even remarkable name. Is it easy to remember? Or do people ask you several times to repeat the name?
- Is it easy to spell? The more difficult it is to spell the more names you’ll need to register (in order to “get them all”.) Speaking of which…
- How many equivalents does it “contain”? For a good live example… You do know the most popular video sharing site, don’t you? Yes, youtube.com. Now, did you ever happen to enter utube.com instead? I assume lots of people do. Go to alexa.com and take a look at utube.com’s 3-year history graph. (Link goes to alexa; once there click on the “3y” link in the history graph.) Speaks volumes, doesn’t it? So make sure you register the “misspelled versions,” too.
- Does your name stand out from the name crowd? Does it have some sort of uniqueness? Google was fairly unknown five years ago. Nowadays?
- Does the name make people click through to the site? Is it “attractive”? Are they curious to know what’s behind it?
- Is it “you”? Does the domain name describe you in some way?
- Does the name convey a clear message? Does it give them an idea of what to expect once they clicked?
- If you use 2 or more words, register both the hyphenated and the non-hyphenated version (using the non-hyphenated version for the content site.)
- The best TLDs regarded by surfers are .com, .org, or .net.
Here’s an Exercise…
With three (or more) possible names in hand, ask 20 people for their opinions in terms of memorability, uniqueness, and meaningfulness.
The results may surprise you. ;-)
(It took me 2-3 months before I decided upon MyGermanCity.com. I had a bunch of shorter names, but MyGermanCity.com surpassed them all big time.)
Using Two Domain Names?
Some folks say one could register a longer name for the Search Engines and a short “non-keyword” name for use on business cards and in e-mail.
Hmm, just imagine this…
You hand out the shorter name that has no content but simply brings visitors to the longer SE friendly name with all the content. Though, these folks may only be aware of the shorter name, so they start linking to that one. What happens?
SEs assign PageRank (PR) values to that shorter name. Although it has no content, yet still, folks link to it. (SEs seems to love honest human activities like this.)
With this in mind, I would use only one domain name in both cases so I don’t miss out on any “link love gifts.”
Keep it short. Make it memorable. Make people want to click through.
The most important of all though is to do proper market and keyword research BEFORE you register a domain name for your Internet business!
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