WHY Take the Time to Choose a Good Domain Name?
Choosing a domain name. It's on a long list of important steps a person must take in order to ensure their long-term success online. If you are like most people, you are probably thinking that it's not that big of a deal. "It's just a name - an address on the Internet that people will visit. If you are thinking this way, you have just shot yourself in the foot of your branding success. From an online marketing and branding strategy perspective, it is one of the single-most important initial steps you need to make in the long-term success of your online presence.
How to choose a good domain name is not necessarily difficult; however, as most important things in life, it does take some foresight and patience to find the best name for what you do or want to be known for. Most successful business owners rely on a branding and marketing professional/company. This is because they understand the importance of seeking out wise counsel to gain an understanding of the big picture for their strategic marketing plan. They realize it is foolish to make a quick decision on anything in business without seeking out wise counsel in areas that they don't have expertise in. If you are not well-accomplished in the principles of 21st century brand development and marketing, it is foolish to go it alone when it comes to marketing (which ultimately translates into sales revenues).
HOW to Choose a Good Domain Name
Domain names are central to building your overall personal or business brand. Your domain name should reflect who you are. If you have an established brand, we suggest that you immediately reserve a domain name that is identical to your company name. If you are an individual, reserve your personal name if at all possible. Ideally, you want to be able to build your website around your company's core purposes and not its name, BUT having a name that reflects the nature of your business can be a valuable tool in helping you generate traffic to your website.
Like many business owners who want to establish an online presence for their business, most do not have the insight and understanding of everything that goes into choosing a good domain name. Having a domain name that stands out for what you do is part of the equation, but being attentive to the long term brand potential is equally important. Let me give you an example. Let's say you are a construction business. If your company name is Built Right, Inc., your primary domain name should most definitely be BuiltRight.com; however, this name does not really tell someone what you do.
While the name Built Right has a nice ring to it, a company domain name like "BestConstructionCompany.com" which has what the company does as a part of the name has a greater potential to capture Internet traffic. This is because people who are looking for a 'construction company' or a builder would most likely type in "construction company" into a search engine browser like Google or Bing. Since most search engines worldwide look at the name of a domain as a first rule of whether the site is relevant or not to the search, having a name that has 'construction company' in the name is a big plus.
If you are open to considering a slightly different and somewhat unorthodox approach to gaining exposure on the Internet without having to pay big bucks to do it, consider the following ideas the next time you are thinking about buying some domain names:
1) A word of caution as my number one step! Be careful where you search for your domains when doing research. This is especially important if you do not plan to make a buying decision right away. There are some domain registrars (will not mention names here) who skim search queries from their domain search pages and if the domain someone is checking on has potential, they will purchase it through a dummy company or third party who works for the registrar, and then turn around and put it up for sale to the highest bidder it there is an interest in the domain by more than one party. This trend is growing as domains become more and more scarce - especially top tier domain designations like that of ".COM". This is our domain search tool and where we buy all of our domains.
2) Write out a list of short questions that start with 'how to' and 'where to' that relate to your business. If you are in the pet industry, you might have a question like, "how to research pedigrees' or 'where to find non toxic pet shampoos' or 'how to trim a cats claws' or 'where to find a cat casserole recipe' (just kidding). These questions that you have come up with may very well be the very questions that an average Internet user might type into a search engine who has the need of finding this information, i.e. www.howtoresearchpedigrees.com (how to research pedigrees) or www.wheretofindnontoxicpetshampoos.com (where to find non toxic pet shampoos).
3) Now the fun begins. Type these questions that you have come up with into your favorite search engines (Google included) and see what domains pop up with those keyword (key phrases) you have just come up with. The first thing to do is to check and see how many instances the phrases are referenced. That gives you an idea of how often others write about it where their pages have been ranked on the Internet. Next, you want to visit your Google keywords tool and do a search for that phrase to see how many people search for that in an average month - mainly the current month. This will give you some idea of the amount of traffic potential for the phrases you have chosen.
4) If you like the numbers you see in page references as well as average monthly searches for the phrases you have chosen, take the time to do a domain search for those phrases. Here is why. One of the very first rules in the Google ranking process is the relevance of a domain name to the actual search inquiry done by someone searching for that phrase, i.e. 'where to find a cat casserole recipe' (no, not really... please don't be searching for this). If that key phrase is available, you are on to something that could bring several thousand people to your website if you apply even a few of the other general rules that search engines use to rank pages.
5) Once you have purchased the domain, the rest is pretty straight forward. You want to host it with a company you feel offers the best product for the money to promote your website and start writing regular content for your website. One big precaution when it comes to hosting is to watch out for those cheap "UNlimited" sorts of accounts until you have read the fine print. They are NOT unlimited, and you could very easily have your site either suspended for too much use or have your credit card charged a penalty for abusive use of the system. Yes, this really happens.
Most of us have heard the old adage, "It's all in the name...," and when it comes to choosing the right descriptive domain names that will give you faster page rankings and drive more traffic to your website, this strategy just outlined may be just what you need to get paying customers to your Website.
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