Practical Tips on Picking the Right Domain Name

Companies, organizations and businesses in the know realize that more than ever, it is vital to have a strong and legitimate online presence. These days, it isn’t enough to be reachable via phone, or to have ads in the local newspaper. Consumers and clients want to be able to contact companies right away, any time of the day or night and to be able to get information ASAP! The fastest source for these consumers is, of course, the Internet.

This is where the importance of a domain name comes in. An excellent domain, coupled with a well designed website, are sure to get customers to find your website and learn about your product or services…before your competitors. Let our Practical Tips on Picking the Right Domain Name be your guide in shopping for your personal domain name. Selecting the right one should be an easy task with these indispensable reminders.

Brainstorm for keywords related to your business

The most common phrases you use to describe the service that you offer should be the starting point of your domain name search. If these are the things you think about when you think about your business, chances are, other people will think the same thing too. After you’ve come up with those keywords, pair them up with common articles, prefixes and suffixes and see what sounds right.

Take for example, the domain www.americanwebpagedesign.com , when people read the domain, they already know that the site makes websites at discounted prices. This makes this domain effective and easy to remember.

Make sure your domain remains unique.

Before registering a domain name, check to see if another company has registered the same one, or one that sounds or is spelled similar. Take into account British and American English. It would also be advisable to look into domains that may have the plural, singular or hyphenated spelling of your desired domain.

Failure to take this tip into account may mean that you may be leading customers to a competitor’s site, or even a site that is completely unrelated to yours. The fact of the matter is, you are making it difficult for your potential clients to visit your own site, and this can equate to loss of business for you. You can check for available domain names at http://www.godaddy.com

Stick with Dot-com Domains

If you’re a tech-savvy individual, it may seem logical to you that there are other domains out there besides .com, such as .net or .org. However, the sad truth is that the rest of the not-so-tech-savvy world is not so familiar with this fact, and believe that only the .coms exist. However, if the exact phrase that matches your product or service is available in either .com, .net or .org ….and there is daily traffic for that EXACT phrase, then consider any of the three alternative suffixes.

Make your domain short and easy to type.

A shorter domain name is generally easier to remember, but take note that there are exceptions to this rule. A short domain, such as Apple.com, will stick to a client’s mind. However, a short domain that doesn’t mean anything will easily be forgotten. Let’s take the site www.americanwebpagedesign.com again. This domain is more memorable than say, www.adwd.com , which can be confused for many other meanings.

In the same manner, a domain that is easier to type and spell lessens the chances of errors. This is why it is best to stick to the most simple and familiar spelling of a certain word, and stay away from “confusing” letters such as x,z,y and q.

Stay away from hyphens, slang, numeral usage and numerical substitutions.

As was stressed in tip number 4, domain names should be short, simple and easy to remember. Hyphens, slang, numeral usage and numerical substitutions just complicate matters. Possible clients would not be sure where to place the hyphens, would not be sure whether to put “4” of “for”, or would be confused whether to type in “ten” or “10”. All these little details can discourage a possible client from finding your website.

Make sure your domain is easy to “brand” and market

Your domain name should be high up on marketability and ‘brandability”. You should be able to see your domain name on ads, posters and billboards without it seeming forced or awkward.

It would also be helpful for your domain to conjure up an image once people hear it. Again, Apple.com automatically makes people think of Macintosh computers. In the same way www.americanwebpagedesign.com instantly informs people of the services this domain provides.

Just how important is picking out the right domain name for SEO success?

We discussed branding and using keywords in the domain name to get a search engine ranking advantage. Now let’s turn our eyes to the more practical now that the theory is clearly understood.

Firstly when checking any research for good SEO value domain names it makes sense to go to the source of keyword data and that’s Google.com. Google has a keyword tool that is free but beware; the data does not represent true clicks or even searches for the phrase you put in to the box. The search results represent a “broad” search and are certainly inflated because all keyword search phrases that also include the key phrase you search will be included in that data. That means someone searching for the keyword “web design” will be provided results that include data for “web design reviews” because that is part of the phrase.

To illustrate this important point, let’s search web design in the Google Keyword Tool found here https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. The results show 4,090,000 searches month for the term web design. However, because of how Google calculates this data, we strongly suggest you simply take 42% of the results as the amount of real traffic you could get if you were #1 for that phrase.

Let’s take it further to illustrate what I meant by the term “broad” phrase. Do the same search and choose [exact] search in the left column and you get an exact phrase count. Note that the total exact searches monthly are now 301,000. While very substantial and worth almost anything that someone would ask for it, it’s still less than 10% of the broad phrase match. Then take 42% of that number because Google inflates the data to get your real number of 126,420. This is the traffic number you want to take in to consideration when you use an exact phrase to purchase a domain name and you were #1 for that phrase.

Here is the process:

1. Search using the Google Keyword Tool for the terms that you want to determine if they may be a good fit for your business and have traffic which is the point of this exercise.

2. Filter the result by [exact] match type in left column

3. Determine if there is enough traffic to warrant a purchase of that domain name by considering only 42% of the Google result.

I am often asked “how much traffic should there be before I should consider purchasing a domain’. The answer varies and there is neither a short answer nor a general one. But to help you decide consider this:

If your website converted at 1%, then for every 100 visitors you would make 1 sale and net profit of X. Increase the conversion rate and the purchase becomes more valuable to you. If in this scenario your website converted at 1%, you get 126,420 visitors a month because you are #1, then you could reasonably count on 1,264 sales of what is typically a high ticket item like web design. You do the math…would you buy this domain?

Finally, and it all comes down to this…you should consider not only the .com for branding purposes possibly, but the “loophole” extends to the .net and .org extensions as well! MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THIS.

TAKEAWAY: Find a domain name with an exact search phrase with good traffic and make sure it’s a .com, .net or .org ONLY and you will have a tremendous advantage in your efforts to rank highly for that term and will also get a boost for other terms that include that term as in our example, “web site reviews”.