Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a Domain Name

CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME

It is almost impossible to get a good one-word .com domain name, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get good names with those other extensions like .org or .net. But if you’re choosing targeted niches, one-word domain names aren’t your best choice anyway. They don’t have as much SEO value because Internet users don’t often do searches for just one word. They are more likely to search for phrases, so domain names that contain those phrases are better choices. If you can snag a domain name that contains your targeted keywords, you’ll have an easier time getting good search engine rankings.

A domain name shouldn’t be too long, though. If it is, it will be hard to remember. It’s true that most visitors will click on a link from another site or bookmark your site if they’re interested, but if someone hears your domain name and wants to visit, wouldn’t you want them to be able to do so? If they can’t remember it, you will miss out on a potential sale. For the same reason, it’s wise to avoid using abbreviations, numbers in place of words (“4u” instead of “for you,” etc.), and words that are difficult to spell.

There is some debate as to whether you should use hyphens in domain names. At one time, it seemed that search engines favored domains with hyphens between the words when ranking for the keyword phrase appearing in the domain name. But today, it doesn’t really appear to make a difference. However, I beg to differ. I owned a printing company from 2004 to 2014 named Logos Printing. I had two .com domain names – logosprinting.com and logos-printing.com. Guess which one got the most traffic. That’s right, the one without the hyphen. I did a split-test out of curiosity. I bought the hyphenated one to protect my name. Usually, the most common reason for using hyphenated domains is to get a name that is already taken in the non-hyphenated form.

As far as extensions go, it’s a good idea to try for a .com domain first. Even today, it’s the most familiar extension to the average Internet user. But if you absolutely can’t get a good .com for your niche, try harder to come up with another good name. The .io extension is very popular today, so that might be one to consider. I also purchased .net and .org extensions for my printing company but only to protect my name. My traffic was dismal from those. I had to spend a lot of money on advertising to bring in the traffic so I just stopped and concentrated on my .com.

If you get a really good domain, it might be to your advantage to get several forms of it, like I did. Hyphenated, non-hyphenated, .com, and .net are good variations to have. You might even consider purchasing common misspellings of your domain. There’s no need to do this for every domain, but if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one that contains a frequently searched keyword phrase, it could be worth the cost.

And finally, don’t be greedy. If you come up with the “perfect” name but find that it is already taken with the .com extension, don’t just grab the exact same name but with another extension. You will find that you will have a heck of a time trying to get traffic if that domain is already successfully getting traffic. 

A good domain name can certainly have a positive impact on your traffic. The pool of available domains is constantly shrinking, but with a little creativity you can come up with something that’s both memorable and appealing to the search engines.

Victor