Once you decide to start a website or blog, the next logical step is to find a domain name.
Before you even contemplate colors, design, pages or pictures you’ll want to choose the perfect domain name. Perfect domain, you ask? Yes, choosing a domain name is an important aspect of search engine optimization and brand recognition. Before setting up shop some consideration should go into choosing the right name.
If you have an established business or you are self-branding you want to own your business name as a domain name. If you are personally the brand then you may decide to use your own name as a domain name. Either way, by using your own name or your business name you will continue to control your brand. It will also guard against people setting up fake or negative sites using your brand name and ruining your reputation. What if you are not worried about creating brand awareness?
If internet sales are more important to you than creating awareness of your brand then you might consider a domain that is a little more descriptive. Often this is the case for internet businesses or online businesses that want to be found organically through search engine results. Being found through search engine results is a great way to get business without having to spend money on advertising. So having the right domain makes financial sense as well.
If you are not sure whether you should use your business brand or a domain name that describes your product you may want to ask yourself whether people search for the brand name or whether they search for the product you are selling. If the answer is that they will be searching for your product then you probably want to begin doing a little keyword research.
Keyword research can be done using a tool like the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. In the search box type in what keyword you have in mind and the tool will give you search stats. So if your product is cameras then type in camera. The search results will show you how many searches are conducted monthly for the word camera. The more searches obviously the better the keyword. The keyword tool will also show you how competitive the keyword is. The more competitive the harder it will be to rank high in the search engines. So essentially you want a keyword that has a high number of monthly searches but relatively low competition.
The keyword tool will also give you alternate options. So you’ll see words like camera, cameras, best cameras, SLR cameras, digital cameras etc., as well as the search results for each of those terms. In this way you can choose the best keywords. The keyword “camera” will likely have a high number of searches but also a high level of competition, but maybe “best family cameras” has a high search level and medium level of competition.
Take note of several keyword terms you like. Armed with those keywords start playing around with a domain name you like. As a testament to the importance of a good domain name, there is lots of money to be made in buying and selling domain names. That’s why good domain names are getting harder and harder to get. And that’s why it’s a good idea to have several possible ideas, that include your keyword, to choose from.
Having the right keywords in your domain is essential because it helps your site come up higher in the search engines when someone types in those keywords. The closer your domain to the keyword terms someone is searching for, the more likely your site is to appear.
Try to get a .com domain name if you can. Even though .net and .biz are fairly common, people still tend to type in .com by default. Having a .com domain can save a lot of trouble with people inadvertently typing in the wrong domain and not being able to find your site. Also try to get something short if you can. “bestfamilycameras” would be great but “findyourbestfamilycamerashere” is a little harder to remember and just a bit cumbersome. Also avoid hyphens if you can, “best-family-cameras” is just not as clean as it is without the hyphens. Hyphens are also hard when you tell people your domain.
Choosing your domain isn’t just about choosing a few words that sound good together. Some thought should go into it as well as sound research. Let us narrow down the best options for you. We can determine whether you should use your brand name or a selection of the right keywords. If that’s the case, we can help you with your keyword research and selecting the best words to represent your brand while also keeping your site search engine optimized. We can also get your site up and online after you’ve chosen the perfect domain. If you are ready to start a website or blog give us a call and we’ll get you started in the right direction.