Anyone who has spent any time in the last decade or so trying to find the perfect domain name will know just how difficult it can be. Even with the introduction of all the new extensions. So, should you take a shortcut and buy one of these new domain name extensions? Should you add a bunch of keywords in to your name for SEO purposes? All of that and more will be discussed in this short guide.
If you have started to build your brand without yet having a website, such as selling goods on eBay or operating a brick and mortar store, then you will most likely want to incorporate that brand in to your domain name. This is not always possible of course, as most of the good names are already taken, but it should still be taken in to consideration.
It gets a little easier if your brand is a word that you invented, such as Shizzy, because it is less likely that the .com of it will be taken. In this case, however, Shizzy.com has already been taken so you would be forced to add another word that relates to your business or choose a different extension.
A Short .com Is Still The Best
There are hundreds of new domain name extensions coming on to the market now – ranging from .accountant to .xyz – but the king is still .com. It’s the default domain name extension that most regular people who aren’t in the business will think of. If you choose one of these new, much lesser known, extensions then you will most likely be losing some return traffic to whoever owns the .com version of it.
Having a fairly short and memorable .com domain name is also a very important factor if you ever decide to do radio advertisements or anything else involving the spoken word, as opposed to your domain name being seen in print. It will be tough to get potential customers to remember PersonalFinanceGuide.xyz after hearing that on the radio, for example.
The prestige factor, otherwise known as having “bragging rights”, also ties in to having a short .com domain name. For example: just imagine you own a dairy farm, or a group of them, which domain name will bring in more recognition from the industry and customers alike? Milk.com or DairyFarmersCalifornia.com? Obviously this is a wildly exaggerated example, because one of the domain names is worth millions and the other is worth less than $50, but the point still stands.
The trick is trying to find a good .com that will be cost-effective. You will most likely need to purchase it from a third party seller, as almost all of the good .com names are taken, but you may get lucky if you’re persistent and/or you are operating in a lesser known business.
There was a time, not so long ago, when one of the major factors in search engine optimization and where you will rank was as simple as what domain name you had. For example: if you owned fastredcar.com – and had any kind of half-decent content on there – then your website would be ranked very highly for anyone searching “fast red car”. Website owners caught on to this, of course, and used it to get their below-average websites in to very high positions on the search engines.
This is no longer the case. Or, to be more specific, it is no longer that simple. You can see this for yourself fairly easily. Just search for something – anything – and look at the domain names that are ranked highly for that result. Are they domain names with 10 keywords stuffed in to them? Or are they nice, short domain names? You can take it a step further than that too, by checking out what kind of content is on those domain names. Does it look like it was designed for a real person to enjoy, or does it look like it was created for search engines to index?
The topic of keywords in domain names gets a bit more complicated though. It can still be beneficial in other ways, such as organic backlinks with appropriate anchor text. The text that is used to link to a website is still very important, and there is more chance that someone will use the text “Fast Red Car” to link to your website if the domain name is fastredcar.com.
When Selling Your Website
If you intend to sell the website in question at a later date, the domain name will play a fairly big role in determining the price. Obviously the buyer will be very interested in advertising revenue and sales, but a good domain name will bump up the price by a lot. Even if your website is entirely unsuccessful, and you decide to shut it down at some point, you still retain the value of the domain name which can be sold as is, without any associated website.
Last of all, you should consider registering some of the more common misspellings of your domain name. For example: if someone accidentally types in Gogle.com they will be automatically sent to Google.com – the viewer has been successfully retained and a potential future sale has not been lost to a simple spelling mistake.