March 21, 2014

How to pick a good domain name

How to pick a good domain nameToday’s business owners, or those just blogging, cannot afford the mistake of picking the wrong domain name for their website. Picking the wrong domain name will be a costly business mistake, which ends in extra expenses, more business costs and more effort in the long run.

One Success Story

Last year I was hired by a client to completely redesign her website. When I met her, her website name was, “aestheticsandhealth.com”

The client is based in Vancouver and is a practitioner of biofeedback. Since I was about to completely redo her web presence, I made the suggestion of changing the name of the site to “BiofeedbackVancouver.com”. Luckily it was available for her to register immediately.

Changing the name of her domain turned out to be a great success. After the launch of the new site, she immediately started ranking in the top 10, in search engine results. This was achieved in a couple of weeks, and resulted in immediate inquiries coming into her office.

The power of a good domain name and top search engine results meant her business saw a dramatic increase in clients within weeks. By simply changing her domain name, to something that was search engine friendly, she was able to stop a paid advertising campaign, thereby allowing her to save a significant amount of money.

Tips on How to Pick a Good Domain Name for Your Business

I cannot understate the importance of carefully picking a domain name for your online business presence. It will have a significant impact on the success of your business, and reduce your costs in getting good search engine results.

You may be asking, “What is a good domain name?” My answer is, it’s dependent on a number of different factors, and this is usually where beginners make their first wrong decision. This first step can cost you money in the long run or immediately save you money, and increase your business success.

Below are some tips to help your business choose the perfect domain name.

Keywords Are Important in a Domain Name

Ask yourself these two questions.

  • “What are my customers typing into search engines when they are looking for my product?”
  • Have I chosen good keywords which they are actually using when they are at the search box on Google?

It cannot be understated the importance that keywords play when you are choosing a good domain name. When you use targeted keywords in your domain name, you’ll find they help you to rank higher in all the major search engine results.

If you are able to have your keywords match your domain name it’s even better. Unfortunately this is not easy to do, which means you’ll require a good deal of creativity and research to get the right domain name.

It may be possible to add a prefix or suffix to your domain name so it’s shorter. As an example, if the domain you want is “MortgageBroker.com” and this in unavailable to you, you would then be able to use, “BCMortgageBroker.com or put the BC at the end of it. This usually is the next best alternative.

Note: Last year, Google reduced the “weight” that they give to keywords in domain names, but having it in your domain name is still one important component in their current algorithm.

Their algorithm change has had the biggest effect on websites, which were ranking high with certain keywords, but the content on their site did not offer quality to the customer who was searching with those keywords.

With Google and other search engines, they are not only looking for the keywords in the domain name, but want to ensure that you are delivering a quality experience to the person they send to your website.

Using a Brand Approach

Sometimes, having a name that is short and catchy is an excellent choice. Google’s name for their company is an excellent example. It’s short and catchy, and today everyone knows it.

If you are a bricks and mortar business with an established reputation, using your business name may be your best choice for a domain name. Hopefully, no one else has already registered the domain name.

On the other hand, if you are just starting to build your business and already have a catchy name, then branding your business is the best place to start. If not, we will help you to choose a domain that suits your business model, so that you get high search engine rankings.

Your Business Name Should be Easy to Say and Memorable

Think in terms of situations which will arise, where you’ll need to use your domain name for communicating with customers. Don’t make it a challenge for them to remember! For instance, using the word “two” or having a hyphen in the name can make communicating it to others very difficult. If you have to explain it to them, then the name is not a good one.

Domains with Slogans Should be Avoided

Below is an example of a domain name that has a slogan in it, and is not something people search for.

“BestDietForYou.com” or “LetMeSellYourHome.com”

No one actually types these words into a search engine. When you use names like these, with these keywords, you’re losing the opportunity that keyword SEO provides you. When you choose a good domain name, you’re maximizing your keyword SEO opportunities.

What Extension to Choose for Your Domain

Companies that use a .com as their domain extension will normally receive the most amount of traffic. A domain with .org also receives a good amount of traffic. These are good extensions to choose, but sometimes it’s better for your company to choose one that is country specific, and it may actually work in your favour.

If your company is located in Canada, and does not do business on an international scale, then choosing a .ca for your domain ending would be your best choice. This is especially helpful when your domain name choice with a “.com” extension is already taken, but is available with the Canadian “.ca” extension. It has the immediate benefit of letting your customers know that you are located in Canada.

Before choosing a .ca extension for your name, it’s important to research whether or not the .com is available. As an example, if “MortgageBrokerBC.com” is already taken, then I would use the domain name “MortgageBrokerBC.ca” Your first choice is a .com extension and a .ca would be your second choice.

Summary

A good domain name takes time and effort, but it will reap benefits for your business. That’s why it’s your first important decision when choosing a domain name. As a professional in the business, you can always contact me for a complimentary free 30 minute session. I’ll help you make sure that you get the best domain name possible, to help your business become an online success.

Michelle Castillo

Online Business Expert and WordPress Consultant, passionate about helping business owners to benefit from today’s online technology. I provide my clients with hype-free concise advice about the reality of what online success requires.

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