photo by The Booklight
Choosing the right domain name for a website is a critical element of any internet entrepreneur’s marketing strategy. The right domain name will help generate traffic by helping your website feature prominently in search engine results, and by making your website easy to share via word of mouth advertising. Before you register your domain name and build your website, you should consider your domain name carefully to optimize positioning for your online business. Five simple strategies can help you select the best domain name for your site.
1) Include one of your top keywords in your domain name.
Consider your niche and use a keyword research tool to find words and phrases that Internet users will search for when looking for your products and services. For example, if you plan to launch a website to provide car insurance quotes, you might include “car insurance,” “auto insurance, “insurance quotes,” or “buy insurance” in your domain name. This can help you appear more prominently in search engine results, which will bring you more organic traffic.
Keep in mind that you should factor in competition when choosing a keyword for your domain name. Ideally, the keyword you choose should have high search volume and low competition.
2) Make your domain name relevant to your website content.
This helps fulfill your visitors’ expectations so they will stay on your site. If visitors do not perceive your content as relevant to the domain name, they will quickly leave, and you will lose potential sales. For example, before you choose a domain name that contains “gardening tools,” make sure that your site contains information that is useful for visitors interested in gardening tools. If your website’s content is primarily about other aspects of gardening, such as buying seeds or determining the best time to plant a garden, your visitors might not consider your website useful for their needs.
3) Make your domain name easy to share.
You want visitors to remember the domain name so they can tell their friends, coworkers and family members about it. Avoid adding hyphens between words, which makes the domain difficult to remember. Also, stay away from extensions other than .com, since people commonly associate this extension with every website. If you opt for a .net or .tv extension, word of mouth referrals will have difficulty finding your website. The exception to this rule is using .mobi to create a separate version of your site that is compatible with cell phones and other portable devices.
4) Keep your domain name as short as possible.
Long domain names are difficult to type, and visitors looking for your site often make mistakes that take them to a “page not found” page, or even worse, a competitor’s website. Keeping your website domain name short helps minimize the risk of losing customers because of typing errors. A short domain name also works better on offline promotional materials, such as brochures and business cards, which may offer limited space.
5) Make your domain name unique.
Although a domain name is uniquely yours when you purchase it through a domain registrar, you may run into problems if it is similar to the domain name of an established, branded business. Make sure that a visitor looking at your domain name would be led to believe that he is visiting a branded competitor’s website. Deceptively similar domain names can result in legal issues if the branded company believes the similarity was intentional.
Using these strategies can help you develop a strong domain name that will set you apart from your competitors, and will help you efficiently build your business online.