Selecting a domain name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in setting up your business. Your web address is a crucial part of your brand, and might appear on all your off line marketing.
• You will be able chose an appropriate domain name and TLD for your product/niche
• Understand the Importance of Keyword Phrase in your Domain Name
Before you can choose a domain name you need to have CHOSEN YOUR TARGET MARKET in order to understand what you would pick for your domain name.
Having researched your target market and customers and are able to describe that ideal customer in one sentence you are ready to choose your domain name. (For guidance on choosing and researching your target market see separate article)
For a product or service related domain name it is best to have a “Keyword Phrase,” ideally in the front of the domain name. (If you are branding yourself then a domain name with your real name would be needed).
The internet has been used for a number of years and many of the domain names you would initially want to use may not be available.
For this set of examples for tropical fish; which is not available. I, Mark Walton, used just my initials, my first name preceded by the word “by,” plus with and without hyphens, depending on the look I want and how short I want it:
Using my full name as in: tropical-fish-by-mark-walton, is adding too many words that are not part of the keyword phrase.
I would consider my full name: tropical-fish-by-mark-walton, if I was thinking of ‘branding’ myself or, if you already have a business, you would want the URL: yourbusinessname.com for example or:
The example I use “Tropical Fish.” is already taken, so what could do?
This is when using “hyphens”,”Other Words” or “Auxiliary Words.” Would be useful to retain your chosen “keyword phrase” within the domain name.
Auxiliary words include: “here,” “with”, “byYOURFIRSTNAME,” “byYOURINITIALS,” “byYOURNICKNAME,” “site,” “101,””info” etc.
They are not part of any keyword phrase, but when you do search for them there is a greater chance you will find the keyword phrase domain plus an auxiliary word available.
TropicalFishHere, tropical-fish-here, TropicalFishByMark, BySimon, BySam, ByMermaid – something that comes after the keyword phrase that you can add on that makes sense, has human appeal, and has your keyword phrase upfront so the search engines will see it.
Your domain is important to the search engines that’s why you want that keyword phrase in there.
Additionally the domain is going to tell somebody looking at it, what your site is about.
Now, if it’s TropicalfishBymark.com, they’re going to assume the sites about Tropical Fish, and it should be.
Whilst most of the time you’ll have your keyword phrase in front. There could be some exceptions.
For something that’s very, very competitive, like weight loss, obviously WeightLoss.com is going to be taken.
But you’ll notice that, when searching for something like weight loss, that there are actually words and phrases that rank very high, that have a lot of searches for that exact phrase – they’ll be in the top ten phrases searched.
For Example weight loss, weight loss tips, quick weight loss, weight loss program, weight loss fast, fast weight loss.
You can do a quick search for “weight loss” using this free keyword tool: I would recommend Google Free Keyword Tool.
You can use those extra words. You can combine phrases for example, “weight loss tips” is ranked high, “quick weight loss” is ranked high, so you might look for “QuickWeightLossTips.”
In this instance, you can actually put a word in front of the main keyword phrase, only because it is a very commonly searched total keyword phrase.
REMEMBER From the Internet perspective Your Domain name Is Not Going To Make Or Break You – however, if you are trying to promote a particular brand image then it is an important consideration.
There are a lot of factors that go into getting a webpage ranked high and returned in a high position in the search results.
The key point is there are many factors that Google looks at so don’t get too stressed when you go to choose your domain name.
Try a search in Google for Internet Marketing WITHOUT quotes and see how many of the top 10/20, of the search results returned, have the phrase “Internetmarketing” in their domain.
Do the same with a Search with quotes as: “internetmarketing”
Do the same for your target market, your topic for your business.
Example: search for “YOUR TOPIC” with or without the quotes and look at the domains that show.
Try to get the keyword phrase in front. Play around with the words after.
And again, I went through where there can be an exception for weight loss.
Long Domain Names Vs Short Domain Names
Ideally you do want to keep the domain relatively short. However sometimes; as you have seen with the above examples; you can’t keep it as short as you would like as a lot of those domain names have been taken.
But Google, the main “Search Engine” do not put emphasis on a short domain versus a long domain.
Ideally, you want to see if you can keep it short, but with the internet being highly competitive, your domain might end up being three, four, five words, 30-35 characters.
Which TLD Extension?
“.com” | “.info” | “.net” | “.biz” | “.org”
So that brings us to the extensions, what’s called the TLD extension. TLD is “top level domain”.
There are a wide selection including:-.com,.net,.info,.biz,.org – and lots of others, .edu. (.edu, education, is only available to accredited universities.); .net was intended for ISP’s and other networking companies, but there is no formal regulation of this, .org is generally used by not-for-profit organisations but can give an impression of size and importance.
The “.com” stands for commercial this is the best extension you can get particularly if you are marketing to a global audience. For a UK audience the.co.uk is fine.
.com is what most people are used to so when they remember your domain they might, forget that it was “yourdomain.net” and go to “yourdomain.com”
However for the search engines, as far as how Google views a.com versus a.net or a.info, this has changed over the last few years but although know one really knows, my understanding is Google puts very little weight on whether or not a “.com” domain is used versus a “.net” domain for example.
So if you know you want a particular phrase or name and the.com is taken, you can go for an alternative TLD “.net” “.info” or “.org”
Ideally have your “keyword phrase” up front, use hyphens if you want, try to keep it short – don’t worry if it gets a little long.
The best extension is likely to be “.com” or “.TV” for video sites as far as search engines are concerned I believe there is no bias.
Expand your options by adding the “Other Word(s)” or “Auxiliary Word(s)”. Use the auxiliary word after your keyword phrase, to give you options on obtaining the keyword phrase you want upfront with a domain name that is still available for you to purchase and register.
See what other people are using for domains by searching Google with your keyword phrase. See how many of the websites that appear on the first page, the top 10/20 – see how many of those domains actually have the keyword phrase in it. You’ll be surprised at how many do not have the keyword phrase in it.
Remember, your domain is not going to make or break your business.
There’s A Lot That Goes Into Making A Website Successful
Use Google Free Keyword Tool
For domain names and hosting I would recommend “Hostgator”
I wish you every success.