Choosing a relevant domain name is one of the easiest steps to accomplish on the SEO path, and a lot of people just fail to take advantage of it. Especially at the beginning, when your business it's not a known brand, don't get stuck with that business name you always wanted and thought about it! That will come a bit later when your business has a rich portfolio and the your customers are coming back because they liked your service.
What is more important for you at this start-up stage? Your business name or your customers? First, you need to create more leads, bring new customers to your "door", and create more business.
So let's see how to choose a good domain name for your business:
Learn from others' experience
First of all, don't get me wrong! I made the same mistake. I didn't want to let go my "awesome" brand name, that of course nobody heard of it before . But after a few successful experiences with some of my customers, I realized domain names have more importance that I thought and I decided to go for it myself. So, for about $10 each, I just acquired two more domain names: http://website-design-mi.com and http://www.web-marketing-michigan.com. I'll let you know how well this worked later.
As you can imagine, the idea is that the domain names include the exact keywords I'm aiming for on my own business SEO. I have a tough competition out here so these domains will definitely help. I'm not saying you need two or three domains, just get a good one.
First page in Google search?
Some would say that people won't take these brand-less domain names seriously and won't click on them. Let's get serious: do you read the domain name when you see it on the first search page? No, you might read the text associated with it; you will click on it, because it's on the first page! Proven fact. If your "awesome" branded domain comes up in search results on the third page (which is a good place for a new brand actually), your click rate will be close to 0%. Just take a look at the graph from seomoz.com and you can see that hyphenated domain names are actually counting in SEO especially for Google.
I always design for humans, not search engines; however, if you come up with an easy to remember domain name which includes a keyword for your website, that's gold! As long as your website design and content is still relevant to your prospects and in the same time optimized for search engines, you're exactly where you want to be!
Keep in mind when you buy domain name
My sincere advice is to always buy domain names from a registrar. A lot of hosting websites offer a nice discount when you buy domains and hosting from them, but I tell you that you will pay the same price if you buy a domain name from a registrar. The downsize of buying from a hosting website that's not a registrar is that most of the time they buy the domain for you on their name, so you don't really own that domain. Or, as it happened to me, to move that domain name from the hosting company to a registrar, it was a real hassle where at some point I didn't know for sure if I will get it or not.
The prices are really close so choose one from this list (http://www.internic.net/alpha.html), or find one you like and check to make sure it's on the list. I usually go with GoDaddy or Enom for domain names (not hosting).
Keywords in the domain name
That's how you use domain names SEO power. By using keywords in it. If you have let's say a landscaping company in Detroit, landscaping detroit.com is taken, but landscapedetroit.com is available at the time I'm writing this post. Also if you really want that name, you can get landscaping-detroit.com, which is the same for Google as it treats a hyphen as a word space. When you look for domain names though, keep in mind that if it shows available and if you don't take it right there, the second time you look for the same domain name a few minutes later it might be gone.
Good domain names sell high
No comments on the above observation; but my advice is: make a list of the best domains name you want, start searching and buy the first one available on the spot. As I said, they're just about $10/year. And as you can see on this domain authority website (http://domainnamesales.com/sevenmile/2012-11/sales-observations/#content), good domain names are getting scarce and they get sold at good prices later on. So it's never a bad investment. There are businesses that are making money just for parking and selling domain names at high prices.
Get a domainname.com
The domain name has a huge search engine advantage and you should take advantage of it. Especially when you have a strong competition in your field in your area. You don't have thousands of dollars to spend monthly on Internet Marketing and SEO, so you use every bit of free help that is available.
Also, the word in the industry is that a .com domain name can sell 5-20 times as much as a .org or .net. On the other hand, in time, if you buy these domain names too, they will also increase your ".com" domain name ranking.
- -for the beginning, you are building a customer portfolio, then your brand.
- -make sure your keyword strategy's done and you know your best keywords
- -find an optimum combination of "BrandKeyword.com" or "Keyword-Brand.com."
- -a domain name with all the keywords or one of the relevant keywords for your business is a huge boost in SEO, so take advantage of it.
- -getting on the first page on Google is a long way, so don't make it any longer for you.
- -follow all the other basic SEO steps; you can read about them at in our blog about SEO steps, tips&tricks.
Leave a comment if you need any help in choosing your domain name!