How To Choose A Domain Name

Choosing a domain name is important, and most people I have spoken to know that.  Choosing the right domain name is critical if you want to get a high ranking in search results.  Most of those same people I spoke to did not know the right way to choose a domain name, or even that there is a right way.  If you are building a website for your business then you are going to want to listen up. If you are an Internet marketer, you probably already know about the importance of keywords, but do you know how important they are in choosing a domain name?

Google (and other search engines) determine your search result ranking by several factors.  It is important to point out that the algorithms they use are highly confidential, and constantly subject to change.  Their objective is to give searchers the most relevant results for their queries.  If we knew the algorithms, people would be altering their strategies for high ranking – even if they are not relevant.  As a result we must acknowledge the secrecy and utilize what we can to achieve our best ranking.  Your choice of a domain name remains an important part of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.

The very first thing the search engine spiders look at is your domain name.  Spiders work in a “top down” format, meaning they start at the top of your page and go downward from there.  They are looking for “relevancy”.  The more relevant your page is, the higher your ranking will be.  If your domain name matches a search query, it tells the spider that there is relevancy and it gives you strong SEO points as the spider continues down the page.

For example, let’s say your company sells replacement cellular phone batteries.  What do you think people will type into Google to find a replacement battery?  These queries are know as keywords, and you should know what your keywords are before doing any type of marketing on the Internet.  A Google searcher may type “cell phone batteries”, and if your domain is cellphonebatteries.com, the spider would start by giving your webpage a high relevance.  It would then continue down the page to look for more signs of relevancy.  The domain by itself is not enough for a top ranking, but it is weighted heavily compared to other SEO criteria.  It is therefore essential to have the right domain name for high ranking.

Are you thinking differently yet?  I have found that many people (who believe a domain name is important) are trying to buy their company name as a domain name.  This is a bad idea.  If the name of your company is “Quality Products USA” and you sell phone batteries, you will lose in the rankings game with a domain like “qualityproducts.com”.

How To Choose Your Domain Name

  1. Your first step is to know your keywords
  2. Next you want to choose a domain name that is keyword rich
  3. Try to stick with a shorter domain name
  4. Use a “.com” if possible
  5. Search to see if your domain name is available using any domain registrar.  GoDaddy allows you to search 500 domains at one time in their bulk domain search window.
  6. Register your domain with the registrar of your choice.  I use NameCheap because they are cheaper than most and offer free WhoIsGuard.  I use GoDaddy to search.

A Word About Choosing Your Domain Name
I recognize that many names have already been registered, and it may seem like a daunting task to find an appropriate name that is available.  If your chosen keyword is “cell phone batteries” and “cellphonebatteries.com” is taken, you will need to get creative.  Try adding a word to the beginning or to the end to find an available name.  Keep the word 6 characters or less so your keywords are recognized by the search engines.  (Note that the 6 character rule is subject to change based on search engine algorithms.  This rule was taught to me).  You can try something like “bestcellphonebatteries.com” or “cellphonebatteries2010.com”.  Use your imagination… just make sure your domain name is keyword-rich.  Oh, and avoid hyphens… they have come out of favor with search engines.

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Written by Scott Gilbert on April 25th, 2010 with 1 comment.
Read more articles on Domain Names and Driving Traffic and Internet Marketing and Keywords and Marketing Tools and Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization and SEO Marketing.

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