In my last post, I discussed the advantages of owning a domain. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read it HERE.
But first, what is a domain name? It is the web address of your blog or website. It starts with “http://” or HyperText Transfer Protocol followed by “www” then your domain name or site name. If you are blogging on Blogspot or any free blogging platforms, your website address looks like this “http://www.yourname.blogspot.com”. On WordPress, it would look like this “http://www.yourname.wordpress.com”. If you obtained a domain it would look like this – “http://www.yourname.com”.
If finally you have decided to buy your domain name, here are things that you must remember and do:
* You should use a Keyword Tool – It assists you research key words or phrases that can help you in promoting your site. Popular words people type in search engines like Google and Yahoo, in looking for things they want to know about products or services. It is very important to include the correct keywords to optimize or target traffic to your website. There are many keyword search tools but you could try and use WordTracker.com. Simply type in your browser address bar- “freekeyword.wordtracker.com/” and hit enter. You will then be taken to this page below:
With pen and paper in hand, type in a keyword that is related to your site. If your blog is about pets or travel, you should type in relative words. You will see then results with popular or many searches. Select and write it down in your notes, of course those only that are applicable to your site. Just repeat the process for other words.
* Brainstorm – I’m sure you have listed so many keywords but you only need at least 10. Select what you think is best for your site and your possible domain name. Choose something sensible to your target market.Don’t forget, it must be “keywords rich”, easy to spell, has commercial appeal, easy to understand, unique and memorable.
* Make it Short and Easy to Remember – Don’t go for that very long names like “makemoneyonlinewitheihdragatchalian.com”. You, would easily remember it because it was you who thought and bought that name, but you should think of your visitors and possible buyers too. Try to think of a much shorter name. Also don’t use abbreviations like “mmoweg”, to shorten the long name i have stated above. I hope you get my drift. Instead, use “makemoneyonline.com” or “makemoney.com”.
* Don’t Use Hyphens– Most of the best and popular domain names have already been taken. If your chosen ones are unavailable, try to think of other names than using hyphens. But you should also consider these things:
The DISADVANTAGES of having a hyphenated domain name, first, is that people tend to forget you have hyphens on your url, so when they type it and leave out the hyphens, tendency is, they will go to your competitors site. Second, if a friend recommends your site to someone, it would be hard to say it with the hyphens much more remembering where exactly the hyphens are. Third,eventually, you yourself will get tired of typing it over and over again.
The ADVANTAGES, since most of the best names are owned already, sooner or later, more people will use the hyphenated ones. At least, this early, you got your desired name even with the hyphens. Also, keywords can be distinguished by search engines better and will go back to your site more often when search results produces keywords that are in your domain name.
* Domain Name also as Website Name – If you haven’t established your site yet, it is best to have the same title as your domain name. People tend to easily remember the title more than the domain name or url of the site. You would be surprised how many professional bloggers have the same title and site url. Just imagine this, you bought the domain name “laptopsforsale.com” then you should give it a title such as “Laptops For Sale”or “Laptops For Sale.com”. If you have already established your site, running for many months and is now popular with friends and fellow bloggers, they know well that you are the owner of such title, then you must buy the domain with the same wordings as your title. Let’s say, the name is already taken, and you really want it. What you do is check the “whois” information for that domain and contact the person listed if they are willing to sell it. Be aware though that the cost of course will be higher than buying the available ones. If this fails, well, you can’t do anything about it but buy the one that best describes your site or the nearest possible to your title.
* Go for Branded Names – This will be more helpful for sites that sell specific products. If you are selling cosmetics or clothes or whatever it is that have brand names, you should get a domain name after your branded products. Let’s say you are selling cosmetics from “Avon”, you should have a domain of “avoncosmetics.com”, rather than using a generic name like “cosmetics.com”. People will not search for a keyword of just “cosmetics” but of course they will look for something specific.
* Different Forms Like “The”, “My” and Plural Names – The domain name you like is no longer available and usually the domain name registrar or where you register it, will give you suggestions based on the keyword/s that you typed. If you really want that name, you can include “the” or “my”, like “themoneymaker.com” or “mywebsite.com”. Just make sure, that when you promote your site, you will always include those forms. On the other hand, getting a domain name in the plural form depends on how it sounded when read and pronounced. Though sometimes, people forget to include the “s” in your url so they end up in your competitors site. If you have extra money, try and buy both the singular and plural forms of your domain name, this way, you capture both visitors.
* Choose “.COM” if possible – there are many extensions to choose from, like “.com”, “.net”, “.biz”, or “.info” to name a few. But if you are thinking of buying a domain name and the “.com” is still available, grab it as fast as you can. The ” .com” TLD or the “top level domain”, is a widely accepted extension and most people usually thinks that your website ends in a ” .com”. Though there is an exception to the rule. If you are promoting a local business and you want your visitors to know that you are locally based, then get a domain name with a local TLD for your specific country. A good example is “restaurant.co.uk”, if you are based in the United Kingdom. But if in the long run, you are thinking of expanding internationally, you might as well get the ” .com”. If you have extra money, you could also buy the other extensions of your domain name, like “restaurant.biz” or “restaurant.info” and redirect it to your main domain. This is done by some professional bloggers to protect their brand.
If you have checked and done all of these, then you are ready for the next step – the actual buying of your very own domain name. So, go and get it!!