thought do you put into choosing a domain name?
Surely it's the easy part of setting up a website, right?
You could be missing out on well-deserved traffic and not even know it if you haven't been savvy about choosing your domain name.
So what can you do to make sure you're not sending your hard-earned traffic to someone else's website?
You need to put yourself in your customers' shoes. Say your fancied domain name out loud and see how many interpretations you can get out of it (you don't want more than one!).
If I said "Hey, check out my website called See Too", this could lead to numerous interpretations. Following are just a few examples:
And my actual
address might be see-too.net.
Of course it's not always possible to get a domain name that has only one interpretation (and even less likely you will get one ending in .com). In this case you need to take extra care to market your website as close to your domain name as you can. You might also buy the domain names for the other interpretations and set up redirects to your site.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- While it's not as important as it once was, using a keyword or phrase that you are trying to rank highly for in your domain name can be helpful. This goes hand in hand with the necessity of choosing a domain name that is related to the topic of your website, seeing as you will use this as the name of your website.
- Make sure the phrasing of your domain name makes sense, for example ‘dogbarkinghelp.com' is a lot better than ‘advisedogsbarking.com'. You want your domain name to be memorable, so keeping it short is also a good idea.
- Check if the term you want to use is trademarked. No-one wants the sting of receiving a cease and desist notice after they've put in the hard yards building backlinks for the domain and got it working as a good money earner. Contact your local Government Intellectual Property or Trademarks Office to check this out first.
- You will also want to check a domain name for penalties (for example penalties given to the previous domain owner for aggressive link building campaigns and so forth). You can do this by pointing a link to the domain from a trusted site, and waiting to see if Google will index it.
- .com's are the best. It's the default suffix for type-in traffic, and search engines will tend to return results for the .com equivalents first. However, if you're after local traffic then a local suffix, such as .co.nz, will actually work in your favor for search results.
- Don't use product names (unless it's your product). This isn't allowed, and would make it difficult for you to promote other products on your site.
- Use hyphens, numerals and words that are difficult to spell with caution.
- Don't place words that end and start with the same characters together (for example, worddrool.com). It's confusing and can be prone to typos.
- Be careful with words that are spelt one way in US English, and another in UK English (for example, ‘favour'). Try to use real words too (and avoid text language).*
- And finally, check your
spelling before clicking buy! It's not just our website visitors that can make
typing errors and I'm sure you don't want to end up with a misspelled domain
Are there any
other tips you have that would be useful for those at the stage of choosing a
domain name? Share your thoughts below.
*This is a general rule of thumb of course. ‘Affilorama' is not a real word, and once upon a time you wouldn't have heard of Facebook, eBay or Google either. Maybe you could invent a word, brand it well and be the next big thing too...
Neville Easley • 13 years ago
Affilorma you guys are what they call cutting edge.
Justin From Affiliate Freedom • 13 years ago
rainto rainbow • 13 years ago
Neo Kanobi • 13 years ago
As always a great post. Thanks for going over the domain name how to's tips
Neo Kanobi • 13 years ago
Great Post as usual, I appreciate the Finding a Domain name tips.
Looking forward to your next post.
Christopher Jacques • 13 years ago
Excellent post on "How to avoid losing traffic from a poorly chosen domain name" with sound advise.
I especially like the last paragraph "This is a general rule of thumb of course. ‘Affilorama' is not a real word, and once upon a time you wouldn't have heard of Facebook, eBay or Google either. Maybe you could invent a word, brand it well and be the next big thing too..." which triggers the imagination.
Gabriel • 13 years ago
Stephen @ The Blogging Academy • 13 years ago
When choosing a domain for a "serious" site (as opposed to a testing or affiliate site), I would always suggest that you live with the domain for a few days. What sounds like a good name today may not sound quite as good after a while.
Gary Jeffers • 13 years ago
As I try and get a domain name with my keyword as in my experience it has helped me rank in Yahoo very well. Its well known that they rank better in yahoo which can account for 15%-20% of your search engine traffic.
To not worry about yahoo is a bit like marketing a new product in North America and not worrying about California and Canada.
It costs the same amount to register keyword.com or blahblahblah.com. So why not register the name that will get you more FREE traffic.
.com may be good for type in traffic but when it comes to Google, they themselves have stated that they give more credit to .org in the search engines. A little known fact from them not me!
Noor Azlin @ Bizznurse.com • 13 years ago
It is hard to find good domain name nowadays. Especially when the niches are famous and overly crowded. I agree with the point on Branding our own domain name. It is hard, but in a long run, worth more than SEO tuned domain names.
Edwin Lange • 13 years ago
More on hyphenated domain names would be helpful. I tend to think that they read easier, also are easier to obtain in key areas. Feedback will be appreciated.
Secondly, being a new member (affilojetpack) I must compliment Mark and the Affilorama team for the excellent training provided to date. Concise, detailed and to the point, even for an elderly dummy like me.
Lastly, Great Rugby All Blacks, and this compliment coming from a South African!!!!!
All the very best, Ed lange
James Pruitt • 13 years ago
doryharvey • 13 years ago
Great post about domain names, as a newbie I need all the help I can get. Keep up the good work!!
Abizer Nalwala • 13 years ago
This is a really helpful post. Could not be a better time to read it as I am building my first Niche website from AffiloJetPack.
Some of the things I wasn't aware of at all ... like knowing if it was a banned domain or a trademark. The other thing that clicked was to have a logical name rather more meaningful name (where you have given the dog barking example). This is common sense but as they say "common sense is not so common" - no offense to anyone as it applies to me :-)
Reevo Anders • 13 years ago
Thanks very much!
Kim Ross • 13 years ago
You're quite right about hyphenated domain names - as GaryJJ said, if SEO is your primary motivation and anticipated source of traffic, then adding hyphens to get the relevant keyword domain name you're after is a great option.
A true compliment for our rugby indeed coming from a South African! Bring on the World Cup next year to see who really is the best ;)
Ken Pringle • 13 years ago
Excellent information, I will be checking back here often.
Thank you keep up the good work, success will follow.
Tim Losee • 13 years ago
I'd love to hear how people feel about .net, .org, etc. sites. Does having a .com REALLY make that big of a difference.
Great article Kim!
Tess QIU • 13 years ago
abbyyy • 13 years ago
Vicky Moriah • 13 years ago
Thank you very much for all this teaching. As a newbie it is invalueable to give me the confidence i need to get started.
Maree Lowe • 13 years ago
I chose a Domain name (that I thought was silly & no one would use) what a surprise to find others have it as well.
So do I change it & if so how.
The other question I have is how do you know when your web page is on the web?
I typed in my address & mine was not there.
ryanda jones • 13 years ago
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Ben Neki • 13 years ago
Truong • 13 years ago
Ian Garratt • 13 years ago
Richard Smith • 13 years ago
William Pearse • 13 years ago
hermawan hayashi rockefeller • 13 years ago
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Mark Ward • 13 years ago
That's why I'm glad I found your site.
• 13 years ago
Aanmelden zoekmachine • 13 years ago
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Richard Oneil Long • 13 years ago
Theo • 13 years ago
Great insights, Thanks
Personally i try for exact match domain names first, i have found that i need to do much less SEO work to rank high in google if i have an exact match .com .net .org (in that order)
If i can't find exact match i will add a prefix (best,top etc). But definitely keywords in domain name do help a lot.
My example: Best SEO
Michelle Reynolds • 13 years ago
2u4 • 12 years ago
Andrew Pupols • 12 years ago
Peter • 12 years ago
Branding is also important and if you're setting up new company then you should choose something that is different and easily memorable and easy to type. Including keywords in this case is also a good idea
Nida Sea • 12 years ago
Akhar ali • 12 years ago
i am getting mixed messages here. Please help me as I got many domains on keywords
Cecille Loorluis • 12 years ago
I quote from the above article:
"While it's not as important as it once was, using a keyword or phrase that you are trying to rank highly for in your domain name can be helpful. This goes hand in hand with the necessity of choosing a domain name that is related to the topic of your website, seeing as you will use this as the name of your website."
As mentioned in the above paragraph, it is no longer critical to have your keyword in your domain name. This does not mean that it is not important. If you can have your keyword in the domain, then that is great. But you do not have to get stuck at choosing domain names because you can't get a domain with your target keyword in there.
Hope that helps. Have a good day!
mackenzie • 11 years ago
Rodolfo De Leon • 8 years ago
Once more. Can my domain name be in general(for lack of better word)as in:
myownbiz.com for use on my niche now or is it better to focus on specific
Melissa Johnson • 8 years ago
I'm afraid I don't understand the question. The biggest issue is to make sure you avoid using specific product names or anything else someone might hold the copyright too.
If you want more help with domain names, you can always contact our support team (https://www.affilorama.com/support) or talk with other affiliates on the forum! (https://www.affilorama.com/forum/)