The first 2 components for your website you must get it right — web host and domain name. People used to argue over whether you should get a domain first followed by web hosting or the other way round.It used to work fine either way. But now, you must register a domain first before web hosting. I think it’s probably a measure to minimize the number of low quality websites without a proper domain name floating around the web pool like garbage. Oh, attaching your website with a proper name is actually not powerful enough. The name must sell by itself, and be able to bring more traffic to your site and step up your sales revenue, only then can it be crowned “a domain name that sells”. And how to make it sell? Follow these 7 tips closely and burn them into your brain whenever you’re brainstorming for one, then quickly go snap it up before someone else does.
Your domain name should match with what you’re promoting / selling on your website.For example, if you’re offering on your website the natural secrets of losing fat, then your domain should contain related keywords like ‘fat’, ‘weight’, ‘shape’, ‘body’, ‘curve’, ‘slim’, etc…Online marketing experts like us favor such straightforward approach which speaks the benefits directly to the audience over the short but irrelevant names like Google and Yahoo.Advantage of relevant domain name — since people can instantly identify what your business is all about by simply looking at it, it tends to drive only those who are interested in what you’re dabbling in.Simply put, your domain name will become an auto traffic filter and gets you only the right type of prospects you need with which you’re likely to convert more sales and make more money.
Short is Lucrative, but Long is Profitable Too!
If you’d done some research on domain tips before you drop in here, many a time you would have read about making your domain name short so that people can easily remember and visit your website often, rendering you more opportunities to make more money online.Well, generally it should be the case, but not always. You have the choice, actually. And the opposite could sometimes profit you even more. Let’s run through the benefits of having a short domain name just in case you’ve forgotten or new to this, before we go into why a long domain name can be extremely profitable as well (if you get it right).Short domain names like Google, Yahoo, Amazon, … what do they have in common?
They’re short (of course!). But also they’re catchy, memorable and roll off the tongue. Now, usually short domain names encompass these characteristics. And it’s really cool to make people easily remember your domain name so that they can easily go to your website as and when they feel the need or urge to, or they just want to get on your website to kill time.
However, based on the trend of recent years, more webmasters chose long domain names as their preferred traffic driver, especially the marketing experts. Why? So that they can jab benefits into the name. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it should be so long that causes fingers cramp when people type it out. It should be “logically and comfortably long” such that not only it descriptively spells out the benefits but also pretty memorable to certain extent. For example, BehindInternetMarketing.com, or HealthyVegetarianMealPlans.com.
See the benefits jumping right out of them? Don’t you find them self-explanatory? Many gurus have used (and are still using) this benefit-driven tactics in domain name for one simple reason… it works! And the positive effect is phenomenal! If someone says long domain name doesn’t work, well, this is the proof against that statement. Admittedly, some people tend to forget long domain names and might run into typo pretty often.
However, gurus still happily prefer doing that because nothing is further from the truth that long domain names produce immeasurably fantastic results and rock out more targeted sales for them. So the secret behind creating a long yet highly profitable domain name is to make sure the benefit is powerful enough for people to want to find out how the site can help solve their problems, thereby not forgetting the name so easily. But how long do you consider just nice?
It’s pretty difficult to gauge this because the standard varies among different people. For me, I’ll try to keep it within 30 characters (including the .com extension).I mean, most importantly you should honestly express the benefits to your targeted audience. That should be the bottom line. You can follow this tactic (if you want) to generate a concise benefit-driven domain name. For example, I’m selling a quit-smoking kit. So the first thing I’ll want to ask myself is “How will the smokers benefit from my kit?” I’ll just type out the benefits first then I’ll trim the sentence up to make it shorter:
-“Smokers will be able to quit smoking in 7 hours with no side effects at all”.
I can’t make that entire sentence into my domain so I’ll just extract the key benefit which is ‘quit smoking in 7 hours’. Then I’ll go register QuitSmokingIn7Hours.com or 7HoursToQuitSmoking.com, etc.Get the idea? Good. Wait, how about getting a domain name that’s not only benefit-driven, but short plus relevant? Tall order?
Honestly, it’s not easy though, but it’s not difficult either. All you need is squeeze out every ounce of your innovative juice and stretch your creativity to brainstorm for one. No such thing as “The good names have all been taken up!” Not true. A good example – iNotFat.com. The owner is clever in a way that the name doesn’t sound like a stereotypical kind like ‘burn fat’ or ‘lose weight’ or whatever, but yet it conveys the right message to the right audience — the weight loss seeker. That’s what I called short, relevant and benefit-driven plus… creative, making it easier for people to remember. However, if you don’t want to kill too much of your brain cells by stretching creativity, simply apply the direct approach as in the “quit smoking” example. Though long, it works just as good. Or even better.
SEM Your Domain Name
Google used to give more weight to domain names that contain relevant keywords, thus ranking them relatively higher than their competitors when all things are equal. Times have changed.Google is now improving the weight for brandable domains (without keywords) to create a level playing field for all websites. However, I still embrace the idea of inserting keywords in domain name or url because it does help in search engine marketing (SEM) even though it may not help much in search engine optimization (SEO) anymore, particularly in Google.
Imagine you’re searching for a natural insomnia remedy and search results appear, which site will attract you more to click to find out the cure, ionehealth.com or naturalinsomniaremedy.com? It’s obvious. I had chosen sites that contain my queried keywords whenever I search for information on the web. When you strategize a marketing technique in search results, we call this Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But hey, the entire world wide web does not revolve around Google only. We still have big boys like Yahoo, Bing, AOL and other small-scale search engines who do still give more search credits and weight to websites having keywords in the domains.
Query ‘healthy vegetarian meal plan’ in Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, high chance is you’ll see the website HealthyVegetarianMealPlans.com being ranked on the first or second page of the search results page (based on the queried keywords) than hundreds of other web pages that do not contain the queried keywords. But do understand this, certain web pages on the search engine results pages (SERPs) that do not contain queried keywords in their URL may still rank higher than those whose URLs contain the queried keywords. Reason — most search engines rank pages not based solely on relevance, but importance as well.
So, all is not lost. SEM for Google and SEO for both Google and other search engines. Case closed.
Tip: You can use this free popular keyword research tool to help you uncover the top hottest search queries. See if what you offer matches the world’s interest so that you can include those popular keywords in your domain name to make them more searchable by search engine users.
Coca cola, McDonald’s, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft… all these are company names, so are their domain names. If you’re branding your business on the web, then making your company name your domain name is your best profitable bet. If your company name carries benefit, of course… that will make it even more powerful. Bonus! Still remember what I said early on? Google is adjusting its weight between brandable domain names and keyword-rich domain names so that they appear equal at the domain level on Google SERPs.
com is always the first extension that most people try when searching for a website (it WAS 10 years ago, 10 years later — today IS still the same, and I’m willing to bet that 10 years from now people will still type .com first to search for websites)… so if you don’t have good reasons for not getting a .com extension, then you’re leaving money on the table. But here’s what I do need to clarify: You should register your domain name with .com ONLY IF you’re targeting the global market despite more than 75% of domains are .com. If you’re dealing with hard goods, probably you’ll only want to target locally instead of globally.
For example, let’s say you’re residing in Singapore and you want to sell your products to the locals only, then getting a .com.sg or .sg extension will be a better option. Other than .com, you may also want to add on a .tv extension if you’re doing podcasting where your site hosts lots of videos and multimedia stuff, or others like .info, .net, .biz etc depending on the nature and theme of your business that will make sense to your audience.
Generic or Specific?
Whether you want your domain name to be generic or specific will largely depend on who you’re targeting at.Let’s say you’re selling home theater systems and accessories, you might want to give a generic name like HomeTheater4Fanatics.com, for example.
But if you’re targeting only a niche group of people who specifically looks for home theater speaker system, then a more specific name like HomeTheaterSpeaker4U.com will fit better. There’s no right or wrong as to whether your domain name should be specific or generic. Like I said earlier, it depends on what you’re selling and who you’re targeting at. An appropriate domain name that fits your business model will get you the right audience and raise the bar of sales conversion. Bear in mind.
How Many Years Should You Register?
Blame it on those “fly-by-night” scammers and domain squatters (aka cybersquatters), Google and other search engines are using the number of years of domain registration as one of the main guidelines to determine how trustworthy a website is. If you register for only a year, they’ll “see” you as a likely scammer who would go around ripping people off and get away with it after a year and then sign up for another domain name to continue your scheming act, even though you may not be one. That said, should you register for 2 years and above up front?
What if you don’t like that domain name? You’ll be wasting money although it’s cheap (about 10 bucks a year). Hmm… what I normally do is if the domain name sounds good to me, to prevent others from “stealing” it, I would go grab it first by paying for one year only. If a better one comes up later and I feel it’s exactly what I want, then I’ll register that for 2 years or longer. You might wonder, if it’s not exactly what I want, why would I want to grab it in the first place?
Experience tells me that sometimes, it may not sound so alright at first, but when it sounds alright to you all of a sudden, that domain name could have already been snatched up by others. So, grab it fast if you don’t want to lose it and bang your head against the wall later on.