Top 10 Domain Purchasing Tips
Thinking about starting a business? Own a business and want to build a website, but confused by the process of building a website and purchasing a domain? Use these 10 simple steps to determine what domain to purchase:
- It Plays a Role in Marketing- Remember that your domain name is an important part of your website’s marketing. Search engines are literally looking at the characters or words within your domain to understand what it is about. You’re going to try to stuff as many keywords, in an appropriate order and manner – as possible in your domain (provided that the other 9 tips are abided by).
- Use Your Keywords in Your Domain- More specifically on the above you should literally use the keyword in the domain. In our example situation we sell pizza in bonita. So those two words should (preferably) be in the domain. If someone searches “pizza bonita” or vice-versa our website needs to show up.
- Keep it Short & Simple (KISS) - Less than 13 characters. The shorter the better, although in some cases slightly longer is acceptable, but it still needs to be simple.
- Make it Easy to Pronounce/Spell- Our old business name was “unique id web design” that was a mouthful to say on the phone “What…?! What is cretique? How do you spell that?” Avoid these issues by making it as SIMPLE AND EASY TO SPELL AS POSSIBLE – I’m always astounded how clients, friends, and even family misspell business and web addresses so consistently.
- Always Go For “.com”- Dot com is synonymous with websites – *.net, *.info, and others are all great from a web marketing perspective, but to end users – they’re not as easy to remember.
- Stay Away From Hyphens - Do-You-Think-This-Is-Easy-To-Read? Do you think it’s easy to tell clients or business associates? Everytime you say “dash” or “hypen” you’re adding extra, needless words to a very simple sentence. Do not select hyphenated domains for your main website period!
- Err on the Side of Your Brand - Ignoring many of the above rules, erring on the side of your brand is at the bottom as – any web address can be branded to any market, and achieve search engine excellence. If there’s not a nice, meaningful keyword match domain available, I always recommend erring on the site of your brand. For example, in our situation “stevespizza.com” would be acceptable.
- Watch for Competitors- Make sure your domain doesn’t too closely match a competitor. This can get confusing and you could leak traffic to them.
- Buy Many Years- Once you’ve selected your domain, buy it for as many years as possible (and you can afford). It doesn’t make a difference in terms of marketing, as opposed to popular opinion, but it does allow you get a bulk discount AND you won’t have to worry about re-registration (and potential site outages) for many years.
- Stay Away From Repeating Letters – When two or more words are in your domain, make sure that one doesn’t end with the same letter that another begins. Here’s an example StevesSweetPizza.com – notice the two S’s? It’s very hard to type in and can get confusing for end users.
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