What should you think about when buying a domain name?
Making a decision on buying a domain name can be a difficult for many people. What should they be looking for? What domain name works best? Will people remember you? Will this help me with my search engine ranking?
Do I go branded or keyword specific Domain Name?
There are two routes for buying a domain, either branded, or keyword specific. Branded refers to buying a domain for your brand regardless if it includes the name of the products you are selling. Look at the two domains and you will see the difference.
http://bluenile.com <- Blue Nile is a large jewelry company. No where does jewelry show up anywhere in their domain. It is a branded domain.
http://myjewelrybox.com <- Another jewelry store but notice the word jewelry in the domain. This name was most likely started up to maintain and create a keyword specific domain for jewelry. Unless you are a well known brand, it might make sense for you to use a keyword specific domain name.
Make your domain name easy to type and read
Anything that makes it difficult for your potential reader or customer to type and remember will keep you from making that sale.
Hard to spell – This would include all your I before E words except after C except in… You get the point, anything that confuses people means its possible your customer is going to someone else’s website. Case in point, Geico Insurance learned this before they were able to buy gieco.com instead of geico.com
Same letters next to each other. Think of the number of words that end with two letters. Any time you combine words that have to many of the same letter next to each other, it causes issues for the visitor. “Is it two or three “L’s in the domain name? Oh forget it, I will go to another site…”
Keep it short. Not only is it easier for your reader, but too long a domain name can actually hurt your ranking according to Google. It is not a huge ranking factor but one of the tiny details the search engines look at
Choose a TLD that reflects your audience. If you are a retail store in the UK, then a .co.uk domain is the way to go. Only sell to the Canadian market? .ca . Trying to reach customers all over, go for a .com, .net or .org domain.
Buy your domain name for more than one year
When I set customers up with a domain name, I always purchase it for 5 years if possible. There are many reasons I do this.
The first one, for 5 years they don’t have to worry about whether their domain name will be expiring or having to track them down to pay for it. Unless you are a fly by night operation, you will be in business for many years, so buy it for the next 5 years.
Domain names keep going up in price, so lock in your lower price at the beginning. If you are lucky enough to get a coupon, even better.
While we can never know Google’s algorithm for sure, many believe that it is a small factor in search engine rankings, so anything you can do just one time and not worry about the better.
From a google patent:
Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.
Either way, choose a domain name you are happy with as you will be using it for many years to come. It never hurts to buy a couple domain names given the quite small cost to purchase them.
Where do I buy my domain names?
Over the last couple years I have been buying my domain names from a company called Name Cheap. They are very competitive priced and have great customer service. Check them out and start looking for your domain. Click the link above or click the banner below and you will be taken to the site to start looking for your domain name.