Selecting domain names is not as easy today as it once was.
When the World Wide Web was in its infancy and websites were just starting to take hold, you could pretty much get any domain name you wanted.
Fast forward to today, it is a totally different story.
For domain buyers to select a domain name that is only one word is a huge challenge. And if you are specifically looking for a dot com, which is the better choice, it is near impossible. This trend is going to continue.
Here is the good news. If you know your niche, top tier domain buyers selecting domain names for their clients will strongly recommend a one-word domain name is probably not the best way for you to go.
Yes, there are exceptions.
Amazon, Google, Apple each is a one-word domain name. The question you need to ask yourself is “Do I have a Google, Apple, or Amazon marketing budget?”
Exactly. The pros in the domain buyers market selecting domain names for their clients know that any domain name will work when supported by a marketing budget to launch it and keep it front-and-center until it is stamped on end user’s foreheads and it becomes second nature.
For example, when reaching for something to blow your nose, do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? Even if the tissue is not the Kleenex brand, that is generally the word people refer to when asking for a tissue. That is the power of a substantial marketing budget.
SEO is essential if you want to build any traffic. For this reason, one word domain names do not have much SEO value.
Because Internet users rarely search for just one word. They are more likely to search for phrases. Hence, domain names that contain the phrase or a portion of the phrase being searched for are much more likely to be found.
Another reason phrases are important is that a domain name that contains your targeted keywords, will also have a stronger search engine ranking.
A domain name should not be too long. A long phrase might great for SEO but not so easy for your target audience to remember.
Agreed visitors can bookmark your site if they are interested, but this does not work so well when someone wants to recommend your website. There is a significant risk they will not remember it.
When this happens, you miss out on potential business. And, it is also for this very same reason, that the domain buyer pros consider it wise to avoid using abbreviations, numbers in place of words (“4u” instead of “for you,” etc.), and words that are difficult to spell. Each of these leaves room for misspelling and your website not being found.
Regarding hyphens, there was a time when it appeared that search engines favored domains with hyphens between the words. This was one method of better ranking for the keyword phrase appearing in the domain name.
Today, that is not the case. It is easier for people to enter your domain name when there is no hyphens.
By-the-way, it is not a good idea to register a domain name with hyphens because someone else has the domain name you want registered without hyphens.
There is no argument that today dot com is the extension of choice. Unless there is a specific reason to use something else, sticking with dot com is the way to go.
Depending on your niche or your target audience, dot org is suited to charity or non-profit websites. Dot org has been around almost since the beginning of the internet. Hence, it is trusted. When used correctly, dot org can give your website validation as dot org sites are often regarded as more creditable than other alternatives.
Dot net is another popular alternate to dot com. It stands for ‘network’. The original intent is that web hosting companies would use it to serve smaller websites. All things considered, dot net is a better choice than dashes and other speciality extensions.
Again, a reminder, if at all possible, it is better not to register a domain name as a dot whatever when someone else has the dot com registered.
By-the-way, if a specific name is the one you must have and the dot com is taken, you could always attempt to buy the domain name for the owner.
When you are successful in registering the dot com for the domain name you want, it is a good idea to also register other forms of it. For example, dot net, dot org, dot ca, dot co.uk, and so forth.
Why? So that others cannot get a domain name similar to yours and draw traffic away from you.
This is also an occasion when you may even consider purchasing common misspellings of your domain and hyphenated version.
You would not do this for every domain name you own. It would be only for the principle domain name that most impacts your business and reputation.
In selecting domain names, these 5 tips are but the tip of the iceberg. There are many more considerations that come into play.
Most importantly, if a specific domain name is what you want, then there are businesses like DomainBuyersMarket.com who you can work on your behalf to secure that name.
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