Jul 21
2010

Choosing the Right Domain Name in 11 Steps

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Online Marketing, SEO | 5 Comments

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When it comes to domain names there are a couple directions you can take. A first is to find a domain name that is brand-able and is a website you want to build into your main brand. A second type of domain name is one that is an “exact match domain” – which is to say the domain name exactly matches a keyword searched by a user.

Here’s how the process works:

1. What is a keyword rich domain name?

  • Here’s the general format: www.KEYWORD.com
  • The keyword is a high-trafficked term in your industry or niche
  • The keyword can be more than one word, up to 5 or 6 words, but you don’t want it to be overly long, www.thebestshortsalerelaestateagentinsantabarbaracalifornia.com is taking things a little to far

2. Why do you want an exact match domain?

  • Search engines place a good bit of weight on what are called “exact match domains”
  • If you own the domain name: www.arizonashortsale.com then you have a very strong competitive advantage for the keyword: Arizona short sale
  • This means that when someone searches for “Arizona short sale” there is an excellent chance your site will be on the first page if not in the top 5 (how quickly you rank on the first page is dependent on the competitiveness of the keyword)

3. Will this strategy work to get your site ranking #1 for any given keyword?

  • Not necessarily, because that all depends on the competitive landscape for the given keyword, but if you’re targeted relatively non-competitive keywords then you will find this method goes a long way in getting your site ranked well.

4. Create a list of 5 keywords

  • In the next 60-seconds, create a list of 5 keywords that are relevant to your location, niche, or industry
  • Input the items into a spreadsheet or word document
  • Don’t get too broad or too specific, “real estate” is too broad and “best short sale real estate agent in Santa Barbara California” is too specific

5. Head over to the Google Keyword Tool

  • Click here
  • Paste in your 5 keywords, and click “Search”

6. What to Expect

  • Number 1: a rough estimate of the monthly traffic for the keywords you just thought up
  • Number 2: related keywords that have monthly traffic
  • P.S. We’re only interested in the “Global Monthly Searches” column

7. Click the “Global Monthly Searches” text

  • Which will re-order everything from highest searched to least searched keywords

8. Find out if an exact match domain is available

  • Starting from the top, find out if the keyword is available in a “.com” or “.net” or “.org” top-level domain (TLD)
  • Some keywords are obviously not going to have a “.com” available, such as foreclosure.com or realestate.com
  • This step is pretty easy because all you have to do is copy and paste the keyword directly from the results, head over to GoDaddy.com and paste the keyword into the Express Domain Search (don’t worry about deleting the spaces, GoDaddy does this automatically)
    within a 5 seconds you will know if the domain is available or not

9. What are we looking for?

  • A keyword that is searched over 5,000 times per month and is available as a .com or .net or .org

10. Purchasing Domains, two ideas for new domain purchases:

  • Make sure you are using them and not sitting on them
  • If the keyword is searched often 15,000+ times per month, consider making it your primary domain
  • If the keyword is not heavily searched, consider making it into a micro-site where it revolves entirely around the keyword and items related to the keyword

11. Problem Solving and Workarounds

  • When you find a high traffic keyword but the domain name is already taken
  • Add hyphens (-), but be careful, anymore than 1 hyphen is too many
  • Add the state abbreviation to the end of the keyword (AZ, CA, etc.), doing this will dilute some of the strength of this technique but not too much
  • Add USA to the end of the keyword, doing this will dilute some of the strength of this technique but not too much

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  • http://www.womanzworld.com/ Natalie Sisson

    Excellent post and really helpful. My only change would be head over to Namecheap.com to buy your domain name right now ;)

    • http://redtigertraining.com Chris Adams

      Natalie, thanks for the recommendation on the registrar – wasn’t aware of Namecheap.

  • http://twitter.com/navicusinfo Navicus

    why not use subdomains instead? Seems like an easier process to manage.

    • http://redtigertraining.com Chris Adams

      Using subdomains would be one option, but the downside to doing so is it separates some of the link juice because Google treats subdomains as separate entities when compared to root domains.

      The process outlined here is to help individuals take advantage of Google’s exact match domain bias.

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