Sunday, 10 February 2013

How do you Buy a Domain Name - Tips + Resources

If you're planning on setting up a new blog or website, one of the most important aspects that you would need to consider would be the domain name. Spend time brainstorming ideas for the name as this is going to be what your clients, readers and subscribers recall when they think of you.

You're domain name basically acts as your blogs address and this is how people are going to get to you. Therefore, you need to make sure that they would not have any difficulty recalling it; because, if they do, they'd just go to another website and you'd lose a lot of business this way.

How do you buy a domain name that rocks?

You may now ask a question "How do you buy a domain name that people think of when they need something that I offer?" it could be services, information or products - that doesn't matter for now. We're here to check out some important steps towards picking a perfect domain name.

So, if you don't want to lose traffic due to a bad domain name, there are quite a few facts that you need to keep in mind when choosing one for your website or blog:

Keep it short

When picking a domain name for your blog/website, you should think of something that's concise and easy to remember. It doesn't need to be a word present in the dictionary. Anything that sounds good could be your domain name, provided it's easy to recall.

After all, most of the popular websites such as Google, Twitter, Amazon, Bing, Zynga, Reddit, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, Alexa, etc. don't have any kind of keyword in their name - that's what we call branding. Take this blog for example, Seo4tomorrow; it's not short, but you'd be able to remember it for sure.

Does your keyword/phrase need to be a part of it?

Well, all this time people used to try and add their keywords and key-phrases into their domain name just to rank well for that particular term.

Of course, it used to work on Google as well as other search engines before and probably it still does work on a few of them. But, I'd rather focus on the few that have the potential to send high traffic.

However, now Google doesn't give prominence to such domains. So, basically your domain name has nothing to do with the success of your business (in terms of search engine traffic).  Take a look at the video by Matt Cutts for an answer to this question.

Does the Domain Name Play an important Role in Success?

Well, if you've watched the video you would have noticed that he did mention that websites that possess the keyword in their domain name tend to have an upper hand when it comes to getting back-links; as in their case, when a person links to them, they would be using the keyword as the anchor text.

For Example: Let's say you own How-to-Pick-a-domain-name.com (Just a random example pertaining to this question). If I were to link to this website using the domain name itself, you would see that the phrase "How to pick a domain name" is serving as the anchor text. So, basically they're getting a good back-link!

However, there's another twist that could come into play. If search engine algorithms see the same key-phrase being used over and over from various websites with little or no variation, then there are chances that they would consider you to be a spammer. Therefore, think well before you make a decision.

Should you register a new domain name or take over another?

Well, this may be a tough question for many, but if I were you I would definitely go ahead and register a new domain name and build it up from scratch. You should do the same unless you're taking over an already successful website OR if the domain name that's on sale is exactly what you need.

Over the years, there are plenty of people who have said that the domain age does play a prominent role when it comes to ranking pages of a website. However, this is all hype and it doesn't matter much, unless the particular domain had a good reputation and already possesses decent back-links.

It's very unlikely that you would be able to find a really good domain on sale and if you're new to this business, analysis of the domain isn't an easy task. So, for new-comers: Stay safe by registering a new domain - it's also, cheaper.

Does Domain Age affect Ranking at all?

It should be easy to spell and not have any hyphens

Another important fact that you should keep in mind when buying a domain name is the probability of people misspelling it. Therefore, as far as possible try and pick a name that wouldn't get mixed up. For example, Americans use Fiber and the British spell it as Fibre.

So, if your website is something to do with fibre, make sure that you either register both variations and use a re-direct to the main site or pick a domain name that doesn't contain that particular word.

Hyphens! Well, that's something I wouldn't want to type out when visiting a website. So, as far as possible don't use them on your domain name. If you must use them, consider them on your pages instead. That's what I've done here. Moreover, hyphens are preferred rather than underscores in the industry.

Avoid numerals in place of words

Well, this is going to be contradictory as I've done it myself; but, most people don't like the idea of using numerals to replace words. 4 replaces the word 'for', 2 replaces 'to' and so on. However, in my case Seo4tomorrow, I found it suitable as it does look good and I doubt it would be hard to remember.

When you visit this blog the first time through a search engine you would read and forget about it, this would happen twice or thrice until you finally notice that you get sent to this blog for different kinds of help, and then you'd finally remember it. This is what happens in most cases and the same would happen here.

Therefore, if you're asking 'how to buy a domain name' there's no straight forward answer; but, the article above would have given you a few thoughts to ponder upon before registering/buying a domain name.

If you're looking for a complete tutorial to get your website up and running, take a look at this post titled "SEO for Dummies"

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