Choosing the right domain name is crucial in the planning stages of making your website if you don’t get this right you may limit the number of visitors visiting your website by a large amount. It’s like the identity for any site. These days due to boom in domain reselling most of the premium domain names have already been registered. Even 3-4 word domains without any meaning have been registered and are being sold for $$$. Choosing the right domain name has never been so important in today’s competitive online environment, so listen carefully to what I have to say and ensure you choose the correct domain name.
So what are the factors that determine the price of any domain. In other words, how to analyze or appraise any domain name. One thing I make to clear before getting in deep, that domain appraisal is highly subjective. The domain name that you may think worth $1000+ may be worth $100 only in appraiser’s view. On the other hand some interested party may be willing to pay you $10000+ for same domain. In short, the price of the domain is mainly determined by the need of the person.
Now lets see some general factors determining any domains value…..
I. TLD (i.e. the extension of domain) –
Its the most important of all the factors. Obviously .com doamin can get you more price than other TLD’s like .net, .org,.info,.biz, etc. for same keyword. Also there were some news that .info domains are considered as spams by some search engines hence not indexed higher in SERP’s.
II. Length of domain –
Next comes the length of the domain. Short domains are worth more than longer domains. According to some webmasters 3 words .com domain can get you $1000+.
The keyword is the domain name itself, i.e. in google.com , google is the keyword. Obviously a good keyword means more $$$. Meaningful domains, especially the dictionary words can get you more value than non-dictionary words. As compared to 4 word meaningless domain 8-9 words meaningful domain will get more value.
IV. Singular or Plural –
This varies, but mostly singular domains can get more value than plural.
V. Brandable –
Now if you have a non-dictionary word domain, but it is brandable then you can get more $$$ comparatively. The biggest example of this is Google.com , where google does not have any dictionary meaning.
So these are few factors which can help you in analyzing your domain and let you know “how much is it worth”.
How to Choose a Domain Name
Table of Contents
1. Brainstorm 5 Top Keywords
Before rushing into buying a domain name begin by brainstorming a few phrases, 5 9 phrases should do. E.g. say your website provides tutorials on how to cure acne some good phrases to use in this case may be cure acnestopping acneacne curetreating acne and so on. Once you have a comprehensive list that you agree try mixing and matching them e.g. www.curingacne.co.uk, continue to play around with your phrases until you find a good match.
2. Make your choice unique
The worst thing that could happen is for someone to confuse your domain name with a popular website. Therefore never ever choose a domain name that is the hyphenated, plural or misspelled version of a hugely popular website, e.g. it would be a big mistake to purchase www.you-tube.com or a similar domain to this.
3. Purchase the .com and any other relevant extension
This is a very common one. Often when people are referring friends to a website the latter part of the domain name .co.uk or .com can often be miscommunicated. Therefore as domain names are so cheap nowadays it doesn’t hurt and it’s hugely advantageous to purchase both .com and .co.uk (or whatever extension is relevant to your country e.g. .au .fr etc. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy web space (hosting) for both domains you can simply forward traffic to your main domain name e.g. if you chose to purchase www.mydomain.com and www.mydomain.co.uk, you can simply forward or re-direct all traffic going to www.mydomain.com to www.domain.co.uk. What this effectively does is protects your brand and ensures all traffic goes to you and not your competitor who happens to have the same domain name but a different domain name extension.
4. Make it easy to type
If your domain name requires too much attention to type correctly e.g. www.how-to-make-a-website (the amount of hyphens is just to labor intensive for someone who wants to visit a website). Furthermore try to avoid complicated spellings e.g. entrepreneur; people can often misspell this and end up again on a competitors website, additionally try to make your domain name quite short and concise e.g. www.shoes.com or www.ebay.co.uk, many of the most successful websites are always quite short and concise www.youtube.com and www.google.co.uk to name a few.
5. Make It Easy To Remember
This ties in closely with the above. It’s always advantageous to choose a domain that is topical and relevant to the content of your website e.g. as I explained in the example, it wouldn’t take Einstein to realize that www.shoes.com would probably be an online store that sells shoes. Furthermore choosing a contextual (topical related) domain name is good for search engines. Search Engines look for a topical domain name and order them appropriately in the results. Having a domain name that is closely related to your website content can significantly increase your presence in search engines and will be easier for visitors to remember and pass onto friends via word of mouth but probably more well known these days through email, social networking or chat rooms etc.
6. Avoid copyright infringement
Simply visit copyright.gov to ensure you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright with your sites name, visit the website above and search before you purchase your domain name
7. Avoid using the following
Probably worth re-iterating on this one. Hyphens make it hard to give your domain name over the phone e.g. www.how-to-make-a-website.co.uk translates verbally to www . how hyphen to hyphen to hyphen… You see how that could get quite annoying, or you may alternatively say the address is howtomakeawebsite.co.uk with hyphens in between each word, by the time the user goes to look on the site they may have forgotten anyway and proceed to do a Google search for how to make a website and end up landing on … Yes again a competitor’s website, that is one potential lead/customer you have lost. Similar point to be made for using numbers, this can also get miscommunicated.
8. Be a little creative
Paying too much attention to what search engine like e.g. www.homemortgageadvice.com (this is keyword rich and is a phrase often typed in by a lot of people in search engines) and your website’s topic (home mortgage advice) is all good and well. However, try to be a little creative and choose a domain name that stays true to your brand but also tells users and search engines what to expect when they land on your website. Using a unique moniker (name) is an extremely effective way to build your brand and enhance your image, the example used above is not as gripping as www.banktree.com.
9. Get It Right Away
Talking from experience it’s a good idea to register your domain name as soon as possible to avoid it being taken by somebody else.
After this tip, you will discover how you can increase traffic from the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) significantly. If being found by visitors through search engines is important to you, it is highly recommended you choose a domain that contains your keyword/keyphrases instead of your company name.
Many website visitors will not go directly to your website as they are probably unaware of the domain name unless they have seen some form of advertisement. Most visitors search by subject/theme. Therefore using a domain name like CarValetingLondon.com would be much more advantageous compared to using TommysCleanCars.com, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use your company name on your website, this can still be included in web page titles and headings.
But there are exceptions to this rule: –
If your company serves the local area then you may not require receiving traffic on a global scale. In cases such as this, it may be better to register your company name to create local brand awareness.
For example, you own a Car Trading company and only cater for the local community within a 5 – 10 mile radius, in this case, it is important to optimize for ‘local search’ or to enhance your brand and raise local awareness. Read more on Website Optimisation for Local Search – this will give you some ideas on selecting the correct domain name for your local business.
Note: Please be aware that choosing a keyword rich domain name is not the only factor considered when search engines determine the position and relevance of your website in the search engine results pages.
If you do choose to go down the route of using a keyword rich (a keyword or phrase that you know people will type in) you may find the below instructions useful
- Go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
- Enter your selected phrases that you brainstormed in step 1 into the box labeled Enter one keyword or phrase per line:
- Enter the character display in the image box labeled: Type the characters you see in the picture below.
- Scroll down to view the table of results, as you can see this will display the keywords / key phrases that you entered into the suggestion box, you may see that there is “not enough data” for your keywords, this is a clear indication that the keyword is not suitable for you to use as this will phrase or keyword will fail to deliver enough traffic. This doesn’t mean that your website will not receive traffic like search engine take allot more into consideration than just your domain name, however having a keyword / branded domain name will certainly help your chances of appearing higher in the search engine for your target keyword
Old Domain Name VS New Domain Name
Buying a domain name can be tricky if you need to use the domain for your company website. There are several dos and don’ts and many if and buts, and you need to consider much of these to take your decision. If you do not consider the risk factors and the chance factors, then you may end up picking a domain name, which would put your site’s reputation and image at stake.
Where the risk lies
The risk that involves in the picking up of old domain names is the history of that domain. If you are picking up some old domain name for your company, which some previous user has left, then you should check the domain history. In case you find that the domain was blacklisted by search engines or had any legal issues, or had some other problem in the past, you better keep off from the name, however apt it may seem to you for your company.
Why you should market the domain name well
If you buy the old domain name, then you must be 100 % sure that you would do ample marketing and optimization for your domain to associate and link the domain name with your company name strongly. You should try to erase off all records of the previous history of the domain from the minds of the internet users by publicizing the domain name intelligently against your company name. In case you do not do that, the old track record of the domain would bring bad luck to your company while the search engines would also be confused treating your company as another venture of the old domain owner.
When you buy a fresh new domain
To start afresh a good option is to buy a fresh new domain. In that case, the domain name would be devoid of any fishy bad history or without the traces of any old or current business of the previous owner. You will be able to start new with the domain while marketing it solely and clear-mindedly for your company. You will own the new domain, and therefore may plan to market or optimize it as per your wishes.
Below are some examples of old expired website domains that is available as of writing this article.
The story behind cheap domain names
If you see that a domain registration site is giving away cheap domains for sale, and those are really too cheap, then beware. Saving some money here may cost you later if the domain you buy from the sale turns out to be an old blacklisted or tainted domain.
With old domains, it always takes you time to link it to your business and company, and erasing away old records of the domain with all bad things is not at all easy. Hence, if you have the resources and chances to get a fresh new domain for your company, then you should better try it first. This will save a lot of your effort in the longer run and will help your site and domain both grow well, while the site adopts the fame of the online presence or the domain molded into an online branch of the famous offline business.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Domain Name
When you have decided o make a website of your own, for your business, organization or company, then the first thing you will need is a domain name. The domain name will be your website’s name and will be the unique identity of your website while being the face of your company representing it online. Hence, this name has to be chosen carefully, while giving the name lots of importance.
What holds you from buying a new non-owned domain?
It’s not always possible that you search for a domain name, and get it blank, new, available and ready to buy. In most cases, it does not happen. With the rapidly increasing number of websites, names get booked faster than you can ever think. Not only that, but the buying and selling of domain names is a much-practiced profession and money making technique. Sellers first buy and take the ownership of domains which have the chances of being in demand later or sooner, and then when a buyer approaches, they quote an exorbitant price for the domain. The buyer who badly needs the name for his company or business website sometimes gets compelled to buy the exact name.
The other way round
Often buyers try and find some other ways to avoid paying such a high price for the needed domain. The commonly practiced method is to use some other domain name extension than the commonly used commercial extension of “.com”. There are many more options besides choosing a “.com” name. There are country specific extensions, where the abbreviation of the country is used in a form. There are other extensions like, biz, edu, net, org, gov, info and many more. Hence a user, who would like to get the same domain name for the website as is in the company name, can choose to get so by choosing just any other extension with the domain.
What if you want to buy the exact .com domain for your company website
Sometimes website makers have a passion, need or preference for a “.com” extension only, and in those cases, one chooses the name which comes in pronunciation and looks, very close to the real company name. If that too can’t be availed because of strong competition, then any name which gives a look and feel of the company is chosen by the website owner.
This method is always cheap, as you compromise a little, and then buy a domain at its real cheap and reasonable price. However then, it depends upon you that how you market the domain and optimize the site to get most of the desired traffic and link to your company name in the form of that domain name in future.
How to solve the issue
The crowd consists of both types of people; one who just needs any domain name at a reasonable price to start a company website, and the one who needs the exact named domain to brand the company better in future. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and you can’t omit the importance and significance of performing optimization and marketing steps for both. However, it’s always easy to start with a fresh domain, where the chances of a name, history, or old conflicts never remain.
Protecting Your Privacy
As you’re registering your domain name you will have the option to protect your domain name and keeping it private, I would strongly suggest you do this-this is one of the add-on features that you may want to take advantage of.
Protecting your domain name will hide your information (email address, name, address etc) out of reach, this is a great way to avoid SPAM (spam is usually unwanted advertisement emails).
Register Your Domain Name
I hope you found that useful and if you have read this page you are now ready to register your domain name.