The best starting point for any new website is a quality domain name. Believe it or not, a lot of the early success websites have will be determined simply by its domain name. Before you register a domain, there are a few important questions that need to be asked. You need to determine whether you will be wanting a short domain, brandable domain or keyword-rich domain that will let people know what your site is about right away. Honestly, there is no right decision here. It all depends on your personal preference and what your overall goal is going to be with the website. Still, some things should be considered before hand to make buying the domain as simple as possible.
When to Purchase a Brandable Domain Name?
It’s important to remember that if you decide to go the brandable domain route, you’ll want to have enough funds available for marketing purposes. Since the domain itself won’t tell anybody what your site is about, you’ll need to plan on educating them in other ways. With that being said, those who want to stand out and are planning to go long term with their project should certainly consider going with a brandable domain because this is probably the best route. Take these two websites as an example: Booking.com & Airbnb. Both are in the same niche of travel, but if you weren’t educated about what those brands are (after millions of dollars were spent in advertising), would you ever know about them? Understand before hand that building a brand is both a time-consuming and very expensive process which is why most small businesses should stay away from brandable domains and give keyword-rich domains some consideration instead.
Choosing a Keyword Focused Domain
Since (more than likely) you’re like most other small businesses out there and don’t have a marketing budget that is going to be unlimited, you will probably want to opt for a domain name that’s focused on keywords (such as an exact match domain “EMD” or partial match domains “PMD“). These types of domains will let visitors know what they are getting before ever landing on your website.
In an ideal world, you would purchase the single English word for your domains. For example, if my website was about cars I would choose cars.com and if my website was about hotels I would own hotels.com. Obviously this isn’t a perfect world and those domains were taken decades ago with a value now of more than most peoples house. With that in mind, you’re going to need to go for a domain name which contains more than one keyword. In fact, if you’re trying to hand register new domains these days (and it must be a .COM) then your name might even need two or three different keywords. When choosing which keywords to put in your domains, keep a few factors in mind:
If you know about SEO then I’m sure you already understand every keyword will have both a broad and exact search term associated with it. The exact is obviously all the words used in your phrase at once. Terms like “web hosting” are exact and if I were selling this service WebHosting.com would be an ideal choice. Since (just like my other examples above) that domain is premium and won’t be available anytime soon, you will want to go one step further and consider broader search terms. Domains like CheapWebHosting, WordPressWebHosting, ReliableWebHosting, and several others quickly come to mind. By expanding to three keyword domains, you can significantly open up the number of possibilities. But, from an SEO standpoint you will find that exact search terms always have more searches than broad search terms.
When starting a new website remember that it’s your job to work out which type of domain you will get: brandable, broad match or exact match. For most people the option will be either broad or exact match keyword domains. Use the tips above to create your own lists of keyword rich domains to check availability on. Try to make your lists long and you may come up with multiple domains that are currently available to hand register. This would give you multiple options to consider before finally choosing one!