Website Success Start with the Domain
Are you overwhelmed just thinking of creating your website?
It doesn’t have to be difficult and it will be quick and easy if you break the steps down into bite-sized tasks. The first step is getting a rock-solid domain name.
When choosing a domain you will need a name and an available extension. An extension is the last part of the domain, such as .com, org, or .net. There are many options – some cheaper than others – but you’re not going to want to go with just anything.
Domain name strategy can go two ways. You can follow the safe route and choose a keyword-laden domain name, or go with something catchy that you hope takes off in a viral manner all across the web (think Yahoo, Google, or Twitter).
Most people prefer to go with a keyword domain. You want your website to rank well for your chosen market, and keywords are the prime way you’ll achieve that goal. You can use a free or paid keyword tool to make a list of the top keywords in your market.
You can choose one with a high search volume (if it’s available as a domain), or go with a lower search volume that you’ll rank high for more quickly. These keywords are called long tail keyword phrases and they have more words strung together, so the search volume is less, but so is the competition.
Let’s look at a couple of examples from the health coaching market. A prime keyword domain would be something like healthcoach.com. It’s probably not available because the phrase has millions of searches per month. But another phrase like bostonhealthcoach.com or integrativehealthcoach.com might be available because it has fewer searches.
When you buy your domain, you’ll search for the URL you hope to get, such as healthcoach.com. If it’s not available, the system will usually show you some alternatives that are available, such as healthcoach.net. These are not always the best option, so don’t just go for one of these. You may need to brainstorm some ideas and get creative. (Just remember clarity over clever).
You can brainstorm words that go with your industry, brand, location or personality to add to your wanted domain to see if you can land one that you are happy with. Take a look here and see what might be available.
Here are some ideas for the health coach example that might spark your creativity:
Try not to go too long, think of someone having to type in your email address or web address…if it’s 35 characters long it will not be the easiest to do. Also, think of the real estate your email and website address will take on marketing materials – a long domain can make your email address run the entire length of a business card, and that can start to get weird and drive your designer a bit crazy.
I always suggest going with the .com when you can. It shows more professionalism, it’s easier to remember and you are less likely to have someone accidentally go to the dot com.
When you purchase your domain, most registrars will try to upsell you all sorts of things, like hosting, privacy, site building tools and more. You probably don’t need any of these right away, and if you do, you can always add them on later. They will also try to sell you every version of your domain (.net, .info and .me for example) as a “deal.” Really think if you need all of them and if it will be worth it to you to renew them every year.
There’s a bit of discussion about whether you should pay for a domain for one year or more. Some people argue that Google prefers domains that have a longer commitment, but you can always lengthen that later if you decide that you’re committed to your business for the long haul.
Your domain purchase should be around $9 per year, and many times you can get a price reduction for extending the term. If you are one to forget, or miss an important email, like your domain needs to be renewed, consider long-term purchasing and turning on auto renewal. An expired domain will take down your entire website, and it can be expensive to recover and can cause a loss in revenue, so protect yourself when purchasing your domain.
Are you ready to get your business going with a website and domain? Check your domain HERE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs grow their business with Smart Marketing. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, international speaker + trainer, and the CEO + Creative Director at Lake Shark Media. She also teaches entrepreneurs how to create a business and life they love at toriemathis.com
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