This is by far the most visible decision you can make, and one of the hardest elements to change. In this post I’ll go over 5 points to consider in order to make sure you choose a profitable domain name.
Your Business Strategy
Firstly, it’s absolutely essential that you have a firm grasp of what direction you want to take with your business before you purchase your domain name.
Far too many new entrepreneurs think of a catchy name and immediately begin to build their site on it, without considering how their business might evolve.
Remember that your website is a business designed for the long haul, which means its going to grow and adapt in ways you might not be thinking about right now. Try to envision your site in 3 years: what related topics might you expand to? How is your opinion and perspective going to change over time?
You want to make sure you choose a name that gives you enough flexibility to meet that strategy.
The second point to consider is that your website is going to be your biggest branding asset.
Your domain name could be a great asset that helps your brand, or a liability that makes it difficult to promote.
In general, I prefer to opt for shorter, brandable names rather than keyword-optimized phrases.
That’s because it’s your brand that’s going to stick out in the consumer’s mind, and be part of what makes them think of your website and come back again and again.
Sticking With .COM or .ORG
I also tend only to buy domain names that end with .COM or .ORG.
In general, I feel like these two extensions have more weight with consumers. Some marketers even argue that the search engines prefer these extensions, but to me the bigger consideration is the user.
When was the last time you bought something from “youshoulddefinitebuythis.biz?”
.BIZ, .NET, .INFO, and a host of others have poor reputations, which makes it harder to retain users and convert sales.
The only exception to this rule might be .CO. While I don’t personally have any .CO domains, this is a relatively new extension that is beginning to gain some popularity, so is definitely a trend to watch.
Avoid Product Names
Never, ever, ever choose a domain name that has the name of the product you’re promoting in it.
Not only could this get you into some tricky legal issues (if part of the name is trademarked or otherwise protected), but it is also extremely narrow-minded.
I don’t view my websites as one-product portals, and neither should you. The days where you could throw up a site and poach sales from your affiliate partner are long gone, as both search engine algorithms and affiliate program tracking has gotten much smarter.
Shorter Is Better
Finally, I think it’s important to find relatively short domain names.
“thebestexerciseanddietprograms.com” might be available, but it just doesn’t have a good ring to it.
Chances are, you’re not going to be able to get one of the big-name, short keywords in your niche. Most single word and short, logical phrases are long gone.
That means that you’ll have to think a little creatively to find a short name. Think not just about your target keywords, but related terms or puns you might also play with.
I hope this post helps you make a good choice for your next domain name.
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