Choosing a Profitable Domain Name – Pt1
You wouldn’t write a great article only to give it a vague or confusing title, yet when it comes to creating a great website and choosing a profitable domain name, many people do exactly that, selecting one as something of an afterthought. Others rush into selecting one, thinking it’s not all that important. This ultimately costs a site traffic and money.
The ironic part is that choosing a profitable domain name doesn’t have to be difficult; It’s takes only five minutes once you’re experienced. The trick is doing research and knowing your market. Before you even think of selecting a domain name make sure have a clear idea of what your niche or sub-niche is. You’ll also want a list of particular keywords you’re targeting, along with any primary keywords you may have.
Only after you’ve completed your research should you move on to the next step, selecting a keyword rich domain.
The keyword rich domain
A big part of choosing a profitable domain name is making your domain “keyword rich”. The good news is that creating a keyword rich domain is pretty easy; it simply means that one of more of your target keywords appear in your website’s address. As simple as that sounds, making your address keyword rich plays an important role in the complex world of search engine rankings. Google, for example, uses keyword rich domains as one method to help determine the content of a site. So, if you created a site called “dogtraining.com” for example, Google would assume your site featured dog training. By contrast, if you called the same site “joehughestraining.com”, the nature of the site becomes less obvious, not only to Google but any individuals searching for the site as well.
The downside of trying to choose a profitable domain name however is that often the best keyword rich domain names are already taken. Part two of this series will cover some techniques for circumventing this issue.
The importance of domain extensions
When it comes to choosing a profitable domain name, the domain name itself is only half of the equation. The other half, known as the domain extension, is the familiar end of your address, the “.com”, “.info”, “.net”, “.biz”, “.org”,”.us”, and “.co.uk”. These are also sometimes called the “top level domain”, or TLD extension.
Certainly the most recognizable and ubiquitous of the extensions is “.com”, and it’s also generally the most preferable. People trust “.com” and many people will try to use it on site addresses when they don’t remember the real extension, giving you the opportunity to steal some traffic from your competitors. Perhaps the only instance when you might not prefer a “.com” is a regional business, particularly without shipping, where a local extension such as “.us” and “.co.uk” for the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, may be preferred.
As mentioned, the second part of this series will cover some tips to help get you the coveted “.com” extension, but if for some reason you find it completely unavailable, you may have to choose from one of the remaining extensions, “.info”, “.net”, .”org”, or “.biz”.
If possible, you may want to consider avoiding a “.biz” extension. Many “.biz” sites are of low quality and have been used by spammers in the past. You may have also noticed that “.biz” sites rarely end up in the top end of search results.
Contrast that with “.org”, which is perhaps the other side of that coin. The “.org” extension was originally designed for non-profit organizations and many charities and non-profits still retain it. The extension is no longer organization specific, yet some people still feel it has some extra credibility. If you’re choosing a profitable domain name for an international site and “.com” isn’t available, “.org” may be a substitute.
While domain extensions are important, remember that Google does not have a preference toward any extension, even “.com”. So although you generally want a “.com” address, keep in mind the selection is geared toward the human element and not necessarily search engine optimization.
The follow up article will cover how to secure that “.com” extension even if your keyword rich domain is already taken.