There are millions of websites on the internet. It seems as though a large percentage of the connected world dreams about having an internet business where they can make enough money to live comfortably and provide for their families, if not be the next .com Millionaire.
This is apparent when you go to register any top level domain, such as a .com or even a .net. Easy to remember domains that are short and descriptive are increasingly difficult — if not impossible — to find. Unless you are lucky enough to have a start up budget that affords you to rebuy a cream of the crop domain name that is already registered, then these basic tips on selecting your business domain are for you.
If you do have a budget that includes money for your domain, then you can go to some of the domain resellers such as Sedo, Afternic, GoDaddy or buydomains, and seek out the domain of your choice, lucky you. If you have a smaller budget but a general idea of what you want to buy, you may try looking for expired domain names through search engines.
Some webmasters have gotten hold of great domains by finding ones that people just haven’t bothered to renew. Another option is to use a site like domain tools to see if a domain has been registered. If you find a domain that has been registered for a while but not active, you may be able to contact the owner to see if you can buy the domain directly from the current owner.
There are many elements to creating a lucrative online business, but your domain choice is one of the first steps. After all, your domain is the first thing people will see when they go to your site and it will form the base for all your branding and marketing.
Remember that your website name will be the same as your domain name, so you don’t want your website to be something unrelated like pink shoes when you are selling sportsbook wagers, unless of course somehow you are catering to a very tiny niche, niche market.
So how do you succeed in finding a great domain in such a saturated marketplace? You will want a domain that will lead to a loyal following and will eventually enable you to make a steady and growing income.
This article is meant to contain general tips, and not hard and fast rules. There are some areas that not everyone agrees. For example, some webmasters feel that the shorter the domain name is the better, and go so far as to shorten a domain until it doesn’t make sense.
Other webmasters believe it is you shouldn’t contain more than three syllables. I am not sure about either of these rules, take a look at casinoaffiliateprograms.com. Its been my experience that the best new websites are ones that are easy to remember by your target audience and are somewhat descriptive of your business.
1. Ensure your site has an easy to remember domain name. At the very least, it should somewhat describe what your new site is about.
2. Get creative. If you can’t be descriptive in your selection and buy names like gambling.com or poker.com, then start being creative and think about a name that will suit your target demographic, using a phrase that is of course, easy to remember.
For an example of people who have been creative thinkers, just look at some of the top level domains.
Give some thought to names like Google, Bing, Flickr, Pogo or Zedo. These are pretty much domains or companies that everyone in the connected world is now aware of. But what about when they started out? Who would have thought that Google would be a zillion dollar corporation and replace a well known term such as search? Maybe you could “google” it to find out.
3. Hyphens don’t really work for remembering. Good for keywords and search engine marketing and one page traffic, but not so good for repeat traffic and building loyalty. Don’t think loyalty is important? Think about the possibilities of hundreds of loyal members on your site and how you could build that into future revenue streams.
4. Brainstorm. Remember your target audience and what your website is about then just start thinking of names to describe your business, a good place to start could be nameboy.com. Which will blend some descriptive names together and start looking at availability for you, all in one nice step.
5. Cater to your target audience. Let’s think of an example of a target audience for a moment. If you are making a new bingo portal, and you know that middle aged women are a key target audience for you, then you wouldn’t want to call your site something like babesbingolist or bingorapping. Instead you might go for laceysbestbingo, bettiesbingo or womensbingoonline. Something that your fledgling traffic will be able to relate to.
6. The best domain name is easy to remember or descriptive of what your business is. You did get that part right? Just checking. Take a look at the history of a domain name to see if it has ever been registered and what type of business it contained if it did. Also take a look in the search engines to see if there are any blackmarks on the domain such as spamming complaints. A good place to find the history of a domain plus other information is domaintools.com.
7. Easy to remember does not mean easy to remember by you. It means easy to remember by the people you are wanting to target. When naming your new site don’t choose names that nobody but you would understand.
I love looking for domain names. It’s fun, creative, and right now they don’t cost a lot of money to buy. So you might be able to afford to buy one or two, or even more after going through all of the above. If you do end up with more than one domain to choose from and just can’t decide, then there is one more step you can take.
8. Feedback. Now that you have followed all the steps, gone over your names twice and purchased a couple of awesome domains its time to share them. Start asking around, the more people in your target audience you can ask the better. Try some forums you belong to, or ask your friends and family for feedback. Now based on their feedback, I’m sure you will have chosen the right domain for you to start your website on the right path.
Maryann Morrison is the managing editor of Woman Poker Player Magazine and the founder of Women’s Poker Club. Her first book, Women’s Poker Night: Stories and Strategies from the Feminine Side of the Felt was published by Kensington Press, NY in 2007.