Something so simple, yet so frustratingly annoying. Picking a website domain name (a domain name is the web page address, i.e. strugginglinvestor.com) has taken me any where from a few seconds to a few months. In this post, I am going to share what I’ve learned about picking a domain name. I’ve got some tips, tools and some guidelines to help you get a good name and help you rank higher on search engine results.
Get a domain name that matches the topic of your site exactly: If your blog is about real estate investing, try to get a domain name that contains the word “real estate” and “investing”. If your blog is more specific to wholesaling, try using something like “WholesaleInvesting.com”. Having those keywords in your domain name has been proven to significantly help you show up higher in search results for those words. I can get deeper into the discussion about SEO, but that is best saved for another post.
The challenge (and frustration) here is that it may seem like all combinations of your selected keywords have been taken. There is no getting around that, you just have to keep trying other related word combinations until you hit on something that you like and that is available. There are tools, like Google’s keyword tool, that will help you pick out synonyms and other related words. If you type in “Real Estate Investor” it will return to you all the most highly ranked keywords that are similar to it.
Some additional advice
- Try to use no more then 3 words in your domain name. So NewJerseyInvestor.com is better then CedarKnollsNewJerseyInvestor.com. (this is just my personal preference)
- don’t use alternative spellings like Investorz.com or Ibyhouses.com. It only confuses people and you will get annoyed having to spell out the domain name to everyone.
- Only use numbers if it makes sense. So Investing101.com is ok, but Gr8Investor.com is not.
- Don’t spell out numbers, it will drive everyone crazy. InvestingOneOOne.com is a no no
Try to use a .COM first, but there is no real harm in using a .NET or .ORG: The reason to use .com is simply because it is the most common and everyones’ first thought when going to a website. I say ESPN you think “Espn.com” not “ESPN.net”. .COM Being so common also makes it damn near impossible sometimes to actually find an available domain name for real estate investing. With that being the case, it is better to use a .NET or .ORG then having to settle for an obscure domain name just to be able to have a .COM extension.
NewJerseyInvestor.net is better then…
As for all the other extensions out there, don’t bother with them at this time. Eventually some more will become relevant, but until that time just stick with COM,NET and ORG. If you are curious, here is the complete list of possible extensions.
Keep your target audience in mind: If you are trying to attract other investors in your local area, use that as part of the name. Use “MorrisNJInvestors.com” if you are looking for other investors in Morris County, New Jersey. Or maybe “PodunkREWholesaling.com” if you are wholesaling in Podunk. Just watch out that you don’t get to wordy.
As soon as you think of a good domain name, claim it. Don’t Wait!: Domain names are so cheap ($8 a year), that it’s well worth it to just buy the domain name that you want when you think of it. Don’t wait till you actually need it or there will be a good chance someone else will take it. I currently have 25 domain names registered even though I only use 9 of them at the moment.
I do this for a few reasons…
- I think of an idea for a website I might want to do in the future and want to reserve the name
- I have a terrible memory and will forget the exact keywords I had in mind if I don’t act on it now
- Prevents someone from stealing the domain name after over hearing you talk about your idea
Use one company to register all your domain names: Sure you could save a few bucks by shopping around between places like Godaddy and namecheap, but being able to manage all your domain names in one place is so worth a few extra bucks. It is not necessary to register your domain with your hosting company, and this can actually cause problems if you ever decide to switch hosts. Using a domain registrar like GoDaddy allows you to point the domain name to any host for use with that host. It’s fairly straight forward and keeps you in control of your domains.
Don’t use your Host to register your domain names: The reason for this is about control. Hosts don’t like losing business, so will make it a little more difficult for you to transfer a domain to another host. Using a registrar like Godaddy, NameCheap or other’s like them will give you flexibility and control to do what you want with your domains. I personally use Godaddy as I trust they will be around for the long haul and their pricing is pretty good if you can find a coupon code. The normal price for a .Com domain is about $12, but because I’m an affiliate you can sign up through the link below and it will only cost you $7.49.
Godaddy Affiliate Link: Domain Sale! $7.49 .com at GoDaddy
Before registering a domain, always look for a coupon code on the internet. You’ll save yourself some money. Also, be warned that if you use GoDaddy, they will try an upsell you with tons of other features that you don’t really need. The only one I might recommend if you want to protect your identity as the domain owner is WhoIsGuard. If someone wants to find out the owner of a website, they will do a WhoIs search. WhoIsGuard just makes the owner anonymous to hide your identity.
Quick way to find a domain name: The process for checking if a domain name is available is a bit tedious at times. You have to put the domain into your hosts “Register a domain” input box and hit submit. It will either tell you the domain is available or most likely say it is not and give you a few ugly alternatives. doing this over and over again is a pain. Here are some good tools to try that will quickly tell you if a domain is available and also good alternatives…
Who would have thought there was so much to picking out a good quality domain name? Some people just care if it will rank well in search results and that is fine. I like something short a sweet, but also contains keywords to real estate investing.