The perfect domain name is one that has a natural ability to rank high in the major search engines. The domain itself accounts for over 20% of the total ranking factors which a search engine considers important.
Here are my top ten tips for choosing effective domain names:
1. Choose a dot com domain as your main web site domain name. The .com generally performs better within the search engines and is the natural choice for business online.
2. Register your county domain also. If you are UK based then register the ‘.co.uk’ version and set-up a 301 redirect to your main site.
3. Register common misspellings of your main domain and set-up 301 redirects to your main site.
4. Register a domain that contains your main keyword. Establish your main keyword by summarising your business in one single word. Keep it to one word only – it can be done – not a phrase or 2 words, just one single word. Make this your main website domain name.
5. Search for a domain that contains this word and a few other letters as possible. Do not use numbers or hyphens, Just use the main keyword and a few other letters. The main keyword can be at the beginning or the end. It doesn’t matter that much.
6. Discover the top 10 keyword searches related to your site’s main theme. You can use a tool such as ‘Wordtracker’ to find out the most popular keyword searches. Register a domain for each popular keyword term and create a ‘content’ site on each domain name. The content can be articles, resources, downloads, forums, etc… Create the content in sub-directories in the main domain. Each sub-directory will have a theme related to the domain keyword. Make sure the homepage of each content site links to your main web site. In this way, you are funneling all related searches to your main keyword website.
7. Register the .org version of your main website domain name. MSN tends to favor .org domain names so you can create a doorway page for the .org to achieve a high MSN ranking.
8. Use a domain registration service that registers a domain in real-time and can provide a 301 redirect service and full POP3 email.
9. Search for expired domain names that could have existing backlinks to provide immediate traffic and quick search engine listings.
10. Register domain names for ‘key-in’ traffic. This is traffic from a visitor who simply enters a series of the keywords direct into the browser followed by a ‘.com’ In other words, the domain will be a series of the most popular keyword terms related to your site followed the domain ending. These types of domains are not as search engine friendly but can provide instant free traffic for your site.
Finally, domain names are a relatively cheap means of driving traffic to your site and if used effectively can increase your search engine ranking and drive free targeted traffic to your website.