Iíve been seriously slack at the blogpost writing latelyÖ.sorry girls for the delay in this postÖno excuses, Iíll kick myself up the backside =)
For the last couple of weeks I seem to have been haunted with questions about domains, and itís really getting to me how little people think this through. Itís quiet a few things to consider when choosing a domain, here are some tips and ďrulesĒ (my rules, you donít need to follow them but you would be stupid not toÖ)
Choosing a brand Ė whatís the competition?
If you are building a brand, you obviously need the brand name as a domain, thatís essential. But if you have the opportunity to get involved in the branding process from the start itís imperative to check whether any other companies have the same brand name, as well as whether the domain is available. Basically if there are loads of companies with the same name you are going to have to compete to appear in the search engines for your own brand name. Now this might not seem like a ďbiggyĒ but it really can be, even if they are not even slightly the same type of business as yours. I have recently been doing SEO for a client that has trouble ranking for their brand name and the companies they are competing against in the SERPs literally have hundreds of thousands of incoming links, ouch!! Iím pretty sure I can safely say that everyone wants to at least rank for their own bleeding company name. So considering analysing the SERPs for competition BEFORE would be a freakin great idea.
Get the freakin .com for god sake
Ok when you are choosing a domain, if the .com is not available donít sodding buy it. And whatever you do donít JUST buy the .com. Get the .net .org and if you are a UK business buy .co.uk as well. Although .info and .biz wonít you get any traffic they might be worth picking up as well. I also have it from a very good source that .tv domains are going to blow up in the next year and will be great for any social networking sites.
Get a unique domain, but donít do a Flickr
Having a unique domain that is easy to remember is very important but donít make it so freakin unique that people canít type it. And if you do insist in being all hip with the kids and you want to buy 2nite.com make sure you buy the logical, properly spelt domain as well. Now why the heck does Flickr not own Flicker.com???
Get some descriptive domains and 301 them
Obviously Iím not saying buy 100 different domains, but it canít hurt to buy a few extra descriptive domains and 301 redirect them. Especially if your brand name is not descriptive of your business, now donít just buy some random descriptive domains but put some thought into it. Do some keyword research and find out which keywords are the most descriptive and would attract the most traffic. Now Iím sure Iíll have loads of people disagreeing with me on this one, saying that keywords in the domain is not beneficial. My comment: Rubbish!!! Having your primary keywords in your domain can help you rank. I would also recommend using hyphens if you want to use two keywords in the domain as hyphens tells the search engines that itís two separate words, BUT donít have more than two hyphens, thatís just ridiculous.
Old domains Ė a pot of gold
If you can get hold of a previously owned domain for a cheap buck, maybe even a descriptive old domain (ok now Iím feeling high!!), then do it! Obviously you will have to do some background checking first and make sure you are not buying some old porn site as that could have some seriously bad history with the search engines and do more harm than good. But that should be a given, do your research if you are buying a previously owned domain.
Lastly Ė better three more than traffic lost
Heck, I donít know where I was going with that heading (itís past midnight it doesnít need to make sense). Basically, itís better to buy a few too many domains and own every version that you possibly can (if you can afford it) then just to buy the .com and .co.uk and then discover some wanker bought the .net and .biz and is stealing your traffic.
Happy domain hunting!!