Choosing a domain name is one of the most important tasks when building a high-traffic website. The domain name is the door to your website, and if you choose your domain name wisely you'll get a running start to online success.
Here are a few tips for choosing a great domain name:
- Choose a domain name that contains your primary keyword. One of the main factors that Google uses to rank the pages in its index is keywords in the domain name.
A good example is the acronym SEO. If you do a Google search for that term you'll see that over 1/2 of the pages listed in the top-10 have that term in the domain name.
- Keep your domain name as short as possible. You want your domain name to be easy to remember and easy to spell. Which of the following domain names would you be more more likely to remember?
widgets.com or a1widgetsinminnesota.com
- If you must have multiple words in your domain name, separate the target keyword with a dash like this:
a1-widgets.com. This helps the search engines recognize the keyword in your domain name.
- If at all possible, use the .com top level domain, especially if you have an e-commerce site. Fair or not, most web surfers relate the .com extension with stability and trustworthiness.
- Once you decide on a domain name, check to see if it has been abused by a previous owner with search engine spam, resulting in a Google penalty.
You can check to see if a domain name has been used in the past with the Wayback Machine. You can also use the Google link: command to see if there are any backlinks for the domain name. (Backlinks indicate that a website with that domain name once existed.) Here is the format for the Google link command: link:www.yourdomain.com.
Conclusion - Taking care when choosing your domain name will make it easier for others to remember and spell your domain name. Using a keyword in your domain name will help boost your search engine rankings.
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