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Website Domain Strategy – What’s in a Name?

When anyone is looking for anything online, they open up their browser, and the first thing that will typically pop up is a Google screen with a search bar (of all global searches conducted, 77.43% are done through Google!).

The Importance of Using Keywords

In that search bar, the user who is in search of information will type in words that best represent the item, product, person, or service they are looking for.

Those words are the KEY to obtaining relevant results in their search – which is why those words are referred to as KEYWORDS. What pops up on the screen next is a list of the top ranked web pages that contain the most relevant information according to those KEYWORDS.

You want to rank high in searches that are relevant to your niche and area of expertise. For example, I am a veteran, and an inspirational speaker. My speaking website tells my story of being a veteran which is optimized (meaning that those keywords on my site are easily indexed and found) for search engines. Additionally, I market myself as an inspirational speaker and have included that in my speaker site’s domain name – YourInspirationalSpeaker.com.

Due in part to my domain strategy, when you do a Google Search for Inspirational Veteran Female Speaker” – Google will bring up over 2 million search results – and guess who is on the first page… ME! The first two listings are speaker’s bureaus, and I am the FIRST INDIVIDUAL SPEAKER listed on the page.

So, when someone is looking for an inspirational speaker who is also a veteran, who do you think will get the first call? That’s just ONE of the reasons why I book over 100 highly-paid speaking engagements a year!

How to Implement Your Domain Strategy

For your domain strategy, it is recommended that if at all possible, you purchase your name as a domain, and then forward that domain to your keyword branded domain name and website. For more popular names, they will most likely be taken already, but it is worth looking into. Get creative – use your middle initial, put ‘the’ before your name, or as a last resort, try other extensions. This is so that people who KNOW you, have heard of you, and have your name as a referral can find you quicker.

Then, for those who don’t know you yet who are doing general Google searches for those in your niche, your keyword branded domain name will get you found quicker.

Before creating your new domain, here are some tips in addition to using KEYWORDS to help you choose wisely:

  • Choose a Top Level Domain (TLD) extension – .com – if possible. Research shows that this alone can give your site more credibility than a .biz or .info extension.
  • Make your domain as easy, short (not too short) pronounceable, and memorable as possible – without being ‘spamy.’ This means not to use a ‘sales tactic’ in your domain name like ‘BuyCoachingServicesHere.com’ or ‘
  • Avoid numbers and dashes. Those are harder to communicate quickly and make it more complicated to both enter and remember. Some search engines also see dashes in a domain name as spam, which could have an impact on your website’s search ranking.
  • Using your BRAND as a domain name works best if you have a lot of capital to spend on branding campaigns to promote your company to the consumer, educating them about your products and/or services. (Think Google, Apple, Zappos, Virgin, TOMs). Smaller businesses, speakers, and other entrepreneurs are less likely to have the budget for this kind of campaign.
  • Think Long-Term so that your domain name will be ‘evergreen.’ This means that as you grow, expand, and possibly begin to offer more services and products, your domain name will continue to properly represent what you do.

To help you even further, here are the results of a study by HighVisibility.com that gives us the top page results regarding domains in specific industries – and each one (no surprise) uses a top keyword within their industry as part of their domain URL.

Top Results for Business:

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business
  2. Forbes.com/Business
  3. NyTimes.com/pages/business/index.html
  4. Money.CNN.com
  5. Business.com

Top Results for Debt: 

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt
  2. Dictionary.com/browse/Debt
  3. Investopedia.com/Terms/d/debt.asp
  4. Merriam-webster.com/dictionary/debt
  5. USdebtclock.org

Top Results for Software:

  1. Software.com
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software
  3. Download.cnet.com/windows
  4. software.com/windows
  5. webopedia.com/TERM/s/Software.htm

Top Results for Hotel: 

  1. Hotels.com
  2. Travelocity.com
  3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel
  4. Kayak.com/Hotels
  5. Orbitz.com/Hotels

Once you have chosen your domain, it is important to PROMOTE YOUR URL across all forms of media – online and offline – so that people will become familiar with it, and begin to recognize you, along with the associated branding.

Lastly, be SURE you keep track of your domain(s), and have them automatically renew so you don’t lose the domain you have worked so hard to build. With this kind of strategy at the foundation of your online presence, you are sure to get further, faster than ever before as you Soar 2 Success!

soar-2-success-as-a-public-speaker-6As Featured In:

“Soar 2 Success As a Public Speaker: 60 Tips to Sharing your Message” [Amazon Link]

Coauthored by Elizabeth McCormick and Tonya Hofmann

Click here to view the Soar 2 Success book description page.

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