Tips on Selecting a Domain Name

Selecting a domain name for your online home business is an important consideration. But, you are not just selecting a name that pleases your fancy. You must take search engine optimization into account as well. Here are some tips for you to consider that will further your internet marketing goals.

Domain Name Guidelines

Google counts hundreds of factors in its ranking algorithm. Some are on-page (which is why the Analyze It! tool is important), while other factors (over 200) are off-page as Google tracks human response to your content.

Your Site Concept Keyword in your domain name is just one little "on-page" factor in Google's overall algorithm. On the other hand, every little factor counts on the competitive Web. So...

Do you sacrifice a little keyword relevance for a really sharp, original name that doesn't contain your Site Concept Keyword? Or do you sacrifice a really sharp brand name and keep that keyword relevance?

Generally speaking, try your best to have your Site Concept keyword in your domain name, along with a marketing word that establishes your Valuable PREselling Proposition.

However, if it's awkward or just goes too far against the "good name guidelines" (as outlined in Step 4 of DAY 5) compromise and adjust accordingly. This will also be the case if you're establishing a brand or you have a local business (see this TNT niche article).

Don't spin your wheels if you decide to compromise. The domain name is one of hundreds of factors that Search Engines use for their ranking criteria.Keep things in perspective...

No single variable determines outcome at Google or the other engines... not the domain name, not the keyword in title or any other on-page criterion, not the number of inbound links or any other off-page criterion.

Your goal is to tip as many as possible in your favor, while providing great value to your human visitors, too.

Having your Site Concept keyword in your domain name can help drive a bit of traffic, but by far, most of it will come from searches on particular keywords. So don't worry about that aspect.What if your theme doesn't have a really great Site Concept Keyword?

This article might help you, Brainstorm TIER 2 Topics To Create Your Site Plan.

Sometimes a site is better off when you brainstorm several TIER 2 "mini-niches" that are all inter-related. Together they add up to your theme.

In this type of situation, don't worry about winning for a "Site Concept Keyword." Run with a great and unique brand name. Pull out the Thesaurus. The possibilities are endless. Have fun.

And while you may not have that "one little factor" going for you, a great name may carry more weight for you in the long run if people remember it and use it in forums, blogs, etc., off the top of their minds.What about using dashes in your domain name?

Dashes in domain names help make them more readable to humans and Search Engines. Taking the dashes out could cause problems, as this Forum post illustrates.

A shorter domain name is better, but don't be a slave to that guideline.

For offline marketing purposes, register a non-hyphenated version of your domain through Name Park It! (login and access it through the QUICK JUMP menu or through Site Central-InfoCenter). Use it in conversations, radio interviews, etc., when you're saying the domain name. Your parked domain will redirect visitors to your site domain with the dashes.Here are the basic rules-of-thumb about domain names...


Make sure your domain accurately reflects the overall theme of your content and you can't go wrong. Need an example? Click here to read how SBIer Shane selected his domain name. *

Most sites can do just fine by following Make Your Content PREsell!'s basic advice. Meet the needs of your 2 audiences... o SEs -- your Site Concept Keyword (ex., "Anguilla") o Humans -- a marketing word added into the mix (ex., "Beaches").