Very often website designers and developers are so focused on the appearance of the site for humans that many opportunities to optimize the site for the search engines are overlooked until the site is completed.
For your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to be truly effective for your site, you need to begin in the website planning stage to generate the best results from your listing on the directories and search engines. When you decide to create an online presence, the purpose of the site is where you need to focus when selecting a domain name, because this is your primary marketing tool.
Let's take a look at some variables to consider before you actually go out and spend $10+ dollars on your next domain name.
Think about your site visitors:
1. WHO are they
2. WHAT do they want
3. WHY should they visit?
4. HOW will they benefit?
5. WHERE are they going after the landing page?
Answer those questions throughout the design of your website and incorporate a specific keyword from them in your domain name. If "music" is your keyword, your domain name could be "worldwidemusic.com".
Research every related term to your audience, a specific group within your audience, their interest, or the product or service. Take the top ten related search terms and create your domain name from them.
Pay close attention to the length and spelling of your domain name, unless you want to use hyphens; certain phrases sound great like: music circle. But as "http://www.musiccircle.com", the predominance of the letter C is a problem, opening the door for your site to lose visitors to the site "http://www.musicircle.com".
Extend the power of your keywords to include your file names, for example: "http://www.worldwidemusic.com/music_Brazil.html"
Domain names can be a huge advantage or a huge mistake. Researching the best name for your Business is always the first priority... but a little SEO friendliness never hurt nobody!
How to Choose a Domain for your Site
There's going to be some very important variables involved in picking the best domain, so please keep these in mind.
1. Is the site going to be an Affiliate site or Authority site? (see more below if this doesn't make sense)
2. Is this site based on one product or multiple products?
3. Is this site going to be a quick-build site? Something that you're not going to be spending much time with?
4. Is this site going to be based mostly on SEO?
.COM vs. .NET and Other TLD's or Extensions
There's no if's and's or but's about it. .com's are more trustworthy and more important to Google. You might say that "well, I have a .net that outranks all of the .com's for my keyword. That's great, but there's most likely a reason to it.
Just a few thoughts on that:
1. How old is your site?
2. Is your site more relevant to the topic?
3. How LONG has your site been ranked? Don't get too excited... those rankings might be a quick jump in google's algo just for testing against the others.
The fact is - if you can get the .com, get it. If you can get both the .com and .net, get both and build 2 separate sites on 2 different IP's (if this is over your head, start with one for now and keep learning) and "own the SERPS."
In my opinion, here's how the TLD's and other extensions should be ranked:
4. take your pick. After 3, I don't believe there's much of a difference. .me, .co, .tv, .info -- they're all going to be weaker than the others.
Where to Buy Domains?
There's a lot of places to buy, but my favorites are NameCheap.com (enom reseller, I believe) and Moniker.com.
One Product Review Sites
When it comes to one product review sites, it's much easier to come up with a Domain name.
For instance, if you were going to review a product like Affiliit, you'd simply look for a domain name such as:
affiliit-review.com (not my preference, but you can use it if you want, obviously!)
affiliitreviewS.com (the s indicates more than one, but this is OK )
Notice the pattern of affiliitreview in each one? This is called a "phrase match" ... this means Google sees those 2 words combined and it will rank well for the term "affiliit review" when someone searches for that keyword in Google.
Now don't get too worried if those domains aren't available, if you work hard enough on your link building (see more SEO tutorials if this doesn't make sense) you will be able to rank for just about any keyword on earth, if you really wanted to!
In other words, you can (theoretically) rank for affiliit review if you had a site called "allfirefoxinformation.org". Backlinks are that important to Google, but you can read more about that elsewhere on the forums.
Multiple Product Reviews
When it comes to Multiple Product Reviews, it's important to remember that you need to rank for more than a "product" keywords. You'll need to be a bit more general and reach out for a niche. For instance, if I were reviewing the (warning: not real products) Samsung LED XXL3 and the Sony LED 5F6000, amongst many others, you will need to look at the keywords you'll be trying to rank for. In this case it appears that we're reviewing LED TV's, right? So we'll need to check out some LED TV domains.
While this is not easy, we need to look for domains that will have phrase matches, if possible. For instance:
With those Domains above, you could shoot for led tv keywords, but you can obviously try to rank for specific product pages (just like above in the One Product Review domains section) keywords.
If you were to take AllLEDTVreviews.com you could have a page like: allledtvreviews.com/sony-led-x5000z
On this page you would want to optimize the content for that keyword "Sony LED X5000Z" and you would want to do this for EVERY product you review.
When working on Multiple Product reviews, think more general. Think product category review.
Authority Domain Names
Authority Sites are a little more general than any other type of site. If you had a nice, generic type Data Feed site - this is where you'd go towards an Authority type of domain. Something that you could use for branding. Now my view of branding might be much different than yours (like everything I write, these are only my own views based on my own experience), so please think for yourself and do your own research.
When I look at new sites and ideas that can be authority sites - I'm thinking big. I don't want to build a small site based on reviews, I'm thinking of something that will really, truly be a long-term site that will provide content, tools or services that will be beneficial to the end-user.
Think big, but not too big. Creating a site like a competitor to Yelp might not be very effective in the end, especially if you're just copying them with a paid script, right? Of course. Anyone else can build it and if you think your idea is better - then you might not want to use other people's scripts and general ideas.
With that being said, data is data. If you can get the data (even if copying Yelp), then do it. Just don't spend every penny you have in "hopes" that you will create the next big thing. Start small and build when the growth continues.
OK, that was a small rant. I apologize, I just want to help people.
So let's say that you wanted to build a site that was about Lease Options on Homes, but it has a lot of information on other Creative Financing, too. I would never suggest going out and finding a domain like:
This is just too many letters to type for an Authority site. It's too much to remember, too. You need to remember that when it comes to Authority site domains - creative/clever is better. Now I'm not saying this couldn't be somewhat authoritative JUST because of the domain, but it will NOT work as well as:
creativefinancing.com or creative.com ... or if you want to TRY something different, take 2 words and mix them. Just make sure it doesn't become confusing. In this case, crefin.com might be ok, but creafin might not. We won't always be right based on our gut instincts, but we can ease the pain by doing more research in advance.
Do some quick searches for your keywords and check out how many sites are in that niche that don't have a long name, but rather a short, creative name - or just right to the point (creativefinancing.com).
Look at Twitter. It rolls off the tongue easily, it's memorable and it's only 7 letters!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting trying to find domains like:
cre8tiv.com ... that's not easy to remember and might not make sense to some people.
Some domain names I like are: buzzle.com, vox.com, weebly.com, squidoo, twitter, facebook, myspace, yahoo, google, bing. These are simple names that are easy to remember, and most have no real meaning. You can definitely find a lot of these types of names. Heck, I tend to buy a few 4-6 letter domains every month.
Now what I want to really push the issue of buying domains that are MEMORABLE. If the person can remember it, they will be able to remember to come back, to tell friends, etc. -- if becomes more viral. Ever hear of a long domain name that has become viral? I can't... but what about Google? Hotmail? Twitter? YouTube?
So some of you may keep thinking "but how can these domains rank for keywords if they're not utilizing a keyword in the domain? That's where backlinks and on-page SEO come in. You focus on building pages (whether it's YOU building the majority of the content or your Users [ugc = user generated content]).
When it comes to building Authority sites, all you should worry about is building useful, viral (others want to link to it and tell friends about it) content that will build links by itself. That's why it's a lot easier to "pick" a domain from a long list of domains, whereas needing it for a niche or product becomes difficult at times, especially if you're late in the game.
More Ideas and Theories
Auction Sites: Check out sites like bido.com and other Domain Auction sites to see if you can't find some good domains up for auction, for cheap. I've grabbed some domains that were very nice - for very cheap ($28 on average). Some were worth 100 times what I purchased them for, but then again - any domain can be like this if you actually build them up and sell them, or build them up with content and use affiliate marketing!
I tend to look at auctions for good deals and good ideas. You might find a lot of domains with questionable extensions that you've never heard of before. If you don't like them, don't buy them.
Don't buy Trademarked names, unless you understand that you may never get to use them! google.co.ig might sound good, but it's a trademark (google) and you'll lose it. Amazon.mx sounds great, but it's not. Samsung.ie is not a good choice either.
If you can find Model Number domains like the following:
xxl5400ul (not real)
Buy them and build sites around that exact product model number. We've done this here.