A few weeks back I had written about some of the shady practices some registrars employ to earn revenues. I figured I'd stay on the subject of domain names with some primary pointers to keep in mind when considering one to register for your website. We will cover naming points and SEO considerations.
What Are Domain Names?
For the extreme Internet novice, first let me get the basic definition out of the way. A domain name is also known as a URL or your website's .COM address. Of course, like everything else with the Internet, it has blossomed in to a myriad of choices available to register. Everyone knows of the primary .COM extension and also .NET and .ORG. Domain extensions have gone on to be most anything these days to designate countries (.CA, .RU, .FR, etc...), business (.CO and .BIZ) and even specific genres (.TV, .RADIO, GURU, etc...).
Age of Domain Names
The Age Of Domain Names Will Always Remain A Strong Precedent For Search Indexing
Determining the new domain name for your website should be carefully considered for several reasons - one most important point being the "age" of your domain names. Age refers to how long a domain name has been in existence since originally registered and used which we've found is a strong factor for indexing in the search engines. The longer a website has been online under one domain name, the better it tends to index for its subject matter. Thus, other than stating the obvious problem of having to market a new address conventionally, changing your website's address after establishing it can hurt you in other ways as well.
Domain Naming Pointers
We have always tried to research and register domain names for our clients that struck a balance between being verbal to convey and comprehend without a lot of letters and hyphens; and trying to include primary keywords for what the site's subject and geo-target is within it. Of course, preferrably being able to register it as a .com extension because everyone is of habit to type that first.
Some good examples of domains we have registered for various attorney clients of ours in the southeastern Virginia region that fit this criteria are tidewaterdivorce.com, bankruptcylegalcenter.com, divorcelawfirm.com, hamptonroadsinjurylawyer.com, richmondvirginialawfirm.com and others.
Despite recent claims to the contrary from some of the SEO articles we keep up with, we still see domain names with strong keywords within them typically are on the first page of the search results. We are still convinced that keeping these points in mind when registering your primary domain bears a lot of weight in the success of how your site indexes.
Multiple Domain Names - Are They Necessary?
What we're talking about here is registering several different NAMES of domains - and registering several EXTENSIONS for a domain name.
Concerning the registering of related domain names - this tactic has been used by some of our client's - tactics we have never recommended - with the impression that if they registered other similar domains and pointed them to their primary, it would somehow increase their indexing. We have had numerous clients register dozens of domain names from reading some of these articles online. In the past, there were various schemes that search engine optimizers employed by registering and using multiple domain names for a client to market through.
Another good point concerning registering pointer domains would be using a keyword heavy URL as your primary, and registering a shorter acronym-based domain for it to market conventionally. In this instance, you are getting the benefit of a keyword rich domain name as the one recognized by the search engines, and being able to market abz.com, for instance, as a fast, easy conventional marketing domain.
However, today there is no point to doing this unless you intend to set up blogs with those domains that support your primary domain or core website. If you do employ this tactic, be sure to host those domains on different web servers than the one your primary website resides on.
I will say that a good one we recently experienced is one business registering a new competing business' name before they could register it for themselves. It really caused a lot of stress for the new business as their "name" .COM points directly to their main competitors website.
When it comes to domain extensions, I have always stressed having a primary .com domain no matter what and - depending on the client - have suggested they also register the .net and .org extensions, as well. But, that's about it. We are hard pressed to recommend a client register the .NET and/or .ORG that might be available if the .COM is already registered by someone else.
Any other domain extension would be strictly for branding purposes. For example, we might recommend a .tv extension for a video production company.
I hope you got something useful out of this article. Next month we'll talk about domain ownership and management. If you are interested in having a consultation about registering your domain name, contact us at 757-728-0099 or visit our Domain Registration and Management web page.