There’s a belief that you can never really lose money if you invest (wisely) in real estate. As the saying goes “they’re never going to make more land”. When it comes to the internet, having domain names is owning online real estate and that’s why despite all the free resources online you should buy domain names… as many as you can.
But, just like real estate, not all domain names are going to be equally valued, some will be worth more than others. To pick out a good domain name, which will enhance not only your business but how much you could sell the website for down the road, is something of a science. There are a few elements you should consider when you buy your domain name:
1. The first thing you need to do is to identify the niche your new website will be in. What product or service will you be promoting? Once you’ve figured that out you should do keyword research to find a list of great keywords that get a lot of searches every month. Those keywords should be the domain name. For example, if my site was on dog grooming and I found a great keyword: dog grooming clippers. Than I would try to get a domain name something like: dog grooming clippers.com.
This is a great way to get a lot of traffic to your website for free. Why? Because you already know from your keyword research that the term dog grooming clippers gets a lot of monthly searches, so many of those searches will be sent right to your website since that is the domain name. This one step can help you get a lot more targeted visitors for free.
2. There are a lot of places online where you can buy domain names. Alan’s Domains and GoDaddy are two of the most common, and one’s I’ve personally used. If you want to find more just visit some internet marketing forums and ask for opinions, or do a search. Domain names are inexpensive usually around $10 a year at the most. Many sites offer sales or multiple domain discounts. I know at Alan’s Domains if you buy 6 or more at a time they are around $9 to $10 depending on the extension you get.
3. There is a lot of conflicting opinions about whether or not you should get any domain with a different extension such as .net or .org for example. Personally, I will use a .com, .net or .org. I’ve found that any of them work very well for my needs and .net are quite cheap. You’ll have to find what works best for you, but you need to remember something: many people will say that customers will forget a long URL or a different extension, which is true, but how do you target the majority of your customers?
If you aren’t handing out business cards and expecting them to type in the domain name than it’s not such a big issue. Most of the traffic I get is either from searches or from online marketing and in all cases my website visitors just have to click on a link which is why I think having different extensions hasn’t had a negative impact on my business.
Take the time to establish your internet presence, don’t get fooled into thinking that going the ‘free’ route with a blog is the best way to go. If you don’t buy domain names and rely solely on the free services you don’t actually own your fair share of internet real estate and you don’t present a professional image.