Picking a Domain Name

You have been thinking of starting your own website.  You have done some preliminary research and you are ready to go, all you need to do now is pick your domain name.  Pretty simple, right?  Well, it is not as simple as most people think, including myself.  I thought it would be the easiest part of starting my website but you really need to put some thought into it.

You need a website name that is memorable.  You can do all the work on the website you want but if people don’t remember your name it will be hard to get them to come back.  You also need a name that is somewhat relevant to the content of your site.  Here is where you begin to run into some roadblocks however.  With the amount of websites being created (it is estimated there will be 500 million sites created by the end of the decade) the availability of the real popular names is limited.  Now you need to consider multiple word names and this is where it becomes even more tricky.

To make things a bit easier to understand I will use my own domain name as an example, because I learned the hard way.  With any website you need to concern yourself with SEO (search engine optimization).  This is basically a formula of what the search engines use to look up websites when someone punches in a keyword.  The sites that play this game right will find themselves on the first couple of pages for their given keyword.  When I first chose my domain name I went with www.bestinternetbargains.com.  Not a bad name, so I thought.  Pretty straightforward on what I would be focusing my site on, right?  When I picked the name I knew nothing of SEO.  I thought you created a site and BAM, it appeared on Google in the number one spot.

A major part of SEO is links to other sites.  The actual wording you use in the link that appears on other sites is called the “anchor text”.  This is one of the major things searches engines use in ranking the pages.  In most cases you get to determine what your anchor text will be.  But, if you write articles like this one, and you put your website in the signature and people post your articles that counts as a link with anchor text.  So, in my case I have had many people publish my articles, which is great, but the anchor text appeared as bestinternetbargains.  Not many people are doing searches in Google or any of the search engines for that word.  This was hurting my SEO.  I was the only site found for that search word so that was great, but I was the only one doing that search.  Recently I changed my name to www.best-internet-bargains.com.  Same name but the dashes make all the difference.  It separates all the words.  Now if someone publishes one of my articles my anchor text would be those three different words.  With the combination of articles being published and any links I exchange with other sites I can now make my anchor text internet bargains and increase my chances of appearing high in the rankings for those search words.

As you can see, something as simple as some dashes in the name can make a huge difference.  If you are lucky enough to find a one word domain to be available that is related to your site content then you do not need to worry about the dashes obviously.  As I mentioned before, this is unlikely to happen.  If you have read my other articles about starting your own website you will see that I have mentioned SEOelite (http://hop.clickbank.net/sbianchi/bryxen1).  This is the tool I used to help me with the anchor text breakdown.  It does many important things in addition to breaking down your anchor text such as, allowing you to examine your competition’s website so you know what you need to beat to take the top ranking for your keyword search.  For example, let’s say I am the number one site for the keywords internet bargains.  If my anchor text uses these words 90% of the time then you will know you need to be at 91# to take the top spot for those keywords.  It will allow you to breakdown the sites your competition is linked to, which is important in the SEO formula as well.  This tool was the best $167 I have spent on my website.  I highly recommend it if you want your site to be ranked highly.

Building a website is probably the easiest part of having a site.  You need to pick the right domain name, created the right content (which SEOelite will also teach you how to do), write effective meta tags, and find quality linking partners.  Now that you have read this, and hopefully found it useful, get to picking that domain name.  I hope to see your site on the internet soon.