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Choosing a Profitable Domain Name - Part 1

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Before you even think about creating a website you must choose a domain name.

Many newbie's rush in to choosing a domain name, thinking it's not important.

Dead wrong.

Although choosing a name will take you only five minutes once you are experienced, you do need to put thought in to it.

The key as always is to do your research in to your market before you do anything else

After completing your research you should know three things:

  • The niche or sub niche you are targeting
  • A list of keywords you are targeting
  • Your primary keyword you want to target

The Keyword Rich Domain

This is vital because we want to make you domain "keyword rich".  This simply means you want your target keyword in the website URL.

We want our web address (sometimes called a URL) to be keyword rich because this helps with our search engine rankings.  Google in particular loves keyword rich domain names as it helps them figure out what a website is about.  If your site is names dogtraining.com Google knows very quickly your site is about dog training.

If I call my dog training site joehughestarining.com, it is not as obvious to Google or the searcher what my site is about.

So if possible we want to choose a keyword rich domain name.

An example may be you want an affiliate site focusing on the learn piano niche.  The primary keyword you may target could be "learn piano online".  So we would want to get that keyword in to the URL. 

In an ideal world we would want learnpianoonline.com

This would give us an excellent keyword rich domain.

Now in reality many of the best keyword rich domain names will have already been taken... some of them by me!

But don't worry there is always a solution and I will cover some techniques for getting around this problem in part two of this series.

The Importance of Domain Extensions

But now let's take a look at the different domain extensions.

Domain extensions are simply the ends of your address:

".com"  ".info"   ".net"    ".biz"     ".org"    ".us"      ".co.uk"

These are also sometimes called the TLD extension (top level domain).

If you are selling an information product or you have an affiliate site the best extension to get is definitely ".com".

There are some great advantages with .com's. 

First of all people are familiar with .com's and they trust them. 

Most people will type.com when trying to remember a domain name (this gives you a chance to steal some traffic from competitors).

They are international and so will be accepted by people all over the world (US residents are less likely to click on a .co.uk for instance).

So if you can nab a good keyword rich .com I recommend this is what you go for.  The only exception would be if you are a regional business that does not do shipping you may be better to go for your local extension such as .us (for the USA) or .co.uk (for the United Kingdom).

Now usually I can get a .com with some of the tips I am going to show you part two of the series.  But if I can't I have to choose between .info, .net, .org or .biz.

Personally I steer well clear of .biz.  I have no evidence of this but there is talk out there that Google does not like the .biz extension because a lot of spammers have used it in the past.  This may or not be true but I tend to keep away from it as most other .biz's are very low quality sites.  You also rarely see .biz's in the top end of search results.

Google does not lean towards any extension even .com.  So your choice comes directly down to what the searcher will click on.  So I take this on a personal level, what extension would I click on in a given niche?

If I'm looking for a review or some information, which is what most affiliate sites are, I would personally choose a  .com or a .org to click on if I'm a searcher.  

Now .org's are interesting.  The .org stands for organisation (or organization if you're one of our American friends) and was originally designed for non profit organisations.

My personal hunch is that most searchers (our potential customers) still think .org has some extra official credibility.  And many people do think it is a non profit organisation.

If you think about it many charities do tend to be .org's.  So in most cases if I can't get a .com for an international site I will go for .org.  But to be honest I don't think it makes a huge difference.

But what you really want is that .com extension.  It will give you the international reach, credibility and is totally familiar to your customers.

In the follow up article I will show you how to secure that .com extension even if your keyword rich domain is already taken.

Until next time, be happy,


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Bill Cook

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