Some people get very overwhelmed thinking about their lack of ability in making a website. It doesn’t have to be hard and it will be quick and easy if you break the steps down into bite-sized tasks. You’re going to start by choosing a solid domain name.
When choosing a domain you’re going to need to think of a name and find an available extension. An extension is the last part of the domain, such as .com, org, or .net. There are many options, some cheaper than others, but you’re not going to want to go with just anything.
The name can go two ways. You can follow the safe route and choose a keyword-laden domain name, or go with something catchy that you hope takes off in a viral manner all across the web (think Yahoo, Google, or Twitter).
Most people prefer to go with a keyword domain. You want your website to rank well for your chosen niche, and keywords are the prime way you’ll achieve that goal. You can use a free or paid keyword tool to make a list of the top keywords in your niche.
You can choose one with a high search volume (if it’s available as a domain), or go with a lower search volume that you’ll rank high for more quickly. These keywords are called long tail keyword phrases and they have more words strung together, so the search volume is less, but so is the competition.
Let’s look at a couple of examples from the dog training niche. A prime keyword domain would be something like dogtraining.com. It’s probably not available because the phrase has 1.5 million searches per month. But another phrase like protectiondogtraining.com might be available because it has fewer searches (over 12k).
When you buy your domain, you’ll be typing in the URL you hope to land, such as dogtrainingtips.com. If it’s not available, the system will usually show you some alternatives that are available, such as dogtrainingtips.net.
Most online marketers usually only want to go to a dot com, dot org or dot net. A few will go with a dot info domain, but it’s always best to find a dot com available in your niche because it’s the default URL most people remember when they go online to visit a website.
As you check out with your domain, many registrars will try to upsell you with all sorts of things, like hosting, privacy, site building tools and more. You probably won’t need any of these from your registrar, but if you do, you can always add them on later.
There’s a bit of discussion about whether you should pay for a domain for one year or more. Some people argue that Google prefers domains that have a longer commitment but you can always lengthen that later if you decide that you’re committed to the niche for the long haul.
When it comes to local businesses if you can’t find your “business name” available in the dot-com then trying to add a state modifier. This will not only help you get your name but will also help with the ranking of your website on google. (www.yourbusinessTN.com, www.yourbusinessNY.com)
The best way to look at it is to follow a few simple rules…
- KISS – Keep It Short & Simple! You need to make sure it is easy to spell & say. I’d also try to get a name the rolls off of the tongue.
- No abbreviations, numbers or dashes – If you use abbreviations like “Mr.” you then have to always say “M.R.” when you tell people your domain. So try to stay away from those. When you use numbers you have the same problem because if you use “3” then you have to tell people that, instead of “three”. The last thing you need to be sure of is to not use any dashes. (www.best-website.com) it is always confusing and forgotten by almost everyone.
- Be Branded – If you are building a blog for yourself, then you need to get “www.yourname.com” try initials and different variations if your name is taken. (www.johnjdoe.com, www.jjackdoe.com, www.jjdoe.com, www.johnjd.com)
- Use .com! – Regardless what type of site you are building I always say it is better to have a .com. You have to “Think like your dumbest customer/reader” (a quote by Mickey Trivett … we were talking about marketing and that stuck with me) Most people are used to using .com as the primary extension. So, don’t confuse them.
- No TLD Extensions – This, I am telling you based on personal experience. When I started the Small Biz Academy I loved the name. It was catchy and I thought it would be better. But, even with the domain being an “Exact Match” (This is an SEO Search Term.) it took me almost 6 months to get indexed for “Small Biz Academy”. So I’d recommend you stay with .com. (If you do decide to grab www.myawesome.website you can use that and redirect it to your website for your business cards or for specific “landing pages”.)
- Avoid Trademarks! – If you are still in the early stages and haven’t already checked for trademarks … DO IT NOW!! You can use a few different searches. I’ve used both Trademarkia.com and Knowem.com. (I highly recommend using www.knowem.com they not only check your name against trademarks it will also allow you to see if the .com is available and also shows you if the username is available across ALL of the social media platforms.)
Now that we have covered that, go grab your domain! For domains, I’d personally recommend HostYak (it is my reseller with GoDaddy. I will receive a commission but, let’s be honest, for a domain I might make $1 but I wanted to let you know. Just DO NOT use the hosting there … if you are going to use hosting I recommend InMotion Hosting! You can sign up with them here. I also want to let you know that if you sign up for hosting with InMotion you can get a FREE domain!)
I hope this has helped! If you have any questions, be sure to shoot me a DM on Instagram @cjhallock
Also, want to say if you are having a problem coming up with a name you can use business name generators. I’ve used some of them for years and I swear by them. Get more info on Business Name Generators Here!