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|PLEASE help me decide on a website name!|
Is domain name important in search optimisation?
Hi all, I hope you can help me!
I've had a small business on Ebay for a few months, and I've decided to combine that with an external website. I am in the process of deciding on a domain name.
I realise the biggest issue is getting shoppers in the virtual door, and I am torn between using a clever, interesting name - OR - a domain/business name that is just a simple (and a bit boring) sequence of highly ranked search keywords.
I would like to know whether anyone here is aware of the benefits of using highly-searched-keyword-domain-names...! Is having a website with this sort of name a real advantage in drawing traffic? Or not so much?
The keywords I had in mind were found using the "Overture" link I from a discussion on this site, thanks. Is that an accurate tool?
Thanks a heap in advance
Naomii - it depends of what site it is, like I got a site which I know must have the most visits from SE, but the other I know it will be talked about, so I got a smart name for that one, so it can easy be remebered.
Benefit, hmm yes in MSN and a few other, also google like domain name but not as much as the others.
It is very hard to guess at something like this without knowing any of the specifics, however, I would say the "clever" name is a good route. *So long as it was not easily misspelled, and/or, you could purchase the sister domains to prevent against future sqatter/spammer/*ers.
Advantages of using your websites topic keywords/keyphrases in a domain name are not that great (for what I think it is your describing). These types of domains can benefit from *some* linking because when other website link in to you with your url as the anchor, your keywords are included due to the domain name. Also as said above, MSN and some other SE's currently favor keyword heavy domain names in different ways. Keep in mind algorithms change on a regular basis and you should by no means make your desicion on that. That is, if you are looking for long term success.
I would say your best bet is to pick a clever name people will remember. A name that is very clever, however one that does not send the wrong message. Protect that name by buying similar spelled/sounding/hyphenated domains. Promote your name and grow your brand.
Again, without specs it is so very hard to do anything other than speculate. Hope that helped..
PS: The overture suggestion tool is a good tool to have. It can help you with some research and structure planning. Additionally, the overture tool does not show you total searches across all search engines or websites. It can, however, be used as a gauge in comparison or ratio. -If you're looking at volume. Another great way to find out how much volume there is for keywords/keyphrases is: Setup your website, sign up with AdWords, place some ads online and start getting them to show 100% of the time on G Search network. Then look at the impression numbers. While this will cost you money, if you do it correctly, you can gain new customers while you test for keyword/keyphrase metrics.
I'm a little nervous putting my info "out there", I haven't purchased the name yet and I don't want to lose it! But basically I sell kids clothing and I am a stay at home mummy, so I'm not looking to start an empire, I'm really just looking to get as many customers as I can without spending a fortune. It seems there are lots of clever names out there, and I wondered whether simple and to-the-point might actually be refreshing to some shoppers?
OK then start as I did, make such you rank well, then you have to buy keyword domain, because it still counts in the SE, but its hard category so find a special topic.
So, Zeus, are you saying to make sure I rank well? How do I do that?
na0miii - OK you are a real newbie, take a look at the serps on google and MSN look at the sites ranking there and the amount of sites shown, then pick a special topic in the kids category, so you have a chance to rank well.
About to rank well topic, there is a ton of info here, but on google its all about links, get links to your site.
Also keyword in title, body text max 15%, links, H1/H2, intenal links also need a keyword.
First find a category where you have a chance, also have in mind that microsoft come with a new OS, where it possible to search directly from your desktop, this will give a HUGE boost to MSN.com
Wait for other to come with suggestions, also
I hope the best for your project
I forgot to ask, what is "G Search Network"?
Ha ha ha... I just had to Google "serps"! Okay, so you mean the results.... Yes, I understand the ranking issue, I just wondered if there was a simple way to get up there! Okay, that was a little naive... heh
"look at the sites ranking there and the amount of sites shown, then pick a special topic in the kids category, so you have a chance to rank well."
I've heard a bit about this "special topic", do you mean that I should decide on a specialised product for my site? That's difficult because I JUST DON'T HAVE ONE! I have one idea, but it's more a generic buying incentive than a special topic. Sorry I must be vague. Am I on the right track with what you meant though?
"Also keyword in title, body text max 15%, links, H1/H2, intenal links also need a keyword."
Okay, thanks for this, it means nothing right now, but after more research I'm sure it will help! Heh heh
na0miii - If i was you I would search the forum here for info about getting a good ranking, Bretts 101 try a search for that.
Also the special topic, with that I mean, you will have a hard time to rank well for kids, kids closing and other you have to find something more special or maybe your idea is special
Generic domain names that reflect your product are best.
Go for comma separated keywords for maximum search engine effect. Don't go for a very long domain name though. Two keywords in the domain name would be enough.
My advice, based on personal experience:
1 - Most search engines don't care about the domain name so don't worry about choosing a keyword laden domain on that basis.
2 - It's much easier for another company to trade off your domain if you use generic keywords (typically through typosquatting) and you won't have a case against them.
My advice, based on personal belief:
- Keyword laden domains are easily forgotten by the public. Was it 'wigetdiscount', 'discountwidget', 'discountwidgets'...?
My advice based on branding theory
- Choose a domain name that explains your brand, your usp - in other words why people should buy from you.
All the above is based on a medium to long term strategy. If that's not your business plan, ignore all of it.
[edited by: mona at 3:06 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] exemplified, no urls - thx! [/edit]
Dorian - Domain name does matter try anything on MSN and MSN will be a BIG player after the new OS next year.
That's not the case with MSN either. If you look for 'widget' on MSN you'll see an equal number of sites in the top 10 without the word 'example' in their domain.
In this research you need to discount all the companies which are industry leaders and in the top 10 for that reason. So, yes, 'widget.com' is #1 in a search for 'example' but it's up there in real life also.
[edited by: mona at 3:07 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2005]
[edit reason] exemplified, no urls - thx! [/edit]
Hey, this is great stuff. Thanks.
|Generic domain names that reflect your product are best. |
Excellent advice! I would go with something very simple such as:
If the .com extension isn't available, buy .net or .biz
The reasons to keep your company name and URL generic versus cute are many, but you will realize a definite advantage for search engine and directory listing purposes. Trust me!
This is a close call.
There are SE benefits to using 1 or 2 keywords like "kids clothing" in your domain name. In fact, you can still purchase kids-clothing.biz, kids-clothing.us, kids-clothing.info and many other variants as of this moment.
However, the SE benefits may go away in the future (Search Engine algorithms keep changing, so there are no guarantees) and in any event these are only one small part of the puzzle. There are offsetting benefits to choosing a name which can become a memorable brandname -- especially if it will qualify for trademark protection.
Flip a coin, or go with your gut. If you can think of a creative name that feels like it expresses your concept well, go with that; if not, go with a generic 1 or 2 keyword based name, and make the most of it.
I notice you are all using hyphens in your name suggestions. Is this for a reason? Does this help with keyword searching?
Remember this is a business name, not simply a domain name. If you would call your shop 'kids clothing' then, fine, use that as a domain. If you wouldn't, don't. The same business rules apply to the internet.
Again there are tradeoffs, but if you are choosing a keyword-based name, its probably better to use the dash, because that makes it easier for users, and for the SE's to instantly recognize the separate words. (less risk of confusion)
Just gotta chime in here -
I read an article a while back (wish I could find it again) all about this topic. Overwhelming professional consensus, borne out by market observation, is that for lasting power brand names and domains are best when non-literal. Major companies with significant established presence/traffic for generic names have actually, intentionally re-branded & started afresh from zero, in light of this very fact.
[edited by: mona at 2:39 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifc KWs - thx! [/edit]
luckychucky, I totally agree with you. You don't need to find the article - any business / branding book will tell you this.
I can't understand why anyone is recommending hyphenated domains using generic words. Tell me, which customer is going to remember that? And, if they don't, you'll lose out to your competitors.
|I can't understand why anyone is recommending hyphenated domains using generic words. Tell me, which customer is going to remember that? And, if they don't, you'll lose out to your competitors. |
OK, if you don't like hyphens, then take them out. I don't think it makes a bit of difference. My own domain name is not hyphenated and it wasn't the hyphens I was trying to get at anyway.
I happen to believe that generic terms work very well on the internet. Why wouldn't you use the name "Kids Clothes" for a brick and mortar store? It certainly tells the consumer strolling down the street exactly what it is you sell! It does a better job than something like Linda's Lacy Things for Little Ladies!
My point is that for search engine and directory purposes (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) it does offer a small advantage to have your company name and URL contain your major keywords.
Take the ODP for example. I believe it is their policy to list sites by their company name and not the title of the site ... is it not? Many directories are similar. And it is still a distinct advantage on MSN in particular.
Think about those other sites who link to you. Most link using your company name don't they? Can it hurt that two of your keywords are the words people use to link to you? I personally don't see the downside to this strategy at all.
My company name and URL contain two of my most important keywords and that works quite well for me!
Its seems to work for WebmasterWorld too! Its the third site listed on Google and 5 of the top 10 sites have the same keyword (guess which one) in the URL!
WebmasterWorld is the 9th site listed on Yahoo with 5 out of the top 10 using the same keyword in the URL.
WebmasterWorld is the 9th site listed on MSN with 9 out of 10 using the same keyword in the URL. (See what I was saying about MSN?)
Believe what you like. I am convinced a generic name works.
O.K - try this exercise as a TOS workaround.
5 big gasoline companies
5 successful brands of running shoes
2 makers of photographic film
5 manufacturers of cameras
2 manufacturers of photocopiers
3 well-known brands of ice cream
3 famous brands of soda pop
Any of them called?:
...didn't think so.
Now name the Internet's most prominent:
BOOKSELLER...........starts with A
AUCTIONEER...........starts with E
SEARCH ENGINE......starts with G
Then ask yourself whether (absent prior familiarity) anything at all, even the slightest clue - about what any of these companies provides can be guessed from its name.
That's fine if you are a corporation going for branding ... we are talking about a stay at home mom with an "at home" business selling children's clothes here! There is a slight difference.
I don't think na0miii plans on spending millions (or 89 years) to develop a brand name such as Nikon ... but maybe I'm wrong?
My guess is she just wants to increase her sales above that which she gets from her ebay auction site.
I think that is the point. I'm not looking to start a conglomerate, just to get people in the virtual door. There are thousands of cutesy or cleverly named kid's stores online, I thought a to-the-point name might actually make me stand out. ?
And no, I don't plan on spending millions on branding, maybe just one million.... heh heh
The Net is an extremely competitive arena. If you think that with little effort expended, just for kicks, a site is going to magically bring in a stream of income simply because it's been thrown out there into the vast void of cyberspace awating hordes of eager buyers just itching to unload their money, I think your daydreams are going to encounter a nice collision with reality. Creating an eCommerce site which actually brings in revenue, never mind merely breaks even, takes a lot of work - to carve out a niche, attract eyeballs and establish a customer base.
IF, by the time you've devoted the time, energy and money absolutely necessary to get anywhere, anywhere, anywhere at all, your struggles haven't even established a unique brand identity, then everything you've done can -- no, will -- simply be cloned. With the most heartfelt sincerity I want to encourage you in what you aim to create. I just think you might want to think bigger, and actually have a plan to establish something which can really stand.
(In my opinion, and making a broad generalization) hyphenated-keyword-domains are for those who build content only for the sake of PPC ad revenue: content for content's sake, content as spiderfood, content for search engines, not content for human beings.
If anyone actually believes that stuffing a URL with targeted keywords will get you anywhere against the ever more sophisticated algorithms constantly evolving out there, I've got a great franchise opportunity for you...You too can make a six figure income taking online surveys!
There are advantages and disadvantages to having a keyword-laden domain, there has been, historically, an advantage to having keywords in your URL for search engine ranking, but on the other hand, if you search for [books] in Google, only 2 of the domains in the top 10 have the word book in them, and 2 others have it in the URL.
If having the keyword in the domain was the trump card to rankings, then Books.com, .net, .org, .biz and .us would all be in the top 5.
I'm well aware of site optimisation issues, precisely the reason I've posed this question on webmaster. As a current Ebay store owner, I can assure you that this line of sales expends a whole lot more than a "little effort".
You make a good point about the cloning issue, and for that reason I think combining a very short and sweet brand with a couple of keywords won't hurt. There seems to be legitimate arguments for both. I think I may be able to achieve this without too much stuffing.
Oh, and I'm not sure how you get your kicks, but online sales just don't BEGIN to do it for me. Heh heh.
Firstly, I would like to repeat what I said to begin with:
|My point is that for search engine and directory purposes (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) it does offer a small advantage to have your company name and URL contain your major keywords. |
Please note that I said it offers a "small" advantage. I did not infer it was the "trump card" nor did I suggest that a company name and URL to match would "magically bring in a stream of income simply because it's been thrown out there into the vast void of cyberspace awating hordes of eager buyers just itching to unload their money ..."
With all due respect to the article that luckychucky read somewhere ... and the overwhelming professional concensus borne out by market observations, I have been in marketing for 30 years and have read more books on the subject than I care to recall. More importantly, I have been actively involved in marketing various products for over 30 years.
I was the marketing director for three very successful companies as well as one of my own. I now own a small online business which (thankfully) is doing quite well these days, thanks entirely to WebmasterWorld.
I do not now, nor have I ever taken part in any PPC programmes. I have never bought links. I have not paid for any listings anywhere other than LookSmart (very bad decision) and Yahoo several years back. I don't use Adwords, or Adsense. However, I do support myself 100% from my website which happens to be very content rich.
It is not a "keyword laden" URL, but it does describe what I sell.
|If anyone actually believes that stuffing a URL with targeted keywords will get you anywhere against the ever more sophisticated algorithms constantly evolving out there, I've got a great franchise opportunity for you...You too can make a six figure income taking online surveys! |
I don't believe I used the words "keyword stuffing", but if a suggestion to use a generic company name and URL to match is how some choose to see my suggestion, then so be it.
My SE rankings are just fine (across the board I might add) ... and so is my customer base and income! Before assuming that every site using keywords in the URL is owned by some goob who knows nothing about marketing, why don't you do some market research of your own ... and I don't mean go read a few more articles on the subject either! I spent months doing research before I chose my company name and na0miii is obviously doing the same thing.
One thing I have learned in the last three decades of marketing is that there are many approaches and solutions for any given challenge. Several of those approaches will prove to be highly successfull and several may produce equally dismal results. The trick to becoming a successful marketer is knowing what will work in any given situation.
We are not allowed to drop URL's, but if you'd like to send me a sticky, I can show you a stay at home mom's site which I wrote for a friend who was struggling to make ends meet. I chose the name of her company and the URL. I spoke to her earlier today and she told me that this season, her site generated just over $65,000.00 for her. That's not chump change for any stay at home mom ... in my humble opinion.
I could point out a few others as well if you like! I wrote all of them and each one has keywords in the URL and company name. All are doing quite nicely.
Best of luck na0miii with whatever you decide to do! ;)
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