Many online business owners and bloggers understand the importance of getting a web address. A website address is also known as domain name.
A domain name is an online real estate. Acting out just like the shop at Main Street, a good domain name or web address provides natural organic traffics into your online business. This is my take. It is dumb to put our online business on other websites like Facebook when we can build them on our own web address. Simply because we have full control over our own website. Now here comes the question. What makes a good domain name for your online business?
An example of a good domain name is like my former blog called HowToBlog.org. Others in the market are BloggingTips.com (aka Blogging Tips), MobileApps.com (Mobile apps), Candy.com (aka Candy) and many more. As you can see, Candy.com for instance is like Beverly Hills of California. These three are known as Exact Keyword Domain.
Must Your Web Address Be A Dot Com?
Before you decide, I need to share with you a piece of information. Most laymen know only the dot com as the website address of the internet. .com is a top-level domain or TLD. There are other TLDs that are widely used like the .org and .net. But, when you target less-savvy internet users to buy from your website, trust them to type in the .com instead of .org or .net.
The .Com carries a deep history on the internet. Check Google for stories like govWorks.com, Boo.com, Globe.com, Pets.com and of course, the all living Amazon.com. None of these great stories about failures and success used other TLDs like .net or .org. Therefore, can I blame my readers to type EasyWaysToMakeCash.com if I had used easywaystomakecash.net or easywaystomake.money ?
However, you still see a lot of smaller niches using other TLDs. For example, try typing keywords like “ways to make money” on Google.
Do not feel surprised to see the no.1 (SaveTheStudent.org) and no. 5 (Struggle.co) to use other TLDs. Here, you see .org and .co. gives the dot Coms a run for their money on the first page of Google. For your information, .co is a country code TLD that belongs to Columbia. Google will reward your website regardless of whether you are using a .com or .whatever as long as your site boasts of great contents with powerful backlinks backing your pages.
Some musing here if you don’t mind. Prior to 2010, Colombia only allowed its citizens to register the .co domain. For some reasons, the country opened the flood gate that permits even nonresidence to register the TLD. Domain speculators got excited because, at the time, only the .net and .org managed to give .com some mild competition. The rest like .mobi, .info, .biz never took off. Yours sincerely was also caught up in the euphoria and hand registered one LasikEye.co, thinking that this might be the next gold mine. Dot Co could have stood for dot Company (instead of just dot Columbia).
Greed Runs The Day
Then comes the greatest greed in the history of website address registration. ICAAN introduced 1000 new generic TLDs into the domain market in 2013 to 2016 like .pro, .xxx, .xyz, .club, .solutions and many more. Today, these gTLDs fail miserably and speculators are dropping them in drove. And that only means one thing. It means that the dot com TLD is becoming stronger and more valuable than ever.
How Does Your Web Address Affects SEO?
Keywords in a web address carried a lot of weight in Search Engine Ranking before 2011. Then, if you have a domain name like myonlinebusiness.net, you were on track for success. You just needed to add in lots of heavy keywords articles daily (with “online business” and related keywords) and buy some backlinks from similar theme websites and directories with a relevant link to keywords (again “online business”, “online businesses” etc). In about a year or two, you will see your website ranked highly for these keywords in Google search.
Things changed in 2011. Google launched three major algorithm changes separately called Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
This algorithm was the first major force that came crashing on websites of the internet. It penalized thin contents. Those days, microblogs and mini-sites laced the top pages of Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Webmaster bought keyword-rich domains like skullkeychains.com, coolkeychainhook.com, added 20 to 30 posts with around 300 words laced with keywords like “skull key chains” and “key chain hooks”. Buy some backlinks from directories and voila….these minisites would top the first page of Google.
The Panda algorithm targeted
a. mini-sites with thin contents
b. duplicate contents like news sites and e-commerce sites
c. low-quality contents that lacked depth
Keyword rich domain or web address no longer carry much significance in Google ranking with the Panda raid.
Penguin came as the second wave of mass penalization after Google Panda. Penguin attacked websites that cheated with unnatural backlinks.
Unscrupulous, webmaster in those days would do anything to get into the first page of search engines. I mean, hitting the first page of Google is still the goal of every webmaster. Blackhat SEO webmasters resorted to buying links and building absurdly unnatural links to beat the system. Google saw through all these ploys and the new change literary wiped out all these websites from search engine ranking overnight. If you look at history and current SEO trend, the Penguin hit websites the hardest that resorted to buying links from link farms and creating webrings.
The Hummingbird algorithm worked on categorizing websites according to keywords. For example, the word “blogging tips” will see the majority on blogs that teach blogging. If you have a business idea that uses this keyword but failed to rhyme with the pattern recognition of Hummingbird, your site could lose ranking.
As you can see, Google is not out to penalize Exact Keyword Domain or similar keyword rich domain for that matter. So you can still purchase Pets.com or ExtraCash.com if you want to. Rest assured, it is all about your content.
How About Using Brandable Names For My Website Address?
Of course, you can use a brand name for your web address. Look at Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, Bing ….? But look closely again my friend. These companies took years and used loads of resources to build their brand to what they are today.
Just go to the domain registrar like Namecheap, you will find all the perceived brandable names taken by domainers. I mean I ain’t asking you to blame these domainers because domaining itself is a legitimate online business. Yes, you can make a living flipping web address names! Try entering any 4 letter dot com in Namecheap. You will see that they are not available for hand registration anymore. Even 4 numbers dot com are popular, especially among Chinese.
Good brand names carry a balanced number of consonants(C) and vowels (V)in them. For example Zuba.com (CVCV.com) or toot.com (CVVC.com). Good 4 letter dot coms like these cost thousands in the market. They are easy to remember. And easy to call out. By the way, stop hoping of hand registering one because registrars like Godaddy will catch them first before they accidentally dropped off.
Instead Of A Brand….
Consider using a phrase or part of a phrase of a popular idioms. For example FollowYourHeart.com. I come across a blog called MyWifeQuitHerJob.com and frankly, this web address opened up a whole new horizon in domain name to me. You don’t need a one word dot com to be successful!
Let the phrase be catchy! If you can, try to look for a phrase that is popular in the search like idioms that are related to your niche. Make use of Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find these hidden gems. For instance, if you love traveling, you might want a domain name like HitTheRoad.com. Hey hey hey….this is expensive ok!
The value of a website address is in the eyes of the beholder. Some stood their ground by insisting in using single keyword word dot com and yet, the business failed to take off. And yet you see others who grew from strength to strength even though they used longer but smart catchy names.
I hope this post managed to inspire you with sufficient information on choosing the right name for your online business. I can continue, but I think I should stop here and let you figure out the rest on your own.
God bless you.