Choosing a Domain Name to Give Your Site the Best Chance for SERPs Success

When you want to put together a successful online business, choosing a domain name that will not only make a clear statement in favor of promoting your business ideas, but also get you some extra traffic even before your site gets some positive reputation is one of the best ways to start.

This is a great step when it comes to SEO, and you need to be careful about the domain name (or names) you select, since it will basically represent the address people will be using to find your business.

Understanding the Difference between Domains and Sub-Domains

The first thing you need to be aware of when choosing a domain is the difference between domain and sub-domain hosting. While domain name prices generally start at about $10, sub-domains are often provided for free by hosting companies. However, they will also limit your options when it comes to naming your website by adding the name of the hosting site as an extension.

As a result, instead of getting a domain name that would sound something like “yourbusinessname.com” you will simply receive a spot on the domain of the hosting company, and your site address will look more like “yourname.host-company-name.com”.

This will effectively decrease your chances of getting traffic from search engines and, as an added drawback, it will leave you depending on the successful operation of your host – if the company goes bankrupt or loses its domain, you will have to get back to looking for a new domain name, as well as a better hosting company. Since the prices for most domain names are so affordable, this is hardly worth the hassle.

Common Tips on Choosing a Domain Name for SEO

• The first thing to do before choosing a domain is to research a few of the most popular and significant key phrases associated with your business niche, and add one of them to your new domain name in order to make sure that, when people search for them, they will find your website.

• Aside from the most relevant and well-known key phrases (chances are some of those will already be taken), you, can also add similar keywords to the name or use latent semantic keywords to get an SEO advantage over your competitors.

• SEO is all about competition, so while you look for the most popular key phrases to use, you should also perform searches on them and check to see just how many other website owners have used the same keywords in the domain names they chose.

• When it comes to domain name ideas, the best course of action would be to choose a short domain name – three words or even less – that will be easy to remember. If you insist on adding your own name to the domain, for instance, keep it short by only including your first name or an even shorter nickname.

• You can also use dashes if the name you targeted is already taken. For instance, instead of “yoursite.com” you can make it “your-site.com”. Again, try not to make it too complicated, so that people can easily remember your address and be able to use it frequently.

• Finally, try to choose a domain with a .com extension. You may also opt for .net or another extension if that one is taken or depending on the type of site you want to launch (Websites related to institutions that provide educational resources, for instance, generally use .edu domain extensions).

Was the Domain Previously Owned?

Apart from the tips presented above, and regardless of the domain name ideas you may have, you will also need to check whether the domain name you want to choose was previously owned by someone else.

This can be good sometimes; however, if the previous owner had a bad reputation or the domain got on various blacklists because of spamming, illegal use or the promotion of explicit content, you may really want to consider selecting another one.

Avoiding Trademark Infringement

Finally, you should make sure that other brands don’t use similar domain names to the one you’ve picked. Aside from any problems you will have when it comes to promoting your brand or with people confusing your site with the web page of an established rival company, you can also be sued for trademark infringement.

It really isn’t worth going through all those difficulties when the creative possibilities of choosing a good domain name are virtually endless.

If you follow these tips, you will easily be able to go about choosing a domain name that will be perfect when it comes to building a strong SEO foundation and a positive reputation for your website and business, and, if you manage to add a popular search phrase to the name, you might start getting a lot of online traffic even before employing any SEO tools or paying for promotional and advertisement services.

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