Choosing the right domain name can potentially make or break an Internet marketing business. After all, not only is the domain name the first clue that any human visitor, and each visitor to your website is a potential cash-paying customer, but it is also the first identifying feature that most search engines have to judge your site by.
Sure, there are people who make money online with a domain name such as x7y.com or whatever, but those tend to be the exceptions rather than the rule. Those who DO succeed in this manner either have a compelling product, a great advertising campaign, or some other factor which influences their success in spite of the strange URL which does not tell a visitor anything about their site.
The fact is, that people on the Internet are usually looking for information. If they are looking for bicycle parts, they are more likely to be attracted to a domain name which includes the phrase “bicycle parts”, or at least “bicycle” than one that just has a string of letters or which is vaguely identified as “bobs” website. Of course, one place where this can be refuted is in the instance where the person or company has acquired name recognition, i.e. branding, so that people know what they are looking at. For example, most people seeing ibm.com would have a good idea that this site is going to give them info about IBM, copiers, computers, and related subjects.
However, most of us are not that lucky, or famous, that we can just assume that everyone, human or search engine, is going to know what our name stands for and automatically go to our website.
It is for this reason that most Internet marketing courses attempting to explain why choosing a good domain name is important, will recommend that you attempt to select a domain name which in some way reflects either the basic business you are in, or specifically as possible defines the product you are trying to sell.
This is where the Internet marketer has to make some decisions.
For example, let’s say a company called “Dawn’s Fitness” has some great exercise and weight loss products. However, Dawn’s name is not going to arouse a lot of interest, so, throwing pride to the side, Dawn decides to incorporate the words “fitness” or perhaps “weight loss” into her domain name. As she begins her search, she realizes that all the best variations on “fitness” and “weight loss” have been used up on the dot com’s and dot net’s.
In order to make her domain name stand out, Dawn now has to figure out some way to incorporate these words into her URL. She can try some variations such as “fitness101”, “fitnessbydawn”, “fitnessweightlosshome”, “fitness-weight-loss-home”, or some other variation or combination. She may realize that she offers some sort of “crunch-master” machine and that people seeking fitness info sometimes use the word “crunch” (for non-exercisers, a crunch is an exercise for abdominal muscles) and put that into her domain name.
That may or may not work, but Dawn will not know until she tries it…and incorporates as many search engine optimization steps as possible, or pays for some high class advertising, or just gets lucky.
Since the dot com’s and dot net’s are taken, Dawn might be able to find another extension, such as .us, .ws, or .tv, just to name a few One of them may still have the domain name she wants available as everybody has been concentrating on the com’s and net’s. This use of a less well known extension may penalize Dawn a little bit, but these extensions are becoming better known daily, and the ability to choose the right domain name may be more important than the theoretical drawback of having a not-well-known extension on the end.
As pointed out earlier, a human looking for information is going to look for a word in the domain name which has something to do with his or her search. The search engine robot (spider) will generally do the same. Both the human and the robot will generally compare the word or words in the domain name with the information included in the website content to assign a value, for the search engine, a ranking, to the web page.
So, our original question was “Why is choosing a good domain name important?” The answer is; because it is one of the first and can be one of the most important search engine optimization techniques you can select.