Choosing the best domain can not be a easy decision. When you first get into being a webmaster sometimes you will have regrets of what domain you chose. Why would anyone want to change their established domain name?
Well choosing a domain name comes down to two major goals: SEO Friendly Domain or Brand Name. These goals will usually wind up conflicting with each other.
Brand Name Domains:
Brand names such as “Dollars blog” is not a SEO friendly domain. If you check the most searched keywords on the net that phrase is very very low. Almost no one in the search engine types that (unless they are looking for my site). Unless the domain is really cool or memorable you probably don’t want to go this route.
Search engines are an excellent way to get new traffic and you will be dramatically decreasing it by a lack of a SEO friendly domain. However, you may get lucky and get a lot of repeat visitors because of a well thought out catchy domain name. If you get lot’s of repeat visitors that’s a huge step to getting on your way to a high traffic.
SEO Optimized domain
An SEO optimized domain name will contain in it’s domain keyword (s) word(phrase) that is searched thousands of times a month in the search engines. If you really want to get the best SEO optimized domain you will want to read my more in depth article on Most Popular Searched Keywords
Domain TLD Extensions:
Unfortunately, most domains with very high trafficked keywords are taken, including all the TLD extensions such as .info .biz .net etc. If your site is commercial (centered around a store or product) you MUST get a .com or .net. No one will take a product or store serious without those extensions.
Often there is some good SEO .net, .info, and .us TLD’s still left on the internet. It will depend on each topic, but if your creative enough you should get a great SEO domain on those extensions, even on a .com too but it probably won’t look as nice or quite as SEO optimized. Keep in mind that with .us you must be a us resident and you will not be eligible for whois privacy protection.
Domain Hyphens, a good idea?
Hyphens are a common use in domain names. Supposedly, all search engines use hyphen seperation of keywords for better ranking of seperate multiple keywords. If you have a long domain name, it would not be a good idea to put a hyphen in it, nor is it ideal to have more then one hyphen in your domain name. Too many hyphens will make your domain hard to remember and make it look like spam sites to search engines. Generally domains with a hyphen in it are harder to remember. I usually never use hyphens in domain because making them harder to remember outweighs any tiny SEO benefit. Only time I will use a hyphen, is if I know I don’t expect very many repeat visitors to that website. Than you might as well add a hyphen since you don’t expect many to come back.
Where to purchase your domain?
You should never purchase your domain with the same company that you host your websites on. Many hosting companies are not that reputable and may actually hold your domain hostage if you want to change hosts. It is very important you find a domain registrar you trust.
I prefer GoDaddy to register my domains for 4 important reasons. First, they have a control panel which allows you to change your nameservers and whois information yourself, anytime you want. With some other domain registrars you have to contact them, so they manually change it. Second, GoDaddy is a very large domain company, so your domains are safe in their hands. Third, GoDaddy has the best DNS server infrastructure and DNS servers often wind up being the bottleneck in handling large web traffic. Finally, they are always having a lot of sales on domain purchases or renewals, which has saved me quite a bit of money so far.