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Have you ever wondered why a company might be willing to pay millions of dollars for a domain
name? The domain name
business.com
was purchased for $7.5 million in 1999, and was
recently thought to be valued at more than $300 million.
Casino.com
went for $5.5 million and
worldwideweb.com
sold for $3.5 million. What’s so important about a name?
Where SEO is concerned, the name of your web site is as important as many of the other SEO ele-
ments that you concentrate on. Try this test. Use your favorite search engine to search for a topic,
perhaps “asphalt-paving business.” When your search results are returned, look at the top five results.
Most of the time, a web site containing those words will be returned in those top five results, and it
will often be in the number one slot.
So, if your company name is ABC Company, but your business is selling nutmeg graters, consider
purchasing the domain name NutmegGraters.com, instead of ABC Company.com — ABC Company
may not get you in the top of search rankings, but the very specific nature of your product probably
will. And both the content of your site and your domain name will attract crawlers in the way you
want. Using a domain name containing a keyword from your content usually improves your site
ranking.
A few more things that you should keep in mind when you’re determining your domain name
include:
Keep the name as short as possible. Too many characters in a name mean increased poten-
tial for misspellings. It also means that your site address will be much harder for users to
remember unless it’s something really startling.
Avoid dashes, underscores, and other meaningless characters. If the domain name that
you’re looking for is taken, don’t just add a random piece of punctuation or numerology
to the name to “get close.” Close doesn’t count here. Instead, try to find another word
that’s relevant, and possibly included in the list of keywords you’ll be using. For
example, instead of purchasing
www.yourwebsite2.com
, try to find something
like
www.yoursitesubject.com
.
Opt for a .com name whenever possible. There are lots of domain extensions to choose
from: info, biz, us, tv, names, jobs. However, if the .com version of your chosen domain
name is available, that’s always the best choice. Users tend to think in terms of .com, and
any other extension will be hard for them to remember. Com names also tend to receive
higher rankings in search engines than web sites using other extensions. So if your com-
petition has
www.yoursite.com
and you choose to use
www.yoursite.biz
, chances
are the competition will rank higher in search results than you.
Again, it’s important to realize that domain naming is only one facet of SEO strategy. It won’t make
or break your SEO, but it can have some effect. So take the time to think about the name you plan
to register for your site. If you can use a name that not only reaches your audience but also lands you
a little higher in search results, then by all means purchase it. But if no name really seems to work in
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SEO Strategies
Part II
03 1 9:33 40


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