D Is for Domain – Essentials Elements Of An Internet Business
When you boil it all down, there are only 3 things you really need for an internet business – a domain name, a hosting plan and an autoresponder subscription. In fact you only need the first two if you are really going to operate a bare bones business model but it limits what you can do with the business making it more vulnerable to changes in the industry in my opinion. Here are some things to consider when getting your domain name.
What’s In A Domain Name ?
There is much debate about what the domain name should be. Many people think that it is best to get an exact match domain name (EMD).
What this means is that you have done some keyword research and found out that a certain keyword or phrase gets lots of searches a month in Google. By calling your domain this exact keyword your website has a chance of ranking higher in Googles search engine rankings (SERPs) for this keyword. The thinking is that the domain name of the website is an important ranking factor as far as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) goes. And of course, higher rankings means more visitors.
For me, it ultimately depends on the sort of business model you are running. The EMD strategy is fine when you are relying on 100% search engine traffic – maybe as an affiliate marketing website for physical items for instance. This business model doesn’t really rely on you developing a strong relationship with your visitors.
However, if you are trying to become a recognized expert in the niche then you won’t be relying on search engine traffic completely. You want to develop a relationship with visitors and you want to showcase your expertise. You will do this in a number of ways outside of SEO – social media and developing your own list being two methods.
If this is your business model, then the domain name is not that important. The naming becomes more of a strategic decision than a keyword based decision.
In the case of wanting to become a recognized expert in your niche, using your own name as the title of the website makes a lot of sense. Every time you make a post, you are essentially promoting your name as an expert or at least someone knowledgeable in the industry.
Even if you didn’t use your name as the domain name but used keywords related to the niche, you could still turn the website into a expert in the niche but the strategy is slightly different. It isn’t a promotional device for you as a person but rather an entity in it’s own right. The website becomes the expert and there is less focus on you.
Some people prefer this option because they don’t want such a public profile in the industry. I don’t think it really matters in the long run which option you go for provided you can commit to keeping the website updated and establish it as a credible source of information in the industry.
Buying A Domain Name
As far as buying a domain name goes, I use namecheap.com. There’s not much to consider when it comes to who to buy your domain name from. I like namecheap because I like the interface simple as that. They also offer a free 1 year subscription to whois guard with every domain name purchase. This shields your persoanl details on the whois register but it’s not really an issue in my opinion. After a year I don’t renew the whois guard. It may be useful if you have lots of domains.