It all comes back to the domain name

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This is the featured advertiser on ShoeMoney. Put your company here!


Everyone wants to know how to get traffic to their websites. Including me. Sure SERPS are great in the short term for spamword-spamword-spamword-spamword.com but its not going to last. When you do fall off the search engines is anyone going to remember your long ass name? If someone did remember your long domain name are they going to spell it all out right with the order of words and hyphens? Its more likely that some porn or domainers have nailed every variation and typo of your super-spammy-domain.com.

Ebay is a perfect example of a super awesome domain name. They could have chosen auction-house.com or bid-on-auctions.com or other stuff but they choose ebay.com.

Here are some keys to getting a new domain that I always consider:

Is the domain brand-able – when people hear it are they only going to think of me?
Does the domain pass “the phone test” – This is the most important in my opinion. I think many people forget about word of mouth advertising. If you cant simply say “goto mydomain.com” over the phone and have someone be able to type it out without a explantion from you like ohh add a hyphen or spell it different then that is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.

So what do you think is important?

12 thoughts on “It all comes back to the domain name

  1. Eduardo Maio

    You’re quite right in every point. The most important thing is to build an image, a trademark around your business. Most of those im-so-spammy-that-all-my-keywords-are-here.com are websites related to content advertising (Adsense, AdBrite), or someone trying to start a sort of online business without knowing what they are doing.

    First of all your website name doesn’t need to have keywords on it, it needs to be something catchy, that, with time people can remember it when they think about buying that article they saw on a website.

    The “phone test” is very important, even tough sometimes I put that on part, make a very brandable name, develop some corporate image, panflets, email presentations, pdfs, and ask the clients for a contact so that I can send them something.

    It’s not cheap, but it works.

  2. Paul

    I see some parallel with real estate location. If you pay big bucks for a prime corner location you don’t have to spend as much on advertising. If you choose an out of the way location you will have to spend a lot to drive traffic.

    I agree the phone test is under appreciated.

    I think niche domains will gain value. As more people move to the internet the number of searches for even tiny niches should increase.

  3. Andrew Johnson

    Good domains aren’t cheap. I have one site-with-dashes in the name. Looking back it might have been a bad idea. Fortunately I also registered the domain without dashes too.

  4. Eric Giguere

    Finding a good short domain is incredibly hard. I remember all the variations I tried when looking for the companion domain to my book. I finally went with the title itself “MakeEasyMoneyWithGoogle.com” because it was available and it passes the phone test. It’s kind of long, though, so in emails I used a second domain form, “memwg.com”, which is the first initials of each word in the title. But that’s one’s not as easy to explain on the phone. Still, it’s a good idea to have a couple of variations and you can choose to use the variation that makes the most sense at the particular time. Always redirecting everything to the same site, of course, to not confuse the searche engines and to get full benefit of everyone linking to the same site.

  5. Kicksome

    I find there are always some cool domains names available. When you think about it – something like Yahoo would be probably be available if it wasn’t for the fact that, it’s Yahoo after all. Well Yahoo + 1 more character.

  6. Jason Winn

    I think all the points above are valid. I would also add that making sure your name gives some level of detail about your site is important. I think the days of the catchy made up word domain names is coming to an end as the web becomes the main stream and not a exclusive place for geeks to shop and talk. I think you’re being overly optimistic if you think http://www.quibnic.com is a better domain name than http://www.widgetrepairs.com or http://www.widgetzone.com; if your site is all about widget repair than “widget? should be in the domain name.

  7. cardsup

    I always try to avoid the long domain names, but lately it is harder than ever. When I was building an ecard web site, I went with 2ecards.com as I needed a short descriptive domain. It proved to do well in SE

  8. FunCareers

    Google seems less interested in the spammy dash names but they still seem to work a OK on MSN and Yahoo.

    There are a ton of great domain names still available – if you know the tricks and how to program :) – plus expired domains show up every day. I currently have more good, reasonably short, brandable, speakable, niche-targetted domains than I have time to develop. I don’t know how shoemoney does it!

  9. Hone Watson

    Successive Press Releases are a real good way to generate traffic – and links also.

    Imagine your press release in off line format with a domain name….

    spamword-spamword-spamword-spamword.com

    How much harder is it for people to type in and get it wrong?

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