Today’s lesson is going to be short – and for good reason. Choosing a domain name is something a lot of people spend far too much time on and end up overthinking. Today we are going to take a look at the best way to choose your domain and the impact it will have on your overall brand. Let’s Get Started…
Free Domain vs. Paid Domain
If you’re looking to get started in affiliate marketing and want to minimize your startup costs, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a free domain name.
You can get your free domain name and free website using SiteRubix
As you can see, your domain will have a .siterubix.com appended to the end of it. Now, these websites will rank – there is nothing wrong with using them.
By using the above widget you can secure your free domain and build your website in under 5 minutes. The process is super fast and super easy. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about web hosting. Part of the trade off of free domains is that they also provide you with web hosting.
With that said, once you get more serious about building a brand and establishing yourself as an authority (A topic we will discuss more later) you will eventually want to consider buying your own domain name.
Having your own .com domain name has several benefits. The first of which is that little extra pride in knowing that it belongs to you. Your domain is your property. With a free domain, you are technically borrowing that domain.
If you are just getting started and unsure if you want to really put the time into building an online business, I suggest getting started with a free domain. Your free domain can always be transferred to a new domain down the road should you decide to buy one.
However, if you know you want to succeed in making money online, and you are serious about building your online business- go for a paid domain. They generally range from $10-$15 per year. Keep in mind though that with a paid domain you will have to have that domain hosted somewhere.
My #1 recommended host is Wealthy Affiliate. Not only can you host up to 50 websites, you will also be surrounded by like-minded individuals who want to help you succeed. Additionally, the cost to host with Wealthy Affiliate kicks the crap out of most web hosts, especially if you consider all the other features you get such as:
- 24/7 Site Support
- Site Speed Optimization
- Domain Privacy
- Much, much more
I promise you, you will not find that many hosting features for such a low cost anywhere else.
Learn More About Wealthy Affiliate Here
Your Domain Is Your Brand
A big mistake I see people make often is trying to get related keywords in their domain and focusing on “SEO Friendly Domains”.
Trash that thought right now.
While keyword-rich domains used to help some with SEO, those days are long gone.
What you want to focus on is choosing a strong, memorable domain. In the internet marketing world, your domain is your brand.
Imagine down the road, you’ve built a successful online business. This online business becomes enough to be your primary income, so your website is essentially your job.
Now imagine introducing yourself to someone, “Hi, I’m ______ from [INSERT WEBSITE NAME]”.
Would you rather have that website name sound like a bunch of strung together keywords? Or would you rather it sound like an actual company?
Now I know you can’t answer me, but I’m hoping you chose the company option.
Keep It Memorable
Building off the previous section, you want to make sure your domain isn’t super long. Something short, sweet and memorable is your goal.
Once you’ve established yourself in your chosen niche you want people to be able to type your URL into their browser and be brought right to you. This is known as Direct Traffic, we’ll discuss this more in a later lesson.
When that imaginary user is typing in your domain, they are recalling your business name. Make their lives easier. Keep it short and sweet. Also, avoid choosing commonly misspelled words.
Check Out This Video on Buying a Brandable Domain:
GoDaddy’s 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Domain – Though I don’t agree with their suggestion of using keywords
Website Setup’s Tips for Choosing a Domain
As I mentioned in the beginning of the lesson, this one is going to be short. Choosing a good domain name for your website shouldn’t be difficult. Don’t overthink it. I have friends in the online marketing space that have domain names that literally have nothing to do with online marketing. Pick something short, sweet and memorable that you would be proud to be affiliated with.
After watching the video above I want you to first make a choice: free domain or paid domain.
Then, I want to you to go and secure that domain, either by using the SiteRubix widget from the beginning of the lesson, or by going to a site like GoDaddy and buying it there.
Finally, I want you to come back here and share your domain.
Added bonus: This will get you some free exposure and traffic!
Remember, if you choose a paid domain, it will need to be hosted somewhere before you can add a website to it.
As always, let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns below.
Hey Dev, Thanks for giving a clear overview on choosing your domain name and including that video and the link to the GoDaddy article. I was actually surprised to read that SEO friendly/keyword rich domain names aren’t that important anymore. How about the site title and the subheader, should these still be keyword rich or is that already a thing of the past too?
Great questions! So your site title should essentially just be your domain name. As for sub headers (H2, H3, etc) you should only have your keyword in 1 heading per piece of content (a couple more is okay, but don’t overdo it). I cover keyword placement more in-depth in my guide to writing quality web content. I hope that helps. Thanks for the comment!
I don’t recommend using a free domain very long unless you are just testing out the market or just can’t find the cash just yet. Getting started with a free domain is okay, but you definitely want to buy your own domain.
You have control over your content if you own your own domain. You can determine what gets advertised on your site. You won’t take your own website down because you don’t like the content. This can happen when someone else is hosting your website. Youtube demonetizes channels when it doesn’t like their content. Keep that in mind when you are putting a lot of work into a free website.
I definitely agree with you there. Free domains are nice if you are just getting your feet wet but there are so many benefits to owning your own domain however the trade-off is startup costs. I want to make sure everyone gets to try this, regardless of if they are willing to spend a little when getting started or not. With that said, it is well worth the small investment to buy your own domain and host it yourself. Thanks for the comment.
Dev, I agree that time shouldn’t be wasted on finding a domain and that people overthink this. I also feel the sameway about keywords. I write my aricles and then see what would be a logical title. Then I check its relevancy.
I am not 100% about your preference for basically ignoring keywords. Yes you don’t want them everywhere, but a few can be helpful.
And if you think of a keyword, or keyword phrase, as what people search out a product or service with, you can at least get an indication of how popular and magnetic your site will be.
When you find the niche you want to use as your website, it’s great if one keyword fits it perfectly. That way you are way ahead if it then has a .com available. That’s exactly what I did. So for once everything matches and reflects my chosen niche perfectly.
Once I have my domain and website, I write my topic and then I look at it and use something in the content to be in my title to guide people when they search.
We all have our own approach.
Thanks for a well balanced training article.
The argument for having keywords in your domain makes some sense in that if someone is just linking to your site and using the URL as an anchor text then you will get some backlinks with relevant keywords that way. However, the impact of having keywords in your URL is pretty much limited to just that. They used to be much more beneficial.
With that said, I think it would benefit a website more to have a strong, memorable domain name than one that is just relevant keywords.
Thanks for the comment!
I have to say I really need help with the domain thing.
I have a marketer who is well experienced within the online world and has been advising me to get a target keyword based domain name.
But I see that you recommend that I seek to make the domain name more brandable than to chase optimization with search engines.
I am very confused right now.
Can you please elaborate this deeper so that I can comprehend? Please?
Thanks in advance.
Sure, no problem. Keyword rich domains used to be pretty helpful in SEO. However Google said several years ago (back in 2011 actually) that they would be looking into why exact match domains perform better and adjust their algorithm to level the playing field. So yes, many years ago having the exact keyword you wanted to rank for in your domain did help a bit, but Google has since fixed that. The content on your site is a far greater ranking factor than the words in your domain. For that reason I suggest choosing a domain that is easy for users to remember and not just a keyword rich domain.
If you’re interested, here are some addition resources you can check out on the subject:
Hope that helps. Thanks for the comment!
Hi Dev I have purchased my domain name and now I’m a bit worried about how long it is – myhorsehandbook
I thought it was pretty brandable as my readers are new horse owners and I thought the handbook idea was pretty neat. It does also have the word horse in it and although you said not to worry about keywords it seemed fitting.
Would greatly appreciate your thoughts before I go to much further with my site. As I said I thought it was good and I could image saying I’m Heidi from blah blah but if it’s not right then its not right!
I think that is an excellent domain. It is very easy to remember and very brandable. Having just the word horse in it would not be considered a keyword rich domain so no worries there. Your domain is relevant to your site and not very long at all. Great domain choice! Thanks for the comment!
You explained this process in such a simple way that anybody can follow and easily understand. I think this will help a lot with conversions for you.
I am glad you found this lesson helpful. My aim here is not so much to get conversions as it is to ensure that everyone getting started with affiliate marketing is clear on what to look for and consider when choosing a domain and forming their brand. Thanks for the comment!
Hello, and thank you for this wonderful article. It is very concise and to the point. I find that a domain name should be brand-able and personable. It should say something either about the company you’re trying to create or something about yourself.
Hi Anne, I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for the comment.