Domain Name: Tutorial and Course
- Domain Name: Overview
- Domain Name: Facts and Information
- Domain Name: Tutorial and Course
- Domain Name: References
Domain Name: Overview
Tutorial and Course for Domain Name is the ultimate SEO tutorial and course created by SEO University to help you to learn and understand Domain Name and SEO Process, including On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
Domain Name: Facts and Information
The domain name is the URL that people use to access your website. It is also the first thing that the search engines check when accessing your website. Choosing the domain name is a very critical task because it is not changeable. So, your domain name (the root of your site's URL address, such as yourdomain.com) must be chosen strategically, based on your business goals, and you have to choose an effective name that reflects the website content. Also, it should be easy to remember and include the important keywords in the website for better SEO results. There are many domain registrars that you can use when you are searching for domains and then buying them, such as Namecheap or GoDaddy.
In this Tutorial and Course for Domain Name, we explain some guidelines for selecting an appropriate domain name for your website. You discover the basics, like how to register for a domain name and how to pick a hosting service to get your site up and running. You also find out about securing variations of your domain name in order to protect your brand (company name) long-term.
Domain Name: Tutorial and Course
How Important Is a Domain Name?
From a marketing perspective, a domain name is the single most important element of a website. Unlike a brick-and-mortar company, websites don't have visual cues closely associated with them. Whereas potential customers can use visual cues to identify if a physical building is more likely a barber shop or a bank, they are not able to tell the difference between domain names. All domain names use the exact same format: http:// subdomain dot (optional) root domain dot TLD. Take, for example, http://www.google.com or http://www.bing.com. To an outsider, there is no reason to think that any of these resources would be a search engine. They don't contain the word search, and if their brands weren't as strong as they are, their gibberish names wouldn't mean anything to anyone. In fact, if you look at the top 100 most linked-to domains on the Internet, you see this trend over and over again: Wikipedia, YouTube, W3, Amazon, Macromedia, MSN, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, Technorati, IMDB, eBay - the list goes on.
This is where people get confused. They see websites like this and think that the domain name doesn't matter. They register domains that are hard to pronounce or hard to spell and figure they don't have to worry. The problem is they don't realize that the popular websites got popular not because of their domain names, but rather despite their domain names. Google was such an outstanding product with a plan that was executed so well that it could have had been named BackRub and still been successful.
As an SEO, if you find yourself in the position of changing or choosing a domain name, you need to make a difficult decision. How confident are you in the client's idea? Is it an idea that serves the entire world, or is it only useful to a few thousand people? If the website is world changing, it might actually benefit from a gibberish name. If the name is gibberish and very successful, people naturally start to associate its name with its service. For example, Google is now synonymous with "search". However, if the idea doesn't end up being world changing (and most websites aren't), a gibberish domain name can hurt the website.
For the vast majority of websites, a "search friendly" domain name is best. The search engines will always be constrained by the fact that many people search for exact URLs when they want to go to websites. Of course, the most relevant and popular result for the query “seouniv.com” would be seouniv.com. You can use this to your advantage.
Say your clients own a law firm in Boston. For them, the best domain name would be www.bostonlawfirm.com or www.bostonlawyer.com so that they could rank for the query "Boston Law Firm" or "Boston Lawyer". They should not worry about becoming a verb because the demand is not high enough for their service and the benefits of an exact match domain name outweigh the chances of their website changing the world. Need more proof? The domain names seo.com sold for $5,000,000.00, respectively.
But what if a killer domain name is not available? You are not alone. As of the time of writing all of the combinations for .com domains with three or fewer characters were already owned. If you can't get seattlehotel.com, you will just need to be more creative. To limit your ability to hurt yourself by being "too creative", we advise you to look out for the following when registering a domain name:
- Avoid hyphens: In domain names, hyphens detract from credibility and act as a spam indicator.
- Avoid generic, uncommon top-level domains (TLDs): Like hyphens, TLDs such as .info, .cc, .ws, and .name are spam indicators.
- Avoid domain names longer than 15 characters: People are lazy; don't try to make them type a novel just to access your website.
This advice about domains applies mostly to people who are either starting out from scratch, or for whom purchasing a better domain is an option. If you're an SEO, you'll probably have clients that are stuck with the domain they have, either due to branding or financial constraints. If that's you, never fear. While a smartly chosen, keyword-rich domain is often an ideal situation, plenty of sites succeed without one.
Choosing Your Domain Name
Picking the right domain name for your website depends on your business strategy. You need to decide how you want people to find you on the Web. You have basically two ways to approach choosing a domain name - by brand or by keywords (search terms that people might enter to find what your site offers)
If you have a unique brand name and want people to be able to find your website by searching for your brand, you should secure your brand as your domain. Having a brand for your domain name makes sense if any of the following is true:
- Your brand is already established and recognized (IBM, Oracle, Google, Sony, and so on).
- You have advertised or plan to advertise to promote your brand.
- Your brand is your own name or very unique.
- You want your site to rank well in search results for your brand name.
As an alternative, you could choose a domain name containing keywords that identify what your business does. For instance, if your business is called John & Strawn LLP, and your are mesothelioma lawyers focusing on helping people handling your client's asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits, you might get a lot more mileage out of MesotheliomaAttorney.ONLINE or MesotheliomaLawyer.ONLINE or asbestos and mesothelioma keyword .ATTORNEY Domain and .LAWYER Domain as a working domain name than out of JohnStrawn.com. Search engines can parse the domain name to recognize the distinct words Mesothelioma Lawyer, and your keyword-laden domain name would make your site more relevant to searches for those terms. Also, the business name John & Strawn doesn't identify what services you really offer. Unless you plan to heavily advertise and build John & Strawn LLP into a brand, you'd be better off choosing a keyword-centered domain name.
You may run into problems getting your first choice of domain name because someone has already registered it. People often buy domain names that they don't intend to use, just so they can turn around and sell them later. Your desired domain may fall into that category, in which case you can try to contact the domain owner and negotiate to buy it from them. However, that isn't always possible, especially when the domain is legitimately operating as a thriving website. So in this case, you need to be creative and start thinking of alternative domain names that would work for you.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when trying to come up with a good domain name:
- Length: Shorter is better than longer in a domain name. There are three reasons why: The URL string for your files can be shorter, and people tend to avoid clicking long URL links on search results pages; a short URL is easier to remember than a long one; and there are fewer opportunities for typos when someone enters your URL in a browser window or sets it up as a link.
- Multiple words: Search engines have no trouble parsing words that are concatenated (run together without spaces). Most website domains for businesses with multiple-word brand names run the words together, such as BankOfAmerica.com, SeoUniv.com, and so on. Concatenating domain names is the best practice. However, sometimes, you may need to separate words visually to make them easier for users to understand. When you must separate words, use a hyphen. The search engines interpret hyphens as word spaces; underscores (_) don't work well because they count as alphanumeric characters. Imagine you own a tailoring business called the Domains Exchange and that you're interested in branding exactly that name. But wait a second: The domain domainsexchange.com could be parsed two ways (Domains Exchange and Domain Sex Change). To make sure the site name isn't misunderstood, a hyphen is needed; domains-exchange.com prevents any misunderstandings. We recommend you use no more than one hyphen (or two at the most) in a domain name - more than that can make your site look suspicious to the search engines, like spam (deliberately using deceptive methods to gain ranking for irrelevant keywords). Although none of the engines ban you for having a multi-hyphenated domain name, they may still think that your domain buy-cheap-domain-names-here.com looks a little suspicious. Whats more, your visitors do too.
- Articles: Part-of-speech articles like a, an, and the may help you create a unique domain if they make sense with your name. In most cases, you're not going to need the article, so don't even worry about it.
You also want to consider your future plans as much as possible. It might be hard to foresee how your business may change and expand, but try to avoid boxing yourself in.
As a general rule, you want to choose a domain name that will last. This makes sense from a usability point of view because you want your customers to rely on your website, bookmark it, and come back often. It's also important from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective. The search engines consider domain age as a factor when ranking sites. The longer your domain has been continuously registered and active on the Web, the higher your score is for the age factor. Granted, this is only one of more than 200 different ranking factors Google considers, but that doesn't make it insignificant. Because competition can be so tight on the Web, you want every advantage you can legitimately get.
Registering Your Domain Name
To find out whether a domain has already been taken, start by just typing it into the Address bar of your Web browser and seeing what comes up. If you see an error message saying "Address Not Found" or something similar, you might think you're in luck and have located an available domain. But sometimes a domain may be taken even though no site displays, or it may look taken when in fact the domain holder would like to transfer it to someone else.
A more foolproof way to check for available domains is to go to a domain name registrar and use their domain name search tool. A domain name search tells you whether the name is available and then quotes prices to register it to you if it is. Domain name registrars we recommend are:
- Namesilo (Discount Coupon: seouniv)
- Google Domains
Why You Should Avoid GoDaddy
We started registering all the domains with GoDaddy ten years ago, back when GoDaddy was a new website with dungeon low prices. Now we use Namecheap and Google Domains, and don't own a single domain at GoDaddy. Here are seven reasons why you should move away from GoDaddy:
- GoDaddy Has Terrible Support
- GoDaddy is Overpriced
- GoDaddy is Hard to Use
- GoDaddy Hosting is Slow
- GoDaddy Gives Too Little Control
- GoDaddy Uses Smut to Sell
- GoDaddy Backed SOPA & PIPA
Also check with your website hosting company to see what they can do for you. Many provide all the same services as a domain name registrar. If a domain is available, you can claim it on the registrar's website. You may be able to secure it for two or more years up front at a discount. In the future, you'll need to renew your domain name registration. You don't buy a domain name; they're only licensed for a period of time. So when your current registration is near its expiration date, you need to re-register it, and then repeat this process throughout the life of your website.
If a domain name you really want is already taken according to a domain name search, look at the website. See if it looks like a real site doing business, or just a placeholder site, or better yet, just brings up an error. All of these could indicate that someone has registered the domain name but hasn't gotten around to creating a site yet - or that they don't intend to.
Domains are often purchased on speculation and sold later. Some sites, such as Flippa and Sedo where domains are auctioned by their holders.
Understanding Country Codes & Top-Level Domains
You may want to register other domains in addition to your main URL. Most companies try to cover all their bases - not just to attract more traffic (visitors) to their site, but to protect their brand and their future online business as well. Securing other domain names besides your primary domain can be an important proactive step for your Web site, but you want to do it strategically. This Tutorial and Course for Domain Name covers why you might want to have more than one URL. We also help you understand the variety of choices beyond the .com domains, so you can make informed decisions.
Who is in charge of the domain system? The Internet's domain name system is managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN for short. This not-for-profit international organization coordinates the Internet globally, creating technical naming and numbering standards to ensure that every Web site and computer on the Internet can be identified uniquely, which is a technical necessity. You can read more about ICANN on their site (www.icann.org).
There are two main types of TLDs within the Internet's domain name system: country-code TLDs and generic TLDs.
The ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) are country- or region-specific extensions. They're great for connecting with customers in specific locations. Examples include:
- .au Australia
- .ca Canada
- .de Germany
- .eu European Union
- .fr France
- .il Israel
- .mx Mexico
- .us United States
When a country-code TLD is established, the country can issue domain registrations for that TLD as they see fit, according to their own local policies, so the rules vary from country to country. We recommend that you obtain a domain within the country's TLD for anywhere you think you might do business. Secure your domain name if you can. You need to research the rules for establishing a domain in each country, however. Here are some specific examples:
- .de: If you want to do business through a German domain (.de for Deutschland), they require that you either live in Germany or have a physical business located there.
- .ca: Canada has less stringent requirements; if you have a relative who lives in Canada, you can obtain a .ca domain.
- .us: If you're located in the U.S., by all means pick up a .us domain name. The .us domains aren't very common yet because most companies use .com, but some notable examples are Delicious.com (a popular social bookmarking site), which started life at the much more complicated http://del.icio.us, and directory pages for each ZIP code that contain information about that locality (such as http://www.90025.us).
- .co.uk: Sometimes a country-code TLD looks more complicated than a simple two-letter code. The United Kingdom, for example, chooses to register domains with an additional second-level domain specified in their extensions. So a business Web site in England typically ends with .co.uk; an English non-profit group would have a site ending in .org. uk; and so forth.
Generic TLDs (generic top-level domains) are global extensions. Because they have worldwide recognition, they appeal to all kinds of customers. Generic TLDs are usually three or more letters long. The common and easily recognized extensions are .com, .net, .biz and .org, but there are about 20 TLDs total at this time. Some can be registered by anyone who's interested, but others require that you meet certain eligibility requirements.
In 2014 and the few years following, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will release over 1400 new extensions, covering new areas such as technology, industry, geographic locations and hobbies. The web will look very different as a result, and businesses will have the opportunity to enjoy better visibility, higher traffic and more effective branding.
Pointing Multiple Domains To A Single Site Correctly
After you've registered a bunch of domains, you need to know what to do with them. Having multiple domains all point to a single Web site is usually bad for search engine optimization because the search engines think you're trying to index multiple Web sites all for the same content. They can tell that it's duplicate content (by matching long text strings, file sizes, and so on), and they usually only use one site and throw the others out of their search results.
You can correct this problem by using an IP funnel. This is a method for funneling many domains to a single canonical site (your primary, main Web site) correctly, so that search engines won't view your multiple sites as deceptive or misleading.
With an IP funnel, you don't have to host all of your different domains and set up redirects on them. (Redirects are HTML code that automatically forwards links to a different page.) Instead, you only have to host two domains - your canonical site plus one other domain, and then "funnel" the other domains to it. You save money and effort and prevent duplicate content.
An IP funnel corrects the problem of multiple domains pointing to the same content. You could set up an IP funnel to reroute many different domains to your canonical site domain.
Most domain name registrars provide the ability to "point" or "forward" domains to another site. If you had four extraneous domains in addition to your main site domain, you would first choose one of the four to be your "feeder site" because it "feeds" all traffic to your canonical site. All the other five domains should point to the feeder site (not to your canonical site). These five extra domains do not need to be hosted on a server; you can just have all requests for those URLs forwarded automatically to your feeder site. The feeder site should be hosted, but it doesn't need to have a visible user interface. The feeder site only needs to have two files (index.htm and robots.txt) The index.htm file should have an optimized Title tag, Meta description tag and Meta keywords tag. It should also include a Meta refresh statement and a Meta robots "noindex" command. The robots text file can be left blank. It just needs to exist so that when the search engine robots go looking for it, they aren't met with an error.
The last thing you need to add is a 301 redirect command (server code that indicates where the site has permanently moved) to the feeder site. You want to redirect the feeder site domain to your main site so that any links are passed automatically. The feeder site can then correctly redirect traffic to your "real" site.
Deciding where to host your Web site is very important. Pick a reliable host, and managing your site can be fairly headache-free. Choose a bad one, and you could have a nightmarish experience with unreturned calls, unanswered e-mails, and a Web site that's unavailable to visitors.
Unless you have your own server and other equipment in-house, and the technical know-how or staff to run them, you're going to need a website hosting provider. Hosting providers are third-party companies that lease out Web space by month or by year, similar to office space. In addition to space on their servers, they offer varying degrees of additional services.
In this Tutorial and Course for Domain Name, we explain the key things you should ask about when researching hosting providers. Keep in mind, however, that what works for your friend's site won't necessarily work for yours. Factors include the amount of traffic your site receives, how complex your site or application is, how much storage space you need, and so on. The best hosting provider is the one that meets your needs and provides the right balance between quality and value. For more information about how to choose the right hosting provider, please visit the Tutorial and Course for Web Hosting.
Knowing How Search Engines View Subdomains
In the domain name system (also known as DNS), a subdomain is a dependent domain set up within the primary domain. Here is an example: The following code shows what the URL would look like if you set up a subdomain called events in your classic car customization business domain.
bestdomainnamesavailable is the subdomain, .blogspot is the domain, and .com is the TLD.
Why People Set Up Subdomains
Websites often create subdomains in order to segregate sections of Web pages to create a virtual "site within a site." Such as blog subdomain could be used to a blog of the site.
Some social media sites create a subdomain for each person who signs up (such as yourname.blogspot.com). Similarly, some companies choose to create subdomains for their different employees.
We recommend siloing your Web site, which basically means organizing your Web site content into a hierarchy of subject themes, with each silo focused on its own particular theme through keywords and relevant links. Although the subdomains shown here appear to be organized by subject theme (remodels, paint, parts), this is not siloing. We don't recommend organizing the bulk of your site content by subdomains for SEO purpose.
Subdomains were in fashion ages ago, but they're obsolete today. Google prefers websites that are built using subdirectories (a subdirectory is simply a directory that lies within your site's file system, in the same way that a folder sits on your computer's hard drive).
Here's where it gets a little complicated. Let's say that you have an international presence and want your website to present different content to different regional markets. In this case what you want to do is to use ccTLDs, or Country-Code Top-Level Domains.
These special domain types show users and search engines what country, sovereign state, or independent territory a website is registered in. Using ccTLDs is the preferred way for Google to understand which version of the website show to visitors accessing from a particular geographical region.
Avoid building sites with subdomains; instead build them using CCTLDs or subdirectories.
Domain Name: References
- 2016 March Domains Coupon Code: SPRINGBBQ coupon up to 10% off com/net/org/info/biz registrations/transfers.
- 2016 March Shared Hosting Coupon Code: SMILE coupon gives 20% off all shared hosting packages.
- Namesilo (Discount Coupon: seouniv)