Choosing a URL
When you are setting up a blog, choosing a URL is important.
Your URL is a part of your brand, but it is also important to search results, so by choosing a URL that will make the difference between generating a lot of traffic and struggling to get visitors, you will give yourself a headstart.
Where possible when choosing a URL go for a dot com domain ahead of everything else. They carry more weight and will help your rankings far more than other suffixes, especially many of the newer ones, which will not do you any good in the longer term. If you really can’t find the .com URL that you want, then .net, .co.uk, .org will work, but not as well.
We suggest when choosing a URL that you buy your domain name from a different supplier to your hosting. Hosting companies comw and go, sometimes losing their customer service, or becoming unreliable, so if your domain is registered with a different location it is really easy to just re-point it to another hosting company and re host your site.
Additionally, when choosing a URL it should be no more that 15 characters long, and should not have different spellings, as you want to make it as easy as possible for anyone to find you.
URL stands for Unique Resource Locator, and is intended to be an easy to remember and type address, that actually replaces an IP address which is a series of numbers and fullstops.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find great dot com domains because more and more are being registered everyday. Dot Com’s are still the primary suffix for domain names however, so you might need to try several different options when you are choosing a URL before you manage to find one that is available.
A great source of good dot com domains is expired domains. The search engines love old domains, preferably over five years old, so if you can find a suitable domain, with a great name that has expired, you will instantly have an advantage. Many of these domains already have some backlinks and Google PR score too which is an added bonus…. visit Expired Domains to get started choosing a URL
An expired domain will sometimes cost you more than a new domain, but the advantages will outweigh the cost. Just having a domain that is over 5 years old is a big advantage, even if it has no links or Google PR (Page Rank) score).
Page Rank is measured from 0 – 10 and is an indication of the quality of the sites that link to you. Google use this to measure the value of the links that your site passes to other sites, so while it doesn’t directly influence your rankings, it will have an impact on them.
A PR 5 won’t instantly our rank a PR 4 site, that isn’t how it works, but you will be considered to be an influential site and your opinion of others will matter more than a lower PR site. Additionally, as a high PR site, more people will want a link from your blog to theirs, so you will be attracting more attention and receive more link requests which will help your rankings.
Choosing a URL – Brand or Keyword
This is a question we are often asked by people choosing a URL. Do you start with your brand and build it from scratch, or do you opt for a keyword rich domain name?
When choosing a URL, if you opt for a branded URL, your name for example www.johnsmith.com then you will initially have a bigger task on your hands building that brand. Let’s say you are ‘Dog Training’. Not only do you have to attract people interested in ‘dog training’ to your site, but you then have to associate your name as the ‘industry expert’ with ‘dog training’.
There is an easy way around this however.
Find an initial domain that is keyword rich, such as www.dogtraining.com (currently not available).
URL’s available at the end of 2012 as we are writing this post are;
Register your chosen keyword rich domain and set up your blog. Then, find a ‘Branded Domain’ name, and redirect it onto your keyword rich domain, and you will have the best of both worlds.
People will be able to find your blog in search because of your keyword rich domain, but also, your will be able to build a brand, because people typing your branded URL into their browser with come to your site too.
You can then brand your blog with your brand name, and build your reputation while still getting keyword related traffic.
Changing your URL once you have started is a time consuming process, so you want to get it right first time.
Think about your choices before you commit to one and then work hard to build your online reputation and you will have a successful blog on your hands.
Choosing a URL – Checklist:
- Choose a brand or keyword rich URL
- 5 Year old domains have extra authority
- Under 15 characters
- Easy to spell
- Descriptive of your niche
- Register with a different company to hosting
- Use a DOT COM where possible
- Get Expired Domains with Page Rank if you can
If you follow our checklist then you will end up with a domain name that will serve you well for years to come.
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