As a company that does a lot of work with real estate agents, we are often presented with the opportunity to improve upon past domain purchased in order to help a client’s internet presence. Just because you have used a domain name for 10 years, it doesn’t necessary mean it’s the best representation of your business on the internet. Choosing a domain name shouldn’t be as easy as using just your full name or the name of your company. Put a bit more thought into it and you will see some serious results.
These guide lines will help when it comes to choosing the best domain name to give you most exposure in search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Domain purchasing is not an exact science, sometimes you manage to just get lucky. When you’re a real estate agent, your domain can make or break you and your business in specific areas of the market.
1. Using your name means your clients have to know your name already
As tempting as it seems to purchase your first and last name as your domain name, or your company name, for that matter, it may not be the best for your business. Granted, those domains are good to own but do not expect them to boost your exposure in search engines. Websites earn SEO one one domain and one domain only, meaning that you need to get the most mileage as possible out of the domain that you decide to represent you in those Google searches.
Not to mention, a lot of names can be spelled many different ways. Mean you need to anticipate all of the possible misspellings that your clients could use when putting your name in. Take my own name, for instance: Tracy Adams, Tracey Addams, Tracie Adams, Traycee Addam’s, all possible mess ups that I client could think of when typing in the domain to get to my company’s website…
Lastly, in order for you to ever type in my name into the search engines to even come across my website, you would first have to know who I even am. It’s important to think about all of those potential clients that you’re excluding with that thought process. Your future clients will not be looking specifically for you, they will be looking for your offer, your services, your specialties, the areas that you cover. Want to live in North Carolina? Try www.LiveInNorthCarolina.com! Simple as that, you don’t have to know Cindy Dudley as a realtor, but you can land on her website simply by chance.
2. The shorter the better
Keeping the domain name short helps your clients remember it. The more words you string together, the less likely they will be to remember it. It’s much easier to remember a domain like SearchOrlando.com rather than trying to remember all the pieces of one like BuyYourDreamOrlandoHomeToday.com. Not to mention, the shorter domain is normally much catchier.
With so many website visitors coming from mobile sources these days, if you want someone to actually go through the effort of typing in your domain, shorter is definitely going to help you out with exposure. People are less likely to attempt to type in a really long domain name themselves, they will automatically reply on Google or Siri to give them the location through search. Then, you’re depending on your SEO to promote you.
Also, do not attempt to make your domain name shorted by using specific abbreviations that your users wouldn’t know. However, if it is something commonly used to name your area and your potential clients would know it, own it!
3. Make it easy to spell
Like I mentioned earlier when it came to utilizing legal and company names for your domain purchases, having your clients use the correct spelling is key! Looking at buying domains? Tell a friend, over the phone, the domain you’re considering and see what different combinations they come up with. Also, notice how many times you have to repeat your possible domain before it really catches with the intended audience. If the domain doesn’t pass the “phone test”, scrap the domain name and keep searching.
4. Dominate your neighborhood
An easy way to see why this is so important is to google and see who your potential competition will be. For instance, let’s say I am a Realtor in Orlando, but I’m specialist more so in the area of Avalon Park. People that do not know about Avalon Park in the Orlando area are not very likely to find me, but then again, do they need to? No. I know my traffic. Take the two different search results below as examples:
The search “Orlando homes for sale” yields over 30,000,000 results, while “Avalon Park homes for sale” yields much less, at around 1,000,000. You have drastically decreased your competition in Google. Granted, one million search results is a lot…which is why it’s your job to do your part of setting yourself apart by blogging and increasing your own SEO.
5. No .com? Keep looking
Lately, domain registrars have been pushing new extensions like .realtor, .house, .rocks, and .guru, to name a few. Because .com has been the favored domain ending since the inception of the World Wide Web, as you can imagine, there has become a bit of a shortage. If the domain you want is available and it looks attractive shortened with one of these, feel free to purchase them, but I wouldn’t recommend making them the primary domain for your website. When I am personally relayed a domain name to visit, I automatically assume that it would end in .com. This is the thought process of most of the world.
If your ideal domain isn’t available in .com, consider continuing the search. If you happen to purchase the .net version of it, then you are most likely going to be sending your future traffic to someone that is very likely to be your competitor.
6. Fear the Hyphen
While having hyphens in your domain name may help these days with SEO due to each separate word being able to stand alone with more importance, they’re detrimental to marketing yourself. Can you imagine trying to communicate a domain with a hyphen between each word while over the phone? If the domain that you’re looking into isn’t available without hyphens, keep trying! If they are both available, make the one without special characters your primary and have the other forward to the same place.
7. Keywords are key
The best domains are the one that get straight to the point. It’s hard to find those golden domain names because it always seems that they’re taken, but your perfect domain is out there! Are you a luxury focused agent? Include the word luxury in your domain name like Carol Behrens did with her website: LuxuryHomesAcadiana.com. If you’re looking for luxury homes in Acadiana, then Carol is obviously going to be a viable option for your home search!