Buying a new domain can be a very exciting experience. Most new domain buyers are usually getting a new website built, or they have one built and they plan on taking on a new venture. All of which take risk but can be very rewarding experiences.
To make sure your new domain purchase is a great experience we wanted to lay out some check ups that you should make before the purchase. If you buy a new domain without doing certain check ups it can be a very devastating experience for your new venture.
Here’s a list of ten things you should heavily research before you buy your domain:
1. Brand Domain Reputation – Go to Google and type in your new domain name but use quotation marks around the domain. This will show all of the blogs, social websites, websites, and people that have mentioned the domain name online. If the past brand that owned the domain had horrible reviews, or a negative brand reputation, it can carry directly over into your brands reputation online. Ideally, it’s best to have no reputation at all if your domain is entering into a new industry. If you’re acquiring a new domain for their reputation it’s ideal to have a very positive reputation. With a new domain you’re buying a reputation, \ buying a bad reputation can create a bad start. We’re now at the age of the internet where all good domains were previously owned. Do your homework, it can cost you if you don’t.
2.Back Link Portfolio – There are cheap tools online where you can check the back links pointing to the domain. Ideally you can pull the links from Google Webmaster tools and it will give you an accurate report for free. If you notice unnatural and spammy links in the link portfolio in large quantities it can kill your organic search traffic right out of the gate. Most websites will have a few spammy links – that’s natural because usually a small amount of spammy links will link naturally to good domains. If the website domain still pulls in organic search traffic at a high quantity – the spammy links can potentially hurt the traffic later on when Google makes an algorithm change, but for the most part you will be fine if the previous webmaster never engaged in spammy link tactics.
3.Domain Name Brand Searches – With Google, if you login to an adwords account you can check the amount of people that are searching for the keywords in the new domain. You want to buy a website that has good searchable keywords in the domain. Often times new brands will be named something unique so the domain name will not be search friendly. For example DomainMarket.com imagine if our domain name brand was Domenzo, no one searches for Domenzo, but the keywords Domain Market are actually searched for often. The most searched for domains will naturally bring in more organic search traffic over time.
4. Branding the Domain – We live in the world of humans who tend to forget everything. We also live in a world of a billion businesses that are competing for the attention and memory of the humans. Longer domains are harder to remember. Check the length of the domain to see if it’s worth purchasing. Shorter and simple domains are easy to remember, they’re more expensive but the extra investment can bring in the ROI with your domains branding campaign. Short and simple domains are better off for word of mouth marketing. If you go long remember to keep it simple. Memory is everything with branding and if it’s hard to spell or type chances are it’s hard to remember.
5. Making Sure the Domain is Clean and Professional – Domains are often times multiple words which will sound normal but once put together it can look bad. Take for example Therapist.com, some might think therapy and some might think rapist when they see the domain. Don’t let your domain be a joke to others, use wisdom when selecting it.
6. The Relevance Importance – It’s easy to fall in love with a domain name but yet its meaning has nothing to do with your actual product or websites mission. This makes it harder to brand the domain. The Onion for example is a news website about all of the random news not shown on TV. The domain is short simple and well branded, but some people literally think it’s a website for onions. When the relevancy of the domain name is off it can take more advertising efforts to communicate to the public what your website is all about.
7. Protect your ‘who is’ Information – Some domain companies will get away financially with selling domains at a super cheap rate because they sell your information to telemarketers and even spammers once you buy the domain at a cheap rate. The moment you buy a cheap domain you’re revealing to world your personal phone line and sometimes address. If your information is not sold to other companies sometimes it will still show up on your ‘whois’ information. Buy your domain from a good company and you will not get telemarketers calling you everyday.
8. Know and Remember When your Domain Expires – The last thing that you would want to do is build out your domains brand, build your website, and then have your domain expire and then potentially purchased by another person. If the domain even just expires it can disconnect with your website which can cost you in sells. Most domain companies have an automated renewal process where it automatically pulls the money from your credit card. If your credit card is expired it will shut down your website and competitors can buy it.
9. Don’t Spread Yourself Thin – Webmasters get anxious when traffic is low, and they try to do things out of the ordinary to increase traffic. It’s common for webmasters to do things to try to trick search engines to help give them more organic traffic, so they’ll buy multiple domains with relevant keywords behind them and then they’ll redirect them all to their main website. Bottom line is you can’t trick search engines these days and that tactic doesn’t work at all. Perform high quality and good marketing tactics and your domain name will do wonderful things in regards to pulling in organic search traffic. Gone are the days of tricking and trying to manipulate search engines to think your website is wonderful. Building one domain only is worth it.
10. Your Domain is Digital Real Estate – Most importantly when you buy a domain you’re buying a form of digital real estate. When you build it up you’re building your digital real estate. Buy a domain that’s good digital real estate and build up the brand name of that domain even more, who knows you might be able to sell it one day for money than you ever dreamed of. It happens everyday.
Really think out your next purchase of a domain, be smart about it. A great domain can take an organization or business a long way!