LESSON #23: Choosing and Registering a Domain Name

In the previous lesson, we talked about branding your business and naming your product.

Once you’ve come up with a product name, you’ll need to register a domain. However, some domains are much better than others, so I want to take a few minutes to explain it to you right now…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • A domain name is basically the web address of a particular website. For example “Google.com” or “EricsTips.com” is a domain name.

  • You NEED your own website (reasons explained on video)… therefore you need a domain.

  • A domain name is like the title deed to your website. (you want to build equity in your web properties)

  • Domain Extensions…

    – .COM is usually the best, especially if it’s for the primary website of your business
    – .ORG can be beneficial in gaining trust, and may be preferable for some information and service oriented websites.
    – Country-specific extensions (ex. .CA, .IN, .JP) can be advantageous if you’re marketing exclusively to a niche within a certain country.

  • While domains consisting of “made up” words can become popular (ie. ebay.com, Xanga.com, Bebo.com, etc.), a more straight-forward approach is better for informational websites.

  • The domain should concisely describe WHAT the site is all about.

  • Consider adding a word, thinking locally, or making it personal (Examples on the video)

  • Generally avoid superlatives such as ‘best’, ‘top’, and ‘number 1’. (Can hurt your credibility and cause problems with PPC advertising)

  • Use an adjective. I often use an adjective as the first word of a domain name.

  • What about hyphens?

    In general, I would prefer a domain with no hyphens. It’s debatable, but hyphens may create a visual advantage in some cases for SEO and PPC. However, it also makes the domain harder to remember, and more difficult to say out loud.

  • Don’t use intentional misspellings. You can use misspelled domains to capture traffic, but you should NOT build a full fledged site on one. (There are exceptions, like Flickr.com, but you are probably not the exception. Misspellings look bad)

  • Don’t use abbreviations, unless it’s VERY well known.

  • Don’t use numbers (digits), unless you have a really good reason.

  • Don’t make it too long. Aim for 2 or 3 words, and no more than 4 words.

  • Matching up with your product…

    – If your product name is 2 or 3 words, it would be ideal for the domain to match it.

    – If your product name is not available to register as a domain, you’ll want to check to see if that domain is currently in use. If someone is using that domain to sell a product in your niche, I would recommend coming up with a new product name to avoid conflicts.

    – If your product name is long, you’ll need to come up with a shorter domain. (see example on video)

  • You may want to register a few domains to give yourself some options. (Multiple domains can be used for the same website. You can then split-test domain names on PPC, or use multiple domain names to avoid competing with your own affiliates on PPC)

  • Just don’t register a bunch of domains you don’t need.

  • Domain suggestions tools. It’s fine to use domain suggestion tools to get ideas, but I generally do not use them. If you can think like a marketer, you can come up with a better domain name than a computer.

  • Where to register your domain…

    – There are hundreds of places on the internet where you can register a domain. Some are better than others. If you’ve already found a good and reliable registrar, feel free to stick with them.

    – I recommend registering your domain with someone OTHER than your web host. (reasons explained)

    – It’s important that you have good control over your domain (easily be able to change DNS, set up child name servers, etc)

    – I recommend using www.LifeDomains.NET

    (see registration walk-through on video)

    SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY:

    You may want to consider getting your own domain sales business, like mine. There are always people who need to register domains, so if your business has anything to do with business or money, then this could be a good side business for you. Domain resellers are making as much as $37k per month with this opportunity!

    Click here for info about getting your own turn-key domain business

    (Includes bonus advertising credits and other freebies. See details on site…)

    Action steps:

    1) Register a domain for your business.

    Use the guidelines from this lesson to register a good one!

    After you’ve registered your domain, the next step is to get it hosted. There are good hosts, and there are bad hosts, and choosing the wrong one could be a costly mistake. Having been a web hosting company owner, it’s a subject that I know a fair amount about, and I’ll be sharing the important facts with you in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂 (Feel free to let us know about your new domain, even if it’s just parked right now)

    Have a great day!

  • 284 comments on “LESSON #23: Choosing and Registering a Domain Name

    1. Eric Post author

      Good thinking 🙂

      No you can’t give away these lessons on your website, but I have other stuff that you can give away, such as the PDF tip sheets from this page:
      http://www.ericstips.com/media/

      Also I will be extensively teaching how to build your list.

      Reply
    2. Cleia

      Hi Eric,
      I would like to become a reseller with your affiliate link http://www.getgator.com but some of my buyers might be abroad and not

      Reply
    3. Cleia

      As I was saying…
      how would they read in their language the first page from hostgator without leaving the site and putting hostgator.com.+(the country extension)?

      Reply
    4. Eric Post author

      You could set up landing pages to translate it for them.

      Reply
    5. Amgad

      I thought I knew all I needed to know about the domain names to register before watching this video. Thanks Eric.

      Reply
    6. AKhidr

      Hi Eric,

      if I would choose form these domain names, and my Exact kw is (XXXXsoftware)

      1- xxxxsoftware.biz

      2- xxxxsoftware.us

      3- xxxxsoftware.ws

      4- xxxxsoftware.cc

      5- xxxxsoftwares.com

      Which one will rank better and faster??

      Reply
    7. Eric Post author

      I would definitely choose the .biz or .us over the ws or cc.

      Tough call on the .com since it’s not an exact match of your keyword.

      I generally do not prioritize SEO when it comes to my domains (I prioritize memorability and marketability).

      But if you’re prioritizing SEO then I would definitely also look into possibilities where there is a hyphen between the xxxx and software.

      Reply
    8. Eric Post author

      I’m guessing this is a breed of Australian humor that I was not aware of!?

      Reply
    9. Floyd

      Is it recommendable to use “.ws” as an extension? What is the downside to the use of this extension?

      Reply
    10. Eric Post author

      I actually do not recommend the ws extension. You *could* certainly build a successful site using it, but I would prefer one of the other top level domain extensions (com, net, org).

      .ws was originally a country code domain extension for Western Samoa. My understanding is that a company (GDI) made a deal with Western Samoa to be the exclusive licensee of the extension for a period of time. They marketed it agressively, leading people to believe that “ws” stands for WebSite, and they used an MLM program to market it virally. I’ve been pitched on their program more times than I can count. I’m not a big fan of it 😉

      Reply
    11. Floyd

      Hi, Eric:

      On your Lesson 23 presentation page, there was a link to Keith Wellman presenting his Automated Sales Formula which he is selling for $497. Is he associated with you and do you endorse him?

      Reply
    12. Eric Post author

      The only extent to which we are associated is that we are affiliates of eachother’s products.

      Keith has been a good affiliate of mine for the past few years, and has referred hundreds of customers to me.

      Likewise, I have endorsed some of Keith’s products and sent him many customers.

      I have known Keith since early 2006, and have met him in person a few times. I have literally seen him build his business from the ground up… starting from $0 and growing to a $1M+ business. So I can certainly vouch for the credibility of his business.

      I have heard from another of my subscribers in the past week that there are some complaints about Keith circulating on the internet. I am not familiar with the complaints, and I can not confirm or deny their veracity. If there are legitimate customer service problems, then I expect Keith will take care of them.

      As always, this is an open forum and I am willing to remove my endorsement from anyone at anytime if it is warranted, and I have done so on a couple of occasions.

      Reply
    13. Pat

      Thank you so much Eric you are very generous sharing this very valuable knowledge.To your continued success!

      Reply
    14. florie

      When they ask you legal questions on the domain site. How do you answer,if you have no LLC?

      Reply
    15. Eric Post author

      Just use your personal name, or else register a “trade name” in your state if you’re in the US.

      Reply
    16. Osama

      Hi Eric,
      I’m enjoying the lessons very much. Thank you for them.
      Now I started to build my online business, but i have one question!
      How I can register a domain name for one time purchase? in lifedomains.com i noted that i have to pay every period of time.

      keep the good work.

      Thanks

      Reply
    17. Sean Breslin

      Liked this one… and your advice on best top etc was spot on!

      I won’t touch them.

      Reply
    18. Victor

      I am wondering What is the trick to have videos like yours. I mean, they load and play almost instantly. Is it the format, the player, the hosting, What is it?
      Most videos online take a long time to load and play. Even the one’s from the top “gurus”. Not Yours. Can you share on this topic?

      Thanks

      Reply
    19. Eric Post author

      It’s a combination of all of the above, but mostly it’s the file size.

      I’ve formatted these videos as SWF, with a fairly low frame rate because there’s not a lot of action on the screen. As a result, the videos are less than 1MB per minute, even with decent quality audio.

      The small file size means it downloads quickly to your computer with no buffering.

      Also it is formatted to stream instantly when you click play, rather than loading a % of the video first.

      All this is done when I export it from Camtasia, which I talk about in lesson #41.

      Reply
    20. Victor

      Thanks Eric. You are clearly a different kind of a guy. I’ll be following you.

      Reply
    21. Eric Post author

      I’ve used some .info domains, but not specifically for SEO. So I do not know the answer, but my hunch is that they are slightly worse for SEO than the main top-level domain extensions. I believe this to be true partially because .info domains have been sold under several super-cheap promotions over the years ($1.99, etc), and thus were snapped up by a lot of spammers, sploggers, etc.

      Reply
    22. Eric Post author

      I believe you can choose whether you want it to automatically renew or not. You could choose the option to NOT automatically renew.

      Another option would be to simply register the domain for a longer period of time (like 5 or 10 years), then you won’t have to worry about it.

      Reply
    23. Daniel Taylor

      this the best program i’ve on to in 5 years of doing online business. i never got all the tips. this program is for people like who is internet stupid. so thanks eric. at least you are honest.

      Reply
    24. Christain

      If i already have a domian name and website, what do i need to drive traffic to my website?

      Reply
    25. melanie

      ERIC, i’M TERRIBLY THICK SOMETIMES…I WANT TO REGISTER A DOMAIN NAME THEN I’M TOLD DO NOT USE A FREE EMAIL ADDRESS. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CREATE A PAID FOR ONE…..DID I MISS SOMETHING?

      Reply
    26. Ralph

      Eric, the tips are wonderful. I have a question for you. How does I turn a book in pdf into an ebook that cannot be reproduced or resold without my consent?

      Reply
    27. Eric Post author

      I show how to make an ebook in lesson #47:
      http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson47/

      You can password protect your PDF, which may prevent it from being resold, but there is not a 100% reliable way to protect an ebook.

      Reply
    28. Eric Post author

      That is a catch-22 isn’t it 😉

      I teach how to setup an email address on your own domain in lesson 26, but you have to register the domain first.

      Most registrars do allow some free email addresses. For example they might not allow hotmail, but maybe they allow gmail or some other email provider.

      Most ISP’s (your internet provider) also offer email addresses, such as Comcast, Qwest, etc. If you can use your address given to you by your ISP, that should work.

      Reply
    29. Eric Post author

      I will be covering web traffic in lessons #72 – 85.

      Reply
    30. Glen

      Sir I have a site and is hosted.:: americanfarmclocks.com but is incomplete and not sure where to go from here w/ all I would like to put in this site or how to add any thing. In the few short lessons I have read from you I have learned more than the expensive programs I have tried. I just wish I had run on to you before. Thank You

      Reply
    31. man

      lol,this is a good lesson but i already buy a domain name not to long ago.this lesson is good for next time when i buy a new domain name.

      Reply
    32. Ray

      please ignore my last post i mispelt one of the domain names i have. although i already have 2 domain names which are http://www.ebooklion.com and the second one which im getting help with which is http://ebooklicious.com. todays lesson gave me food for thought when choosing a domain for other products.

      Reply
    33. fidel pavot

      thanks eric for the domain information. the informations are great. i had little information
      about domain and i did not payed too much attention to it, but with your lesson, i understand now how important it is for a business that want to look professional.thanks again.

      Reply
    34. Jorge Dutra

      I enjoy your lessons very much and yes I am still kicking with creativity. —- JAD

      Reply
    35. Julie

      Great lesson Eric. I’m trying to get a domain but the ones I chose are already taken so I’m left with a looong name.

      Reply
    36. Elizabeth

      Hi Eric,
      Love it, awesome lessons. Working on my domain name, i need to get it right. Thank you so much. WOW

      Reply
    37. Lloyd Hrdlichka

      Hi Eric, I registered a domain with Dreamhost back in October, and went with their 2 year plan for $190.80, with next payment due on 10-05-2012.

      I did not know anything about how to properly name a domain at the time, I was told in my previous training to set this and that up ASAP!!, and the domain was one of the items in the lineup, and I was following instructions from a trainer with the name that I will only reveal with initials(R.B.), and his recommendation was Dreamhost as he must be an affiliate of it, and I hope it is a good one for what I paid for it??…I will have to find a evergreen product that will match my already name domain “lloydsmarketingsolutions.com”, and there is no reason why I cannot make something fit, unless you see something that I don’t at the moment before proceeding further in using it?…Friends, Lloyd.

      Reply
    38. Nicolas Tan

      Hi Eric,

      What is the different between: create a sales page of your products and create a website of your products.

      I understand that to create a website, I need to have a domain name. How about creating a sales page of the products, do I have to have a domain name for it?

      Thank you action man eric.

      Reply
    39. Micah

      Hi Nicolas,

      You would still need to own a domain name to upload your sales page to.

      A sales page is just one page people may view when they visit a website.

      A website may be filled numerous pages, including sales pages, pages with download links for purchases, testimonials, reviews, etc.

      Reply
    40. Micah

      Hi Lloyd,

      If you sell a product that provides marketing solutions, your domain name should be great.

      Reply
    41. Mona

      Hi Eric,

      What do you think if I use a domain name with the number 365 in it. Suggesting what you do in a year? Like Turn365.com?

      Reply
    42. Eric Post author

      I think it’s not bad, if it’s applicable to your business. I generally prefer not to use numbers, but there are some exceptions. Keep in mind, it’s usually best if your domain makes it evident what your business is about.

      Reply
    43. Kenny

      Eric,

      First let me thank you for the extremely valuable and helpful lessons. I am planning to create a blog for mostly personal reasons in the short term and is not the income producing project I am pursing. However, the subject is in a very large and competitive market and has potential to generate income down the road if people start reading it. For that reason, I want to put it in the best position now.

      I can choose my preferred blog and domain name using high value (meaning oft searched) key words, but with a .us extension (.com and .net are not available). Alternatively, I can choose a less desirable name (from both a keyword and personal preference perspective) but with a .com extension.

      Which would you suggest I choose? If it matters, the .com and .net sites are empty, but they are owned by someone else (they requested about $4,000 for the .com extension).

      Thanks.

      Reply
    44. Kenny

      I noticed my original comments hadn’t posted yet so I thought adding a little more detail might help.

      I did more research and found a few other options (and I might be wrong about how much each key word is searched for, but I still like my first choice best). The keywords are Weight Loss vs. Fitness or Fit. Here are the domains I came up with (in order of personal preference for the phrase – i.e. ignoring the extension), any thoughts on which I should choose?

      MyWeightLossJourney.us
      MyWeightLossGuide.net
      MyWeightLossProgress.com
      MyFightForFitness.com
      MyFightToBeFit.com
      MyFitnessSuccess.com

      Again, thanks for the fantastic lessons (and all the free advice you offer in the comments)!

      Kenny

      Reply
    45. Kenny

      What are your thoughts on using a .mobi domain extension in addition to your standard .com or .net? Is it necessary? useful? useless?

      Thanks,

      Kenny

      Reply
    46. Micah

      Hello Kenny,

      That’s a high price to pay, when you could try another domain name for under $10, to test your product initially.

      Also, have you considered changing your domain name by using hyphens. While Eric doesn’t prefer this method personally, many hyphenated domains still do very well! It may be a good fit for what you’re offering.

      Reply
    47. Micah

      Hello Kenny,

      If you’re catering to users on mobile devices, .mobi extensions are a great option!

      Reply
    48. Micah

      Hello Kenny,

      While it’s best to keep your domain name under 4 words, MyFightToBeFit.com is pretty eye catching, and memorable!

      Reply
    49. jaco

      hi eric. thank you very much for these amazing lessons, you are truely a wise person indeed. eric when i try to load some of your lessons, it doesnt want to load completely, the longer ones more than the other. can you please give me some advice? thank you again for a great service.

      Reply

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