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Marketing Academy Secrets #9: How to Choose the Perfect Doma…



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In episode #9 of Marketing Academy Secrets, we reveal some tips and tricks for choosing the perfect domain name for your real estate website.

Let’s start by talking about a URL, or “uniform resource locator.” This is the online address where a page or post on your site can be found. For example, http://placester.com/academy is a URL, which directs you to our Real Estate Marketing Academy. The domain name, in this case, is “placester.com”.

When deciding on a domain name for your site, you want to think about it in a way that’s compelling. People need to be able to remember it, people need to be able to spell it, and it also needs to have something to do with your business. One of the things we see a lot in real estate is that people don’t choose a domain name that relates to their business’s locality. This is a huge missed opportunity. If you’re based in Boston, for example, you may want to include “Boston” in your domain name.

You also want to make sure that — if possible — you include your area of expertise in your domain name. When someone is reading a URL, they’re trying to gather a bunch of information to make a decision. What they’re trying to decide is, “Is this a URL worth visiting? Or should I move on and continue my search?”

Domain Name Endings

While there are lots of really interesting domain name endings out there, like .me, .us, .mobi, and .biz, most people still default to .com. So, if possible, you want to get a domain name that’s a .com. The .com ending is popular, it’s got history on its side, and people naturally type it in when they’re visiting a website directly.

Why Shorter Is Better

A shorter domain name is always a lot better because you really need to have someone be able to remember it. Sure, it’s fine if someone’s searching online and they come across your site: a long domain name won’t cause any problems. However, if you have to verbally tell someone a URL or give them a business card (if you still use those!), a shorter domain name is better. Most people have very short attention spans and you want to make it as easy for them as humanly possible.

What’s in a Name?

Let’s talk a little bit about made-up domain names. We understand the reason why people do it. It’s hard to get a short, four- or five-letter domain name that’s an actual word. However, if the word you choose isn’t in the dictionary, most folks aren’t going to remember exactly how you spelled it. So, what that means is that you’re going to require a lot of marketing budget to engrain that in someone’s mind. If we think about the company Evernote (www.evernote.com), for example, it’s not really a real word. But, over time, because so many people use that product, we now know how to spell it and they’re easily found on search. It’s very easy for them now that they’ve established their brand. If you’re just starting out, however, it will be tough to get people to remember a made-up word that you’ve come up with.

Lastly, let’s talk about your name: The only people who really care about your name are 1) your parents and 2) you. And while I wouldn’t dissuade you from getting your own name as a URL — I think it’s really important — having a site for your business tied to your name doesn’t really make any sense. This is because most people aren’t searching for your name. What people are searching for are answers to their questions. So, if it happens to be about real estate, or dentistry, or legal matters, they’re not searching for a person: they’re searching for an answer. And if the domain name can help facilitate a connection to that answer, you’re going to have a lot more success with it.

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