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Good Website Names – What Do They Have in Common and How I Picked Mine

Now that I have identified my audience and done keyword research it is time to pick my authority websites domain name. But first I want to look at what good website names have in common.

Guidelines for Picking a Great Authority Website Domain Name

Easy to Remember – A domain name should be easy to remember and not involve “clever” spelling. I am not going to pick studentlns.com or something similar.

Shorter is Better but not Required – The length of the domain is not as big a deal as making it easy to remember. IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com is a very long domain name but is also an incredibly successful authority website.

No Hyphens – Hyphens open up a lot of opportunities when it comes to available domain names but they are not easy to remember.

Include Your Target Keywords – This is basic SEO and a must, make sure you have your

.COM is best – For micro-niche websites I will pick up .net and .org URLs but for my authority website I only want a .com

Exact Match is Good – Even if I cant find an exact match with a lot of traffic getting an exact match that includes my keyword

Don’t Be Miss-Leading – If there was a great domain available for like applyforstudentloans.com and then my website was about paying off student loans it would cause confusion. Make sure the expectation the URL creates matches the content on the site.

Is a Branded Domain Name Good? – This one I dont have a strong position on, is studentloanninja.com(branded) better than studentloancost.com(not-branded). Right now I prefer going after an exact match non-branded domain name for the SEO benefits.

My 2 Golden Questions To Picking the Right Name/Domain:

After looking at the tips I think they can be summarized into 2 key questions…

  • Does it contain my keyword
  • If I were to verbally tell someone my domain be easy for them to remember and type in

 

Steps To Picking My Domain Name

I know the student loan market is extremely competitive so it will be unlikely I will find an exact match domain name that has any search volume.

My Authority Website Will…

“help graduates reduce the cost of their student loans so they don’t hold them back in life”

Blue-Ocean-Strategy-Niche-Selection

Blue Ocean / Made To Stick Method for Identifying Under-served Market

So to help me pick my domain name I wanted to get a refresher on what the best practise is online for picking an authority domain name. Below are a summary of the best guidelines that I agree with.

 

Step 1 – Brainstorm 5 Ideas

Review my seed keyword list and identify 5 domains I would be happy with. I don’t expect any of these to be available but it is a good brainstorming tool.

  1. (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
  2. RepayStudentLoans.com
  3. HowToRepayStudentLoans.com
  4. PayingOffStudentLoans.com
  5. EliminateStudentLoan.com (this might be misleading)

At this point I can check if any of the 5 are available at NameCheap bulk domain search tool

 

Search For Available Domains With Namecheap

Search For Available Domains With Namecheap

As expected all these domains I am hoping for are taken…

Good Website Names Are Already Taken

Good Website Names Are Often Already Taken

Step 2 – Find Domain Names That Are Available

Using LongTailPro this process is very easy and was shown here. However, it is also pretty easy using two free tools…

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
  2. Monikor Bulk Domain Search (requires a free account)

I first enter my list of keywords I will be targeting from my SiteMap into the Google Keyword Tool.

How To Use Google Keyword Tool

How To Use Google Keyword Tool

Then I copy all the keywords I think would make a good website name.

 

Select-Keywords

Select Potential Website Names From Keywords List

Copy 50 keywords and paste them into Monikor Search Tool

Monikors Bulk Domain Search Tool

Monikors Bulk Domain Search Tool

 

After a half hour and a few iterations here is what I have…

Available Domain Names

Available Domain Names

 

As a comparison, you can use Long Tail Pro (aff link) and in very few steps have a list of available exact match keywords…

  1. Enter Seed Keywords
  2. Adjust Settings:
    • Fetch Additional Information – Domain Availability – Check Exact Match Domains – .com
    • Apply Filters – Has Available Domain
  3. Hit Generate Keywords

Result is shown below…

Long-Tail-Pro-Available-Domain-Names

Use Long Tail Pro To Identify Exact Match Domains

Try Long Tail Pro free for 10 days – Click Here (aff link)

Based on the LongTailPro results I have added a few more options to my final selection…

  • StudentLoanRepaymentOptions.com
  • HowToPaybackStudentLoans.com
  • HowDoI(My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
  • HowLongToPayOffStudentLoans.com
  • StudentLoanRepaymentPlans.com

 

Step 3 – Pick One of The Available Domains

After considering both the search volume of all the exact match domains (which were all low) and the 2 questions I identified above.

I have decided to go with…

 (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)

Step 4 – Register Domain

I use NameCheap(aff link) to register all my domain names. I have complete video series on how I set up my Authority Website here.

 

Tools I Use To Find Good Website Names…

Below is a list of the tools I used to find my domain.

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
  2. Monikor Bulk Domain Search (requires a free account)
  3. Long Tail Pro (aff link) – Free 10 day trial available
  4. Namecheap (aff link) – where I register all my domains
What do you think? Did I make the right choice? Do you consider (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) a good website name?

 

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

13 comments
Duncan says September 9, 2012

Great tips on finding a good name. Back when I started building websites online(early 2000’s) there were many available domains but not nearly the same kind of tools to know what a good name would be.
That’s my older timers take on it.
Dunc

Reply
Miki Vicioso @ My Learning Process says September 9, 2012

I believe the name you picked is really good. Took a while to come up with it but is not misleading and is straight to the point. Good job on that one.

Reply
    Jon says September 10, 2012

    Thanks Miki, yes it did take awhile and I wasnt able to get one with a lot of exact match search traffic but that is to be expected in a competitive niche where I limit myself to .com’s. Thanks for stopping bye.

    Jon

    Reply
Jai Catalano says May 16, 2013

Great tips Jon. I base it off of a few factors. For an authority site I want there to be competition on the keyword but not so much comp that I can never get in. I have a site prokneepainrelief.com about knee pain relief that is highly competitive but not ridiculous that I can’t get on the first page. I am on page 2 and climbing. Hope to be on page 1 soon.

Reply
Andrew Lemon says November 15, 2013

Hi Jon. Another great article; easy to follow and sets out the steps very clearly. I’ve been using Spenser Haws’ LonTail Pro for over six months now and found it an excellent KW tool, inparticular it’s domain availability function. It’s software I’ve commended to friends as it really helps to cut down the time involved in the KW and domain search tasks. Look forward to reading more of your work.

Reply
    Jon says November 17, 2013

    Hi Andrew, yes I think he created something pretty awesome with LTP.

    Reply
Mehedi says December 11, 2013

Nice article Jon. as a newbie internet marketer sometimes i have to register some exact match domain. So your article feed me some knowledge next time when i register a new domain.

Thanks Jon

Reply
Sascha says March 13, 2014

Hi Jon, by reading one of your other posts it seems that you have a great knowledge of buying expired domains. I’m curious to know why you didn’t go that route while looking for a domain name for this project? Aged and trusted domains tend to rank quicker, don’t they?

Reply
Bronson says May 24, 2014

Solid tip here Jon. I never thought to use keyword planner to find domains. I’ll give this one a shot.

Usually for new domains I use a domain name generator like impossibility or leandomainsearch and they will spit out domains like cooltargetkeyword.com, smarttargetkeyword.com, or targetkeywordboss, and the like.

btw, I want to thank you for your expired domain guide, I just picked up beauty today, 15yr history, edu links, yahoo directory links, ton of PR 5, PR 4 links.

Reply
    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Bronson

    im glad that I have been able to help you out and you have found success.

    All the best.

    Cheers

    Jon

    Reply
Mark says September 5, 2014

Jon, is an EMD still the way to go in 2014?

Reply
TM says January 6, 2015

Good post Jon.
In regards to Brandables names
– Always have end user value but are usually way overvalued by the owners themselves.
– Most are hope and pray brandables.
– Hanging on until some make an offer.
In 2015
– I see the exact same thing as every year and no change in value
I try to keep things simple.
http://go.shr.lc/1BtpFEe

Reply
Tyler Golberg says August 12, 2015

Domainr (https://domainr.com/) is a great tool for finding a domain name that includes letters from the extension.

Reply
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