iPad laptop

Your website represents your business and is one of the most important investments you can make. Putting together a well-designed website that contains rich and engaging content, speaks directly to your target audience and incorporates SEO best practice can provide a firm and enduring foundation for your online success.

Before you get to the finer details of website creation, it’s a good idea to review your niche, angle and target market. Finding a suitable domain name is another vital part of putting together a successful website. Let’s find out more:

Picking a profitable internet niche

This is one of the essential starting points for a successful internet business. Consider your angle and your target market. Ask yourself; is your niche a profitable one, with high customer demand?

Try to really think about what makes your company more attractive and compelling than the competition. Can you find innovative ways to speak directly to your audience and meet their needs? Can you offer new services or think of different ways to market your product?

The following factors are key to achieving a profitable niche:

Determine your traffic potential

  • Use a keyword tool to check monthly search volume
  • Search multiple niche keywords. Low search volume often indicates poor traffic potential.
Research your competition
  • Search keywords in your niche to see who is ranking and what is ranking
  • Pay attention to URL structure - short, descriptive URLs help users to visualise what to expect from the page and search engines to have a clearer understanding of what a page is about
  • Evaluate the competition. Use a backlink checking tool to take a closer look at the links to the competition. Reputable tools include: Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs and Majestic SEO.
Think about profitability
  • Are people buying products and services?
  • Can your product or service fit in the demographic?
What’s your angle and does it have potential?
  • Creating a unique angle allows you to carve your place in the niche
  • Ask yourself how you can fill the competition’s void
  • Think about what your company is doing well and what you could be doing better
  • Find out if your competition is lacking features you can add
  • Don’t forget to use Google Trends to gauge the interest in a niche. If it’s going up steadily, there’s potential; if it’s going down, the window for potential is closing.
Choosing an appropriate domain name

With nearly 113 million .com domains currently in use, picking one that’s memorable and accurately reflects your brand has become more important than ever. Your domain name is a crucial part of building a successful website and defining your business online.

A successful domain name must include three essential factors: a clear mention of your brand, creative composition and compact construction.

It’s also vital that your domain name is easy to say and spell. Anyone should be able to pronounce your domain; think about facebook.com and twitter.com. Ask yourself if your domain passes the “radio test”. If you heard your domain read aloud on the radio, could you and your potential visitors spell it correctly the first time? Is it virtually impossible to mistype it after hearing it?

Consider your branding

Branded domains help enormously with word of mouth marketing. Your domain name is the most important marketing tool to create buzz. More than 200 million domain names are registered, but only an estimated 5-7% of these are premium enough to resonate with most people.

Branded domains also build integrity in earning links. Which of the following two domain names is more credible?

infinityaerials.com vs. cheapdallastvaerialinstallers.com

You could also think about building a domain name around meaningful words with mass appeal, such as savings.com, fly.com or health.com.

A branded domain that works well is dogwalker.com. Its founder, Eliot Silver (eliotsblog.com), says that many domain investors weigh the value of potential for brand development higher than the value of current traffic or revenue. His website sees around 10,000 visits a month, with 20-25% from direct navigation.

Try a creative approach

Most single word domains are taken, but you can try a more creative approach to finding a domain name that fits your brand. Take a look at these ideas:

  • Compound two whole words – e.g. FlightsCity
  • Blend parts of two words together – e.g. Microsoft
  • Affix a word with a suffix – e.g. Shopify
  • Make up a completely unique name – e.g. Etsy, Odeo
  • Tweak a word – e.g. Travelocity
  • Use a phrase – e.g. WhoIsHostingThis.
Brainstorming names is worthwhile, as having a clear and meaningful domain name can impact massively on your long term success. Visit these sites for some further ideas: www.domainr.com, www.domaintyper.com and www.namestation.com.

Try to avoid hyphenated domain names as they have no branding and little SEO value. They detract from credibility and can act as a spam indicator, making it hard to earn links. Hyphenated domain names also have a negative impact on word of mouth as they’re difficult to say without spelling it out. According to domainnamesales.com, type-in traffic accounts for 50% of all website visitors and hyphens cause a loss in type-in traffic because people don’t recall them or their placement.

Ultimately, you don’t need to be an Internet whizz kid to create a successful website, but making an extra effort can really pay dividends. Invest some time and energy in building your online presence, content and reputation now and you’ll reap the rewards in the long term.

By Joe Roberts from WhoIsHostingThis.com