Search Engine Marketing – Domain Name (Step 1)

This 5-step process will help you master the basics of search engine marketing. If your site has not been experiencing much traffic or relevant/targeted enquiries, then this should go some way to remedying that. Let's look at the first step - domain names.

Selecting a domain name is a very important element in this 5-step process. The first thing to check is whether your company/organisation name is available. Are you based in the USA, UK, Spain or other country? If you are, consider buying a domain name with the suffix for your country - if the the .com is available, buy it anyway - you never know how your business is going to grow.

Should your organisation name not be available, start taking a good look at the services or products you offer clients.
Selling books in Boston? Well, try out boston-books, bostonbooks, booksfromboston, etc.
Providing marketing consultancy to US companies? How about usmarketer, strategic-marketer, tactical-marketer.
A good web site for checking out domain name selections is Register. I would suggest putting a couple of keywords that describe your business into the search box - Register will throw up some possible combinations for you.

Some things to remember:
1. Your clients may type in the name of yor company, followed by the or .com suffix - so it may be worth buying one of these.
2. Find out whether you can get a POP3 mailbox for your domain name and, if not, how much will it cost you? I have used Names, GoDaddy and Easyspace
3. If you're a UK-based company, Google tends to list the domain names first.
4. I wouldn't recommend buying a domain name with too many words or characters - people WILL forget or mix them up!
5. Be careful not to buy a domain name using your competitor's business name or products/services.

Which are the main search engines?

The most popular search engines are Google, Teoma, Alta Vista and MSN. You mustn’t forget that companies that create search engine technology like Inktomi and Alltheweb, also provide results for some of the major search engines. Inktomi, for example, powers Hotbot. Another thing to remember is that most search engines provide primary and secondary search results to other search engines. One of the better search engines, and relatively new, is Teoma.

There has been a lot of consolidation over recent years and this has seen the disappearance of many search engines. The simple fact is that you have to target the major ones to get listed. If you’d like an overview of how the search engines work, take a look at Bruce Clay’s Search Engine Relationship Chart