Owning a domain name is very similar to owning a piece of property. The location of the property often dictates the price, just as a specific domain name can drive up its value. Both are becoming increasingly scarce as more people, and more purchases begin to consume the available stock.
Perhaps most importantly is the similarity from a business perspective: the easier it is to find, the more customers you’re going to have. With literally millions of domains clamoring for attention online, securing the right name has never been more important.
In this article we’re going to cover strategies for developing your name, in addition to explaining common web-related terms, plus some of the frequently-made mistakes to avoid.
As a Realtor you’re already responsible for understanding an entirely separate language specific to your profession. Internet technology is no different, here are some of the basic terms to get acquainted with:
Domain Name – The basis for this whole article, your domain name is your address online separated into two parts, i.e. hostgator.com:
- Part one is the name you will get to choose if available (hostgator).
- Part two is the wording after the dot, called the TLD or “Top Level Domain,” (.com).
TLD – Everyone whose been on the internet has seen the .com, .org, or even .net domain extensions, but many don’t realize .realtor and .realestate are now available due to over saturation of the more common TLDs. Intuitively people are shown to use the .com extension by habit, so if you can, it’s a good idea to start with .com, and then consider purchasing other extensions which can be rerouted to your main site.
Buying the Domain
In order to officially own a domain name you must go through an accredited registrar. This process gives you exclusive rights to the name, while also letting everyone else know it’s off limits for a specified amount of time based on how long you register for (Usually 1-2 years at a time).
The Top Considerations For Choosing The Domain Name
Now that you have the basics understood, it’s time to select your domain name. As an asset to your business’ success it’s important to separate what appeals to you, and focus on what works.
1. Focus On The Local Search
As we mentioned earlier, location is one of the primary aspects to the real estate game. Your domain name is no exception. When people use a search engine to find home listings it’s almost always done by typing in the location first, down to the specific area.
Your domain name should include the city or region your listings are being posted in. This is good for prospective clients to find you, and it’s great for your SEO.
2. Your Domain Shouldn’t Be Your Name
Even though your domain name will be registered under your name, it’s not usually beneficial to have your full name in your primary URL. Instead, try buying a domain name with your full name, and certain key words like real estate, realtor, the region you service, and then link it back to your official domain. Most names cost $10 or less and so owning the ones pertinent to your names and services will only stand to increase your overall visibility.
3. Shorter URLs Are The Way To Go
How many business domains can you remember off the top of your head? Of those, I bet they’re relatively short and specific. While many think “NewYorksBestRealtyCompanyPeriod.com” may produce great results in the search engines, sadly longer URLs are less likely to be found.
A great way to shorten URLs is to use the abbreviation of your location, i.e. sfrealty.com, opposed to having someone type out San Francisco.
4. Make Sure Your Name Is Easy To Spell
For instances when you’re giving out the URL of your website verbally, it’s extra important that your name can be understood by everyone you tell it to. Complicated names and foreign words can be miscommunicated easily, leading to lost clientele.
The best way to determine if your potential domain name can be understood verbally is to call a few friends and ask them to try and spell it out. Also, try avoiding any double-lettering as it can be easy to trick the eye. (www.denverrealestate.realtor)
5. Be Descriptive With Your Niche
As a Real Estate agent you know there is a tremendous difference between selling a 1-bedroom condo, and a luxury custom home in a gated community. Your potential clients will also know the difference and will want to click on a domain specifying their market. If you work in the luxury home market in San Luis Obispo, ideally you would want to own SLOLuxuryHomes.com, over SanLuisObispoRealEsate.com.
Clearly there has been many companies that have made successful brands without specifying location and niche – Google, Samsung, Ebay – however, running a successful Real Estate business starts local with smart marketing integration.
Finding the Right Name for You
While you might already have the perfect name in mind, it’s never a bad idea to take your intuition one step further and do keyword research to see what people are looking for.
We suggest using the services provided by Moz.com, specifically the Keyword Explorer. Here you will be able to search a city and initial key term, like realty. Moz will then provide hundreds of related searches based on what people are looking for and how often.
Do you have experience purchasing a realty domain? Tell us about it in the comments below!