Selecting a Domain – Website Setup Part 1

If you aren’t here to nit pick skip the first paragraph.

Now, this can and will be argued about actually being the first part to setting up a website but for what I am doing this is step one.  Technically you should probably have an idea about what you want your website to be and have some goals set.  However, in my case I just want to have a blog site setup where I can write about things once in a while. I get excited about some things that I would love to write about but don’t and other times there are things that I just really think people should see.  I am a web developer by profession and would like to get better with web design so along the life of this site I will be trying to make a wordpress theme or find one I like.

Picking out a Domain Name and Registering It

Me being a not so creative type, this is probably the hardest part of the entire process. Since this site is not really about any one thing in particular I decided to go with a domain that wasn’t about anything in particular. For me, I like for domains to be short, easy to remember, and easy to tell people what they are without having to correct someones assumptions. Like having the number 1 and when you tell someone about the site you have to say it is the number 1 not one. Z Q P dot M E. I hope I hit my mark on this one but to be honest I forgot it a few times right after I set it up so maybe I failed.

At any rate you can find a bunch of different places that will tell you if a domain is available or not. I used GoDaddy.

Initial Godaddy Domain Name Search
Initial Godaddy Domain Name Search

After your first search the page it takes you to will try to give you suggestions but I ignored all of that.  Below is pretty much what you will see when you try to search from the main page.

Godaddy Domain Name Search First Result
Godaddy Domain Name Search First Result

From here you can actually search much more quickly which is nice when searching for a domain name.  If you click “search again” you will get your input box back to type in.  At this point they use a technology called AJAX which makes your search more automatic.  From here you just type and after you have more than 2 characters it will automatically show availablity below.  This is nice because a lot of domain names are already taken so you will like have to try a bunch of different ones if you want to keep your domain short.

GoDaddy Domain Name Search With AJAX Instant Response
GoDaddy Domain Name Search With AJAX Instant Response

Once you figure out what you want you just add it to your cart and go through the checkout. General rule you should ignore most of the things they try to upsell you on unless you know it is something you really want. One thing that they will want to sell you on is hosting though. And if you do pick hosting you are likely to get a nice discount on the domain name price. Hosting you will have to pay for the full year (or 2 or 3 whichever you pick) up front. It is only about $60 or so. Another decision you will be faced with is how long you want to register the domain for. If you are new to it and not sure if you will keep it up one year is best. If you are serious then search engines will rank you better if you do 2 or more years.

Tips To Help Your Website Succeed in a Search Heavy World

For a website to succeed, no matter what type of site it is, the website will need to have good organic traffic. Organic traffic is the traffic a website gains from search engines such as Bing or Google. While no one truly knows everything that search engines take into consideration when deciding what website to show their users, we do have a lot of good ideas of what helps. A few simple things that you can do to try to get your site off the ground with SEO (search engin optimization) and user recognition.

  • Pay for more than 1 year of domain name registration

    Search engines do not want to send a user to a fly by night website, they want to give the user the best matching, quality information. If the domain is registered for 2 years or more it shows that the site owner is more serious about it’s success

  • Have a domain that is memorable

    This is so that you site is easy to remember. People are much more likely to visit your site if they can get to it quickly and easily. Studies show that a domain 7 characters or less is best.

  • Write distinct and quality content

    The web is all about information and search engines are used widely to gather information so quality content is the biggest key to SEO.

  • Good use of keywords (keywords are words or phrases that tell what you site is all about). There are several key areas that you need good keywords for SEO.
    • Website Title
    • Meta Keywords
    • Meta description
    • your HTML <hx< tags (this are tags that are in place to tell search engines what important points are on your site they are h1,h2,h3,etc and the lower the number the more important)
    • Inside actual content. You can’t just put keywords in the main search areas and expect traffic because bing and google are smarter than that. They will not send people to your site if you don’t have good content. They will also check the percentage of keywords to other words to make sure you aren’t just spamming keywords (keyword stuffing)
  • Here is a MAJOR keyword research tip that everyone needs to pay attention to when looking for keywords and keyword phrases that they want to try and get a web page, post or website ranked for:

    1) DO NOT Mistake the amount of search results returned by a google search as your competiton! Here is a real example:

    The search term “Black without the quotes in Google returns 28,300,000 results.

    BUT YOU ARE NOT competing against 28,300,000 articles.

    For the term “Black Dogs” there are only 10 competitors.

    THAT IS RIGHT! You are competing against 10. The first 10 in the google search results!

    The first 10 results are all that count because your goal is to get on the first page of Google and in order to do that you have to get ahead of 1 or moreof the top 10.

    SO DO NOT look at the total results as your competition and let it scare you!

    OK one more tip:
    Do not listen to the “Guru’s” who will tell you to do an allintitle and allinurl search and gauge your competition by that number.

    If you want to do it right, do the allintitle search (in the google search bar enter allintitle:”black dogs”) and right down the first 10 results then cross reference those against which ones are in the regular google search. Same with the allinurl google search (in google enter allinurl:”Black Dogs”).

    By cross referencing these two with the first ten returned using googles basic search you can get a feel for how much competition there is for you if you give your article page or website the added juice of having the exact match keyword phrase in the url and title!

    There is more but that can be saved for another time, this is a great place for you to start!

    Mark