Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watch me choose a domain name for my site

As promised, I'm letting you look over my shoulder as I build a new website,

If you visit Website Building 4 Newbies, you'll notice the first step is niche research (also known as keyword research).

I already know I'm offering children's music classes, even if it isn't promising, because I love it. So did I skip this step? Yes and no.

Google's AdWords tool is a free tool for doing keyword research. It can help you find a good niche. But it can also help you find good keywords to use in your domain name and web content.

So I looked up "childrens music" and "family music". You can't use apostrophes in the domain name, which is why I didn't use it in the search.

Turns out "childrens music" gets about 60,500 monthly searches for the exact phrase, and "family music" gets about 4,400. If the number is over 3,000, that's promising. The tool also said "family music" is far less competitive than "childrens music". So I should go with, right?


When I Googled "Family music" I found it gets 278 million organic* results! Wow, that's a lot of competition! And the results aren't necessarily targeted to my audience of parents with very young children.

"Childrens music" gets 47.3 million organic* results. That's still a huge number. Probably too big. But surprisingly, it's much lower than the "family music" results.

What about competing with pay-per-click ads? Google's tool tells me if I place AdWords ads, "childrens music" will cost 60 cents per click, while "family music" will cost 51 cents.

I'm hoping to avoid paying for AdWords, or I might analyze this more carefully. But the 9-cent difference is not a huge.

Now, realistically, I'm not likely to get up in the search engines for either keyword. But you never know - it doesn't hurt to be optimistic, right?

So I decided to go with "childrens music."

In this case, either domain name would probably have worked as well, but it's worth checking with the AdWords tool. It's not unlikely that your niche might include some great keywords with a lot less competition than this.

Next time, I'll tell you where I registered my domain and how I avoided losing my chosen name to a practice known as "front running" or "domain tasting".

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Wishing you peace & prosperity,


*Organic search results are the natural, non-sponsored search results.

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