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One question that we get a lot from InvestorCarrot members and people looking to use the internet to drive leads for their business is, “Does my real estate domain name really matter for search engine optimization?”
Even if they’re not looking at search engine optimization a lot of people have that question. You know, what should my domain be? Should I have my keywords in it? Should it be location dependent? That kind of thing. In this post, we’re going to go through some suggestions on when you’re thinking about buying your domain, what you can go through, and help you make the decision.
Guide to Choosing the Right Real Estate Domain Name
First of all, on the SEO side of things, Google’s last Algorithm update was in March 2017. “Fred” (Unconfirmed) rolled out what appeared to be a major update, with reports of widespread impacts across the SEO community. From research performed by Search Engine Land, it looks as if the “Fred” update targeted low-value content sites that focus on revenue, not users. Based on their analysis, affected sites could have seen as much as a 90% drop in traffic.
Exact Match Domain Names
What an exact match domain is, is when you use the exact same words all in a row, all in one phrase, in your domain as the phrase as you’re looking to rank in Google for.
As an example, if you’re looking to rank well for Las Vegas foreclosure properties, and you own the domain LasVegasForeclosureProperties.com, which I do, and I actually had a domain ranked very well for LasVegasForeclosureProperties.com … Las Vegas foreclosure properties at one time. After a 2012 Google update came out, that website, which was a very low quality website, it didn’t have much content on it, was immediately banished out of the search results, because it was a low-quality website and it had the exact same keywords in the domain as the keywords I was looking to rank for.
Google’s stance, is an exact match domain, your exact keywords for the phrase that you’re looking to rank for, or in your domain, will not help you with SEO unless you have good quality content on your website. Good quality, unique content on your website.
How Do You Choose the Right Real Estate Domain Name?
How do you choose domain names? Well is the way that I choose domain names, and I own well over 100 domain names in the real estate market, I own some insanely great domain names like LasVegasForeclosureProperties.com, like some other really great ones. If you’re thinking, “Hey there’s not any good domain names anymore.” Every single month I go and buy some insanely great domain names just off of this one website that I use. There are some great domain names out there still. The way that I like to choose domain names is rule number one, don’t over think about it. Don’t buy the domain name just for SEO, but if your keywords happen to be in the domain, awesome. That’s a kind of a bonus. Do not overthink it and don’t buy a domain just for SEO reasons.
Buy a domain that you like, buy a domain that kind of follows some of these criteria:
- It’s simple.
- It has as few letters as you can possibly get in it.
- Try to avoid dashes.
- Include your location.
- Make it easy to remember.
- Use a .com or .net.
Simple and Limiting Your Letters
LasVegasDiscountForeclosurePropertiesForSale.com, or something like that, would be way, way too long. Las Vegas Foreclosure Properties isn’t too bad. That’s probably about the max amount of words that I would want in one of my own domains. Make it simple, simple that someone can remember, at least when someone is reading it, it makes sense. Las Vegas Foreclosure Properties makes sense, but Foreclosure Properties Las Vegas might not make quite as sense when you read it literally. Just make sure that it’s simple and has as few letters as possible.
Try to Avoid Dashes
A lot of people will have domains similar to Buy-My-House-Cincinnati.com. It’s not that you can’t have that, it’s not that Google is going to really penalize you a bunch for it, but it’s just hard to read. It’s kind of clunky if you’re putting it on a postcard, or putting it in some direct mail, or even putting it on AdWords. We want to make it to where it’s something that people visually can immediately see what that domain says. When we put a bunch of dashes in it, it makes it harder for people. At the very most, if you had to have a dash in your domain, at the very most just have one dash. No more than one dash, preferably no dashes.
Use Your Location
Including your location can be a good thing, but it’s not required. One of the biggest questions we get from people when they’re looking at getting their domain names, is they say, “Hey should I include my city in it? Should I include my keywords? If I’m in a Duluth should I make it Sell House Fast Duluth, or Sell My House Fast Duluth?” That’s really up to you. We have a lot of members who use just their company name in there. We have a lot of members who use a generic phrase like that, that’s Sell Your House, and then their city. It’s up to you on what you like. I’m not going to say that one or the other is going to help you with search engine optimization, just make sure that the one you choose makes sense, it’s as simple as it can possibly be, and it has as few letters as you can possibly make it.
Ideally, make it easy to remember. Like I said, going back to the Las Vegas Foreclosure Properties, that’s pretty easy to remember. Foreclosures In Las Vegas is a little bit tougher to remember because it’s got an S thereafter foreclosures and it’s got the word “in”, in there. It’s not something that someone is gonna immediately potentially remember. This isn’t a requirement but ideally, make it as easy as you can possibly make it memorable.
Just in case you branch out and do some other marketing. Let’s say you start to do postcard marketing or bandit signs and you’re gonna include your URL or a billboard or radio ad. For those instances, people have to remember the domain. Try to find that one that could maybe grow with you, if you plan on doing offline marketing as well.
Go With .com First. If That Fails Go With .net
Go with the “.com” as much as possible. A lot of people say that there’s not any good “.com’s” out there anymore. That’s not the case. I buy good ones every single month. Go with the “.com” as much as possible or the “.net”. I’m not a huge fan of the other ones. I’m not a huge fan of the “.co” or some of the other ones out there like that. Now the reason for that is this, that people are just trained to put “.com” in their domain names. That’s kind of the mental default.
If you have a website that is BuymyhousefastAtlanta.net, and someone saw the ad somewhere, they might remember the Buy my house Atlanta part but they might put “.com” mentally because that’s what we’re trained to do. If your competitor has the “.com”, you could be trickling off traffic to them and not even know it. Try to with a “.com” as much as possible, or if you’re gonna do a “.net”, do the “.net” as long as no one’s really using the “.com” effectively.
Examples of the Type of Things You Could Look For…
Here are some examples of things you can look for. Base it off of your company name. That’s one great way to do it. If you have a company name, it’s a name that’s kind of decently easy to remember. Go ahead and do that. As an example, company name “Real Property Mavens.” That’s not bad. It’s got three words in it. It’s memorable, it’s easy, it rolls off your tongue. That could be your domain for that, let’s say for your main company site.
That’s one way to do it or you could base it off of your keywords plus your location like previously mentioned. PittsburghHouseBuyers.com, WeBuyBakerHouses.com, SellMyBakerHouseFast.com, iBuyBakerHouses.net. Those are all really good. They’re descriptive. They tell the person, what it is that you do. Immediately seeing domain, they can tell what service you provide, that it’s in the location that they’re at and that you can potentially buy their house. Those are really good examples of a domain that includes your keywords plus your location.
You could just base it straight off of your keywords. If you’re going to invest in multiple different cities, let’s say… These examples are just for motivated sellers, but let’s say that you’re doing it for cash buyers and note sellers. The same concept plays here. You could base it off of your keywords alone or just your company name if you are planning on branching off into multiple locations with that same website. FastHouseOffers.com. That’s a great domain name. It doesn’t include a location but it also doesn’t bind you down to just one location. You could technically use that website for multiple different states, multiple different cities, which is really cool. RapidHouseBuyers.net. Same thing, that’s just a good example.
Where Do I Buy Domains [IMPORTANT]?
You might be asking, “Where do I buy domains?” Well, there’s a lot of places to buy domains out there and they’re not all created equal. If you haven’t bought your domain yet for your InvestorCarrot website’s, please, please, please pay attention to this. Make sure you do this because this could save you a ton of time and money in the long run. Some people will buy domains from a company like 1and1.net or from some other ones out there.
What we have found is that some of those domain providers are insanely unfriendly as far as what they let you do. Some of them actually require for you to pay them an extra fee to even do some of the very simple, basic things that you need to be done to attach the domain to your Carrot website. Do not buy a domain from a provider like this. Buy a domain from one of two sources. They’re the easiest, they’re ones we’ve been using for years and they’re the easiest to get your domain hooked up to InvestorCarrot.
The first one that we prefer is a company called Namecheap. You can go directly to there site namecheap.com or through oncarrot.com/domains. For full disclosure purposes that link will take you through our affiliate link. We will earn a couple cents if were to purchase a domain through here. We’re not referring you to this website just because we earn an affiliate commission. We can earn an affiliate commission off of sending you to any website out for domains, including GoDaddy or even 1 and 1. This is truly the most user-friendly to buy domains. Namecheap makes easy to attach your domain with InvestorCarrot.
You could also buy it from GoDaddy. Godaddy.com also is an effective way. But, they are going to pass you through a bunch of upsells and there’s an extra step that they make you jump through to get your domain attached to Carrot.
Can I Switch My Domain Later?
One question we get a lot from people on domain stuff is “Can you switch your domain later?” Let’s say you have a domain and you attach it to your InvestorCarrot website today or you have a non-InvestorCarrot website and you attach it to it. Then 6 months down the road or a year down the road you say, “You know what? I’d like to change this” or even right now, while you’re setting up the website, “You know what? I’ve got this domain here, I’m not sure if I want it long-term but for now, I’m just going to attach this one to it and I can change it later.”
Ideally, you stay with the same domain that you set up your website with and you don’t change it. Technically speaking, yes, you could change your domain name at any time. Just know that whatever search rankings that you were able to earn up to that point, even if it wasn’t high rankings, even if it was page four or five, those are going to disappear.
Those are gonna disappear as soon as you change your domain. All of the backlinks that you may have built with that domain, all of the social media activity that you may have built with that domain, are gonna go with that domain. If you attach a fresh new domain to your website, it’s gonna be starting from scratch.
Just know that if you do change your domain, you’re going to be starting your search engine optimization efforts from scratch. Everything that you did before that is going to go with that previous domain.
Get Started Now!
Just get implementing! Do not get stuck on choosing your domain. Do not get stuck in the process of sitting there, thinking that you’ve got to get it perfect. Come up with something that’s catchy. Come up with something that’s good enough. Come up with something that could be tied to your company, keywords or whatever.
Go out there and get creative with searching for domains. If you’re looking for motivated sellers, phrases like “Sell House” and then location or “Sell My House” plus location or “Sell My House Fast” plus location. Location “House Buyers”, location “House Buyer”. That kind of thing. “House Buyers In” location. There’s a lot of different variations of ways that you can really build great domains.
Reach out to us if you need help getting started. Do not get stuck on the domain choice. Longer than a day or two … If you’re taking weeks to pin down your domain choice, you’re honestly taking way too long and you’re stunting your own progress.