When it comes to real estate investing, you must understand the power of leverage: Using a small amount of work to achieve a large payoff. Whether you get leverage from other people’s money (OPM), mortgages, virtual assistants, or automation, you know that leverage is a key part of the investing biz.
Leverage is just as important when it comes to domain names. Your website’s domain name may seem like a small thing but it plays a huge role in your website:
- At its most basic function, a domain name is words that people enter into their browser’s address bar to your website.
- Your domain name is also a marketing tool – it’s a memorable word or phrase (functioning a lot like a sub-brand, slogan, or tagline) that you share with people so they’ll visit your site when they’re in front of their computer.
- Your domain name is also a search engine optimization (SEO) tool. Search engines use the domain name as part of the algorithm that helps their automated systems understand what your website is about so they can index it properly… which allows your audience to find it when they search.
- Your domain name is a sales tool, presenting the benefits of your solution to other people’s real estate problem. (Not all websites do this but many websites use this strategy. If your site’s domain name says something like “ColumbusOhioTurnkeyProfits” then you’re using your domain name as a sales tool).
As you think about what your website’s domain name should be, review this checklist of key factors in a great domain name and try to incorporate as many of these as you can.
And one more thing to be aware of: These are general guidelines and recommendations. You may find that you have a domain name that “breaks” some of these rules but still works for you. We’re not suggesting you change your domain name if it works.
These guidelines are meant to help you find a great domain name if you don’t have one yet.
1. What does your audience want?
Consider what your audience is looking for. Be specific. For example, motivated sellers aren’t automatically looking to SELL their property. They’re looking to solve a financial headache, or they’re tired landlords who are sick of dealing with tenants, or they’ve inherited a property that they can’t afford to keep.
There’s a similar situation on the buyer side, too: Rent-to-own tenants are looking for an affordable property without a credit check; cash buyers who are also investors might be looking for turnkey properties.
Action: Figure out what your audience wants and state those goals in a few words.
2. What are they searching for?
You’ve already thought about what your audience wants to achieve, but it’s important to know that what they want to achieve isn’t the same thing as what they search for. That’s because people are focused on their pain, and, they’re not thinking with your investor mindset. For example…
- It’s less likely that someone will search for “sell my property” and rather “sell my house”. Or on the buyer side, if your buyers are investors looking for turnkey properties then their ideal outcome would be passive income that they earn while laying on the beach, but they’ll probably search for “turnkey real estate” or “cash flow investing”.
- It’s also more likely that searchers will use the word “my” (“Sell My House”) rather than “a” (“Sell A House”) or “your” (“Sell Your House”). In fact, the search term “sell my house” has nearly 6 times more search volume than “sell your house”… obviously, because the searcher is thinking about their (“my”) house.
Action: Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about how they would search Google for information about their situation.
3. Value, Benefits, and USP
There is a reason that sellers and buyers come to you for help. You offer them some kind of beneficial value. There’s something unique about your real estate solution that makes you the preferred choice for that seller or buyer. The hard part is for you to figure out what it is.
But once you know, you can incorporate that into your domain name as well. Do you provide really fast service? Are your offers all in cash? Can you close in two days? Do you do business in a different language? There are many reasons why someone would want to do business with you and your domain name is a place to highlight some of those reasons. FastCashRealEstateOffers.com or FreedomTurnkeyInvestments.com are a couple of examples.
Action: Think about the reasons that people do deals with you instead of your competition. What unique benefits do you offer that no one else offers?
Your brand is another factor of your domain name. If you do business under a specific operating name, that name is part of your brand and you may want to include it in your domain name. An example might be a business called Sunrise Investments. That could work as a domain name. However, your brand is more than just your operating name – it’s the whole experience that someone has when they work with you to sell or buy a property. If you’re a veteran who does deals, your domain name might be something like “veteran buys houses”, which could also work as a domain name.
Action: Think about your brand – both the name of your business as well as the experience people have when they work with you. List those components and see how they factor in.
5. Location specific (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Your location should be incorporated into your domain name. You may end up searching really well for a search term like “we buy houses” but that won’t help you if you buy houses in Oakland, New Jersey and you’re getting searchers from Australia looking for houses in that country. So choose a domain name that ideally highlights the area you do business.
Most searchers will localize their search by city and state (Phoenix Arizona or they’ll often shorten it to Phoenix AZ). If you do business in a larger area than just one city, consider including only the state. (In most cases, searchers won’t search for the county they live in – usually just city or state (however, there are exceptions to this rule-of-thumb).
Action: List the areas you do business and try to narrow down the list to a few larger urban centers where you do deals.
6. Clarity and simplicity
After you’ve considered all of the factors so far, it’s good to do one final check for clarity and simplicity. It’s easy to allow your domain name to grow and grow and grow as you try to squeeze everything in. Accept the fact that you won’t likely get EVERYTHING squeezed into your domain name and just come up with a few ideas that you like. The fewer words, the better; however, you can probably expect to have at least four or five words (SellMyMemphisHome or TurnkeyInvestmentsColumbusOhio).
- Aim for four or five words; avoid more than seven words.
- If possible, avoid short forms (use Phoenix instead of PHX and Columbus instead of CBUS), although it’s okay to use the two-letter postal abbreviation for your state (OH for Ohio, etc.). In highly competitive markets, it might not be possible to use Phoenix. As a last resort, turn to PHX.
- Remember that people will be typing these into your browser so try to keep them together as one single group rather than separated out by dashes (use TurnkeyInvestmentsColumbusOhio.com instead of turnkey-investments-columbus-ohio.com).
Action: Review your potential domain names and have other trusted people review them as well. You should also have at least one person review your domain names who is NOT a real estate investor (to give you an “outsider’s” perspective).
7. Choose a dot-com over other options
Domain names end in dot-something (like .com or .org). These are called “top-level domains” or “TLDs”. When given the choice between .com, .net, or .anything-else, choose .com. Although search engines don’t necessarily prefer one TLD over the other in terms of ranking, .com seems to be perceived by most American searchers as the most credible and legitimate TLD. The importance of building credibility stands in a 2015 study by searchmetrics.com. It found out that almost 75% of backlinks go back to .com domains.
And if someone remembers part of your domain name but not the TLD, they’ll type in .com by default. These attitudes are changing, especially as new TLDs are appearing, but .com is still preferred. If your ideal .com is unavailable, it’s probably better to seriously consider a different .com domain name instead of settling on the .net or .org TLD.
Action: Gather together the ideas you’ve come up with so far and start searching to see if those domain names are in use.
Your domain name for real estate is just as much a part of your business as your business name, your slogan, and your logo. It’s something you should think carefully about because, as we’ve mentioned earlier, your domain name does a lot of work for you as a marketing and sales tool. If you need to refresh,
If you need to refresh, then CLICK HERE to jump back up to the meat of this post: a step-by-step checklist of HOW to optimize your domain name for real estate.
7 factors to build a great domain name that will help grow your business for years to come.