f you haven’t built a website yet, and you are looking for a good domain name for your website, you should consider using a good keyword or keyword phrase as your website domain name. This could certainly help with getting traffic to your website, especially if your website is oriented around a specific product, set of products, or service.
Your first step in building a new website is to do research to find the best “keywords.” What is a keyword? It is a word, usually a phrase that is typed into the search bar of a search engine – Google, of course, is the most popular, but Bing and Yahoo are also used to a lesser extent.
What you want to do is to find out what keyword phrases are relatively popular. You don’t want a phrase that is extremely popular, as that would make it very unlikely that you ever get on the first page in the search engine for that particular keyword phrase. You also don’t want a phrase that is so unpopular that you rarely, if ever, get anyone searching for that phrase. What you want is something in the middle – something that people search for, but not too much.
Using Google’s Keyword Planner
In order to find keywords, it is good to use Google Keyword Planner. You can sign up to use this application if you have a Gmail account; if you don’t, then you might want to sign up. Now please take careful notice: once you sign up for Google Keyword Planner, you will go to a welcome page where they will ask you for your email address and website address. If you click on the “continue” button, you will end up having to create an ad campaign, which means including a credit card number (it won’t be charged). If you don’t want to go that route and give your credit card number away just yet and start an ad campaign (And why would you? You may not have a website up and running yet!), your other option when you get to the welcome page is to click on “Skip the guided setup.”
After you get past this welcome page, you will go to the home screen for Google AdWords. On the top of this page there will be a menu bar. Click on “Tools and Analysis” and a drop-down menu will be shown. On that drop-down menu, click on “Keyword Planner.” A box will show up asking the question “What would you like to do?” You have four options: “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas,” “Get list volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups,” “Get traffic estimates for a group of keywords,” and “Multiply keyword lists to get new keyword ideas.” You will be using all of these except the third one (“Get traffic estimates for a group of keywords “) to get good keywords.
Searching Keywords and Ad Group Ideas
At this point the next step is to click on the link that says “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.” You will use this as a means to discover good keywords that you can use for your website name. Now, when you click this link, a menu will show up on your screen. Where it says “Your product or service,” write what you are thinking of using for your website name. For “Your landing page,” don’t worry about that right now. For “Your product category,” if your website is going to be about a specific product, then put that in this blank.
Under “Targeting” click on the country, language, and search engine to find keywords for that criteria. For example, You might put United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom for country, English for the language, and Google for the search engine.
On the bottom right, where it says “Customize your search,” click on “Avg. monthly searches.” You can make this whatever number you like. There is something to keep in mind about this, though: if you choose a lower number, like a minimum of 2000, you will more easily rank higher in the search engines; if you choose a higher number, like a minimum of 10,000, you will have a more difficult time ranking in the search engines, but because there are more people searching for that keyword, you might luck out and eventually get a lot of traffic. Just keep that in mind when you plug in a number for “Avg. monthly searches.”
For all the other criteria, it is recommended that you leave them all “as is.” Once you are done, click on “Get ideas.” You will end up having a list of different possibilities that you could possibly use for the name of your website.
Finding Search Volume for a List of Keywords
Another thing that you could do is to use the other tool that says “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups.” The last tool allowed you to discover different possible keywords that you could use as a website name. This tool allows you to find how much search volume there is for different keywords that you plug into it – that way you could get a better idea what website names might help you get more visitors. Of course, you might not care about finding a name for your website, but if you don’t have a name yet, consider using this tool with your ideas.
Once you click on this tool, you should see a screen show up with a box that says “Enter keywords,” and underneath that will be another box that says “Targeting.” Now, in the top box, type in your list of potential website names, with a separate keyword phrase on each line. Once you have typed in all the phrases, in the “Targeting” area, change your parameters based on what you want – or you can just keep it with the parameters it started with.
Once you are done filling out that information, you are now ready to find monthly search volume for that list of keyword phrases. So, click on “Get search volume.” Once you do this, you will see the search volume for each phrase.
Make a list of the possible domain names that you can use based on this information.
Shortening Your Domain Name List
If the number of people searching for that keyword phrase is really low, then you might want to think about naming your website something different, and erase that keyword phrase from your list. On the other hand, if your search volume is extremely high, it usually means that it will be very difficult for people to find your website, especially if your website is brand-spanking-new, because you will not be on the first page for that phrase, but possibly be several pages in, and might not ever get seen – you might consider eliminating these keywords from you list also. The best search volume is going to be between 2,000-10,000.
Once you have your list of possible website names based on keyword, and have shortened that list, you can now go on to your next step, which is a search to see if those keywords, or keyword combinations, are open to being used as a website name. When you are ready, read the next article in our series, “Finding an Open Website Name.” Or, you could just do a domain search to see if that name is used already.