Is your major source of traffic going to be organic search results or even pay per click (PPC) campaigns? Then it makes sense to focus your domain name on the main keyword you targeted when researching your niche.
For one, the domain name has an impact on telling the search engines what your site is about. A keyword focused domain name makes ranking in your target niche a whole lot easier.
Second, search query terms will appear bold in the Google Search Network. So your websites URL will be easier to distinguish from the competition. Also, it will show your potential visitors before the click that you offer what they are looking for.
However, buying a short tail domain name, consisting of merely one to two words, can be difficult.
A lot of top keyword focused domain names are already in use, many are parked, and some are being auctioned off for more than you might be willing to pay.
Don’t be afraid of long tail phrases when buying domain names. Too generic short tail phrases are likely to attract too large of a demographic.
Make sure you get both the hyphenated and non-hyphenated version when buying domain names. For long tail keyword phrases it is best to direct traffic to the hyphenated version of your domain. These are easier to read for both humans and search engines. Redirect any secondary domain names you buy with a 301 Permanent Redirect to your primary domain. This saves you from generating duplicate content.
For offline branding purposes you may want to consider buying a shorter, if necessary less keyword focused domain name that will be easier for potential customers to remember.
Buying Top Level Domains
I recommend using the .com extension for most online purposes. The .com top level domain (TLD) is recognized and remembered by most people as the default and legitimate web extension.
You may also want to consider buying the .net TLD web extension. However, I do not suggest only buying domain names ending in .net. Why? Simple. If someone else buys or owns the matching .com domain you may end up loosing visitors to them because people mistook their .com for you.
The .info TLD may sound interesting for certain business models. And with their low prices, buying domain names ending in .info can be very attractive. Still there is a very small problem with buying these domain names. Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you saw an .info TLD listed in a search engine result? The answer is rarely. The reason you don’t see them any more, they were greatly misused by scammers and have since acquired a bad reputation.
Don’t worry though, with a little creativity buying domain names can be fun. Some examples of services that use more exotic extensions to build their brand are bit.ly and del.icio.us to name a few. It is important to note that most of these sites buy the matching domain name with .com extension, too.
To conclude, buying domain names is often the first hurdle you face when you decide to start your online business. Because buying the wrong domain name can make or break your business it is important to get it right at the beginning. Once you have bought the right domain name the rest of the pieces fall into place easier, and your marketing efforts will be more effective.