Choosing a domain for your site shouldn't be stressful, but it does require thoughtful planning. This easy guide will tell you how to choose a domain, and walk you through the details you should consider.
How old is the domain? Generally speaking, the older a domain is, the more likely it is to have a history. That history can be extremely valuable if the site naturally earned links over the course of its time, which in turn builds domain authority. For this reason, your oldest active domain is usually your best choice.
Note: If you participated in link-building or other potentially spammy SEO tactics in the past, consult with an SEO expert before deciding on an existing domain.
Branding & Memorability
Your domain is your calling card, so choose something catchy and easy for users to remember. The domain you choose will essentially serve as your online address, and people are more likely to return if they know that address off by heart. Having great branding is especially important if you or your company are well recognized within the community (or plan to be)!
Shorter is better. A short domain, with only one or two words, is easier to remember and people are less likely to make spelling errors. A short domain will also look fantastic on business cards and other promotional materials.
How It Looks
Finally, you want to consider how your domain looks and whether it's easy to read. Watch out for joining words that end and start with the same letter, and other awkward letter combinations, because these can be confusing:
Make sure the domain you decide on is clear, allowing people to easily read what it says and avoid spelling mistakes.
"Keywords" is at the bottom of this list—that's intentional. It's too common for real estate agents to forget about all of the above in the quest for keyword integration. The end result is a domain like austintexaspropertyhomesearch.com*, which is too long and difficult to remember.
You don't need a keyword to earn search engine visibility. Go to any search engine right now and try a few real estate searches; you'll notice that many domains use keywords, but also note how many don't. I can think of several successful, high authority REW sites off the top of my head that don't use real estate keywords in the domain:
If you can incorporate an area or keyword without compromising on branding, memorability, length, and appearance, then go for it. But the reality is that most short, attractive and well-branded domain names that also include a real estate keyword have been taken. So forget keywords, and come up with an awesome domain name that's concise and well branded instead.
*The austintexaspropertyhomesearch.com example is not a registered domain at the time of writing.