Part one of the 8-Step Guide to Build and Market a Killer Real Estate Website is to choose a killer domain. For some of you, this may be a very quick process. For others, however, we’ll explain how you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to generate ideas.
To illustrate the different tools and strategies you can use to choose a domain, I’ll be using my father’s real estate company as an example. His company, Lake County Realty, is based in Lake Gaston, NC and I’ll be helping him build and market a new real estate website as the cornerstone of this series. Here is the process, I followed in researching and selecting a domain name.
To see if a domain is available, just type it into the domain checker below. The checker is run by Bluehost, which offers a domain and email for just $2.95/month, which is the best rate we’ve found to get started online.
Make Sure Your Existing Customers Can Find You
With many businesses, you are going to want the domain name to be the same as the business name. Many people who know your business are just going to type the business name with a .com after it and expect to see your website there. If this name is not taken, you should definitely register it. If you choose not to use this name as the main URL for your website, you can still have people that type it in and be directed to your website.
Keyword Research May Help You Choose A Domain That Will Let New Customers Find You
The most important source of website visitors for many businesses is search engine traffic from Google. A high ranking in Google’s search results when potential customers perform searches can make or break a business. As many of the people that rent and buy houses on Lake Gaston are not from the area, most of them are going to be researching on Google before choosing a firm to assist them with renting or buying.
Having the term that people are searching in Google as the domain name or as part of the domain name of a website can help boost the site’s position in Google’s search results. So in addition to considering the company’s name as the domain name for the website, I also want to consider potential domains that contain help bring Google search engine traffic. Specifically, I want to consider the terms that are searched for the most by his potential customers.
How To Know Which Terms Customers Are Using On Google
As a part of their Adwords product, Google actually provides estimates of the monthly search traffic that specific search terms receive. This is a very powerful tool and accessing the tool is free, all you have to do is register for a free account. Once you have logged in the keyword tool can be accessed by going to “tools and analysis” and then “keyword planner”.
After typing “Lake Gaston” into the keyword tool, and then selecting the “keyword ideas” tab, I get an estimate of the number of searches that search term gets per month, as well as search terms that Google feels are related to “Lake Gaston”. It looks like this:
For our purposes of choosing a domain name, we can ignore everything but the search term (i.e. lake gaston north carolina) and the average monthly searches, as the rest of the data relates to paid search terms which we are going to get into later.
Also, I want to focus only on the most highly trafficked keywords for now, as my research at this stage is only related to choosing the domain name. With this in mind the following terms jump out at me:
- Lake Gaston 5400 searches a month
- Lake Gaston NC 1900
- Lake Gaston Rentals 1900
- Lake Gaston Real Estate 1600
Next I go over to the Godaddy’s domain search tool and search for each of these keywords as a domain (so LakeGaston.com, LakeGastonnc.com, etc.). While it would be great for a real estate company to have any of these names, unfortunately all of them have been taken.
Since I still want to have “Lake Gaston” in my domain name, I decided to use the combination of the firms initials with Lake Gaston and luckily lcrlakegaston.com was open and I was able to register it with Godaddy (like I do all my domain names) on that same page for $8.19 . Ideally, we would like the domain name to be as short as possible to make it easier for people to remember and type it in without mistakes.
Your website domain name will show up on your business cards, advertisements, and on almost all marketing materials. Since there is a great deal of work that goes into updating your marketing materials, you may want to also take this opportunity to upgrade or re-design your company logo. Here is a great article which shows multiple real estate logos. If you already know what you like and don’t like, you should consider running a logo design contest with 99designs.
So now that I have my domain name. its time to start writing the outline for my website, which will be the topic of the next article in this series. If you are a new business and have not chosen a name yet you can learn more about how to choose the right name for your business here.
We asked 50 experts for their best real estate marketing idea. Click here to see what they told us!