When you’re talking about selling a product online, SEO is everything. What’s SEO, you ask? That stands for search engine optimization. What’s all that gobbledygook mean? We’re talking about making sure your website comes up first in Google when someone searches for words related to your product. For example, I decided to sell white gold wedding bands for women, right? But here’s part of the secret–I found my domain name before I decided on what product to sell. Why? Because I knew I needed a good domain name for whatever product I was going to sell so that I could come up first in Google and get all that traffic and sell a bunch of stuff. And sadly, most good domain names are taken these days, so although I might have wanted to sell something else, if I couldn’t find a good domain name, I gave up and started looking at selling something else. Getting a good domain name is that critical.
Here’s how it works:
Melissa is going to elope with her boyfriend. They’re not into the big showy wedding, and they don’t have much money, they just want to get married. Melissa thinks she can get a better deal on wedding rings online, and she likes white gold. But her fiance likes tungsten, so their rings aren’t going to match, but who cares, she’s still going to get a white gold ring. So she goes to Google and types in “white gold wedding bands for women”. At this point, how does Google decide what website will be the first one to come up, since there are 7.2 million webpages that Google can find with the words “white gold wedding bands for women” on them?
You see, Melissa is most likely to click on the first website that comes up in Google, but what if she clicks through to that website and it’s a website talking about how women who buy white gold wedding bands are stupid? Melissa isn’t going to be very happy with that result, so she’ll go back to Google and click on the second website that comes up. If that website is talking about how women who buy white gold wedding rings are more likely to die in fiery auto accidents, she’ll go back and try the third. If the third is talking about how to clean your white gold ring, then she might give up and go try Yahoo! instead. Google doesn’t want that to happen, so Google is going to try its darndest to give Melissa exactly what she’s looking for. It can be trickier than it seems. How does Google know that Melissa is looking to buy a ring, vs. doing research on what type of women buy such rings for a college thesis paper vs. looking for instructions on how to clean a white gold ring? Well, that’s what Google employs a few thousand PhDs for, and that’s what Google doesn’t tell publicly.
But even if Google doesn’t come right out and tell us how it decides which website will show up first for a search like “white gold wedding bands for women”, there are ways to figure it out, and there is an entire industry of people, namely SEO professionals, who spend their time figuring how how Google works, and then selling their knowledge and expertise to people who need to get their websites ranking well in Google for certain keywords. That’s what I do for a living, and one of the things I know makes a big difference is what domain name you own. In Melissa’s case, all other things being equal, if there are two websites trying to sell her a white gold wedding ring, and one website has the domain whitegoldweddingbandswomen.com, and the other is ice.com, the first domain is going to come up first, and sell more than ice.com will. Now, the thing is that all other things never are equal, but that comes after you buy your domain and shouldn’t influence your decision as to what domain to buy. Buy a domain that includes your keywords somewhere in it, and you’ll be more likely to rank well and sell well.