Domain name suggestions.

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Venturewest, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I am getting ready to launch my web campaign. I am building a main landscaping website, and then a couple of other websites focusing on outdoor lighting, ponds and waterfalls, and outdoor kitchens.

    I am still picking some of my domain names. Is it better to stick with my company name, or use domain names descriptive of the particular services.
    I was thinking of going with my state name and then
    And do that for each specific website.

    2nd question: Is it worth it to create 3 or 4 similar but separate websites concentrating on one service per sight.

    Will this help my rankings to have the "my state" when people do a search or a local search for those terms?

    If I do 3 separate sites, is it alright that they are built with the same template as long as they are distinct and good looking?

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    I tried to pick my way through some threads to see if I could find discussion on this, but I decided this is the fastest way to get a good answer.
  2. cbscreative

    cbscreative LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Venture, first a warning I tell my clients right away, and i need to say it here. When you search for an available domain name, buy it IMMEDIATELY. In as little as a few hours, it can get snatched up and held in limbo. So compile your list, do the search, and buy each one you need. It is also best to get both the .net and .com if you can. Don't worry about the other choices.

    Another recommendation is to NOT use the same company for domain registration as you intend to use for hosting. GoDaddy is a good source to buy domain names, but their hosting is nothing special. Also, they will try to sell you on several things you don't need. I recommend the "private registration" for $10 a year, but the rest of the extras are not needed. The private registration will help reduce Spam because your contact details are not publically available. Plus, there are some companies out there who will try to get you to fall for bogus domain renewal offers. Private registration should prevent this from happening.

    On the domain choices, if you can get your company name, do it. The descriptive domain names also are beneficial. If there are common misspellings of a domain you want to use, get those too if you can. You may also want to consider "kitchen" vs. "kitchens" and get both if you think users could easily make the mistake of using one or the other.

    You do not need to build sites for all the domains you choose, but having them is cheap insurance. DO NOT build duplicate sites though. You can redirect all of your domains to the one you actually want to use. If the sites are similar but not duplicate, you can use each one as you see fit.

    A good web designer can help you make the best decisions, but you want to find someone who will ask about (or help develop) your marketing plan. The web design industry is filled with people who just design to order and sell on price. Your needs are best served by people who design with a purpose and goal in mind. If they have to stoop to lowest price to get your business, they can't be much help to you in building your business.

    BTW, if some of this sounds a bit technical, that's where professional help will benefit you. It does seem daunting at first, but you will get more comfortable over time.
  3. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Thanks for the advice Steve. I just need to get busy now putting it all together.
  4. cbscreative

    cbscreative LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    You're welcome. Congrats on moving toward a web presence. Most areas I've seen have few if any web sites for any type of home improvement services, and the sites they do have are seriously lacking. Having a nice site gives you a huge advantage.
  5. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    cbs has some great advice.

    I too would recommend one website with a page for each individual service.

    Business name is best and then optimize to get the local search results you require.

    There are a few guys here that can help you in both avenues. A website without optimization is not a good idea.

    Good luck...
  6. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Thanks guys. Having one website with pages devoted to differant services makes sense, but there are just so many landscapers out there that offer everything. To let people know that I specialize in lighting, or specialize in water features or outdoor kitchens, I thought it might be beneficial to have designated sites for those offerings.

    I plan on spending some time researching SEO, I trained at a technical school for web design for a couple of years a few years back. A lot has changed, so I need to get current. My market is so untapped here on the web that I feel I can completely dominate with some effort.

    I am sure I will be seeking more help in the future. Thanks again.
  7. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Venture west, maybe instead of "specializing" in 5 or 6 areas you could be a specialist in 1 area? Outdoor living spaces for example...

    A specialist concentrates on a core area... Outdoor living spaces encompasses all you want to do...
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    If your area is flooded with similar websites, and you mainly want to market the website via ads, cards and brochures, then SEO can be virtually tossed out the window as long as the code is at least clean.

    Depends on how saturated things are.

    Long story short. Suppose 100 of us, all hire the same, and best web guy available, and he super-tweaks the SEO of all 100 sites to the max. Who will be number 1, 2 and 3 ??

    Coin toss - right ?

    At least keep a short name.

    I saw a name so long the other day, I can't even remember it. It was about as long as:

    No kidding. Just about like that.

    Everybody tries to learn SEO these days. And soon everyone will have sites coming out our ears. What few people study, is how to get people to their sites via everything else. Like every email signed with the website. Advice pages that customers can go to, etc.. The URL in big letters first on a business card, and the phone number in small letters at the bottom.

    I had a whole web page on that once. Not sure if it's still on my server, or still in my computer files.
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,970

    I would suggest instead of your state and outdoor kichens using outdoorkitchens and then your state. I think it would rank better.

    GoDaddy is a good source for DomainNames. One of the nice things to is if you search for a name that is taken they will suggest alternatives. For example in what you are looking for is one of the names listed as available and to me would be a pretty good choice in domain names.

    My own feelings about hosting agree with cbs. I have been very unstatisfied with GoDaddy's hosting. I have two sites hosted with them now and even though I am paid ahead for over a year I am switching from them in the next week or two.

    I would also suggest if you do end up with a handful of websites to put a link on each to your other websites. Links can help a little with search rankings.
  10. cbscreative

    cbscreative LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    mdvaden, you make some great points about SEO, but I doubt the saturation will really happen. In bigger markets, there will be lots of sites competing, but most I've seen have very few sites at all, and those are easily outdone. I strongly agree with the need to promote a site through offline means. Your trucks and trailers should have the web address so plainly visible that only the blind miss it. A web site is part of your success, and must use all the other things working with it.

    The one thing I would add to your points is to make sure the site is worth visiting. That ought to be so obvious I shouldn't have to say it, but the Internet is plagued with bad design. You can do SEO until you get the number one spot on Google, but if your site sucks, it won't sell. The truth is, you don't need high volumes of traffic, you need targeted traffic that converts to sales.

    Statistically, it takes 7 visits before you get a sale. You need to have people returning to your site. If you follow md's advice above and get them through means other than search engines, they arrive at least partially sold. Make them glad they came regardless of how they got there. When you do this, your site is in the elite group of less than 5% of the market. If you think the majority are right, keep in mind that 80% of all businesses fail within 5 years, and most of those are in the first year. Doing the same thing everyone else does can be dangerous.

    I now return you to discussing domain names, but these things are all inter related.

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