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Choosing a Domain Name
Now that you’re research has been completed and your poker concept solidified, it’s time to start building your online presence. Our first step is to decide on a domain name.
I’ve done my research, I’ve taken good notes, and I have enough material to start building my website. I’m a good 7 card stud player, but have much to learn, but I think I know enough to offer some valuable information to the general public.
So, the first important point to our SEO strategy – the domain name SHOULD CONTAIN some or all of my targeted keywords. Since I will be writing about how to win at 7 card stud, I need to think about what kind of searches my target audience would be conducting.
I want to teach people how to play 7 card stud well, and be profitable at it. So, my target audience would probably be searching for, “7 card stud”, “seven card stud”, “how to win…”, “how to beat…”, etc. There are tons of variations out there – but I’ll start by focusing on one. People could be searching on the number 7, or the word seven. They could be searching for “help”, “tips”, “hints”, or “strategies”. They could also be searching for the singular version of those aforementioned terms.
Utilizing the Overture tool, I searched on the keyphrases “7 card stud help” and “seven card stud tips”, but did not receive any results. Then I looked up “seven card stud strategy” and found 107 searches in November, 2004. I also looked up “7 card stud strategy” and found a 164 searches. So, now I know that people use the number 7 and use the word strategy more often when searching for information on 7 card stud. These would be my keywords that I would be targeting.
Now, searching for available domain names, I did find that 7cardstudstrategy.com was available, and so I purchased it. And I actually did purchase it a few months ago. This domain name is important because Google and other search engines consider your domain name when weighing the relevance of your website. The domain name plays a vital role to your website’s ranking in the SERP’s. If someone types into Google my exact domain name – 7 card stud strategy – and performs a search, Google will likely return my site in the SERP’s (assuming I’ve implemented my other SEO tactics) . If the domain name was BobsPokerSite.com, and everything else was the same, Google would return the site with the relevant domain name before returning BobsPokerSite.
One of the crucial factors in an SEO strategy is the domain name. Now that you have your poker concept in mind, think about the searches that visitors would likely perform. Use the Overture Keyword Tool to help narrow down the possibilities. Then search available domain names that combine some or all of your keywords.
If you cannot find the right domain name utilizing your keywords, there are two things you can do. Your first option is to consider a different extension. Try a .ORG or .NET extension. Google and the other search engines DO NOT CARE about the extension. You can still receive a ton of search engine traffic, regardless of the extension.
Your second option is to consider hyphens in the domain name. Google considers a hyphen to be a whitespace, or irrelevant character. I could have registered the domain name 7cardstud-strategy.com, and that would have worked just fine for the search engines in this scenario. However, avoid a domain name that uses more than 2 hyphens. For example, 7-card-stud-strategy.com is pushing the limits, and Google may consider such naming conventions to be SPAM. And if that’s the case, Google could penalize your website and remove your website from their SERP’s.
Ideally, you can find a domain name that includes your keywords AND is easy to remember. However, if given a choice, pick the domain name that includes your keywords – using hyphens or a .ORG extension, or whatever. It’s more important that Google finds your website than it is for your cousin to remember that domain name.