Domain Names: A Primer For Beginners

Learn more about domain names in this primer for beginners.

Domain Names: A Primer For Beginners

This tutorial is part of our WordPress installation step-by-step tutorials, where we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog with no coding skills required.

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Your domain name is your unique web address.

Because your domain name is how most people will find your business online and identify with your brand, it’s important to have as much control of your domain name as you can.

Info

You can register a unique domain name for around US$10-$15 per year or less, depending on the domain name registrar you choose.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to register a domain name, go here:

Technically speaking, you don’t own a domain name, you lease it.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization responsible for managing and administering domain names worldwide.

ICANN.org

(ICANN.org)

You can learn more about ICANN by visiting its website here:

Here are some important things about domain names that you need to know:

Domain Name Registrant Details

Make sure that the domain name is registered in either your name or your business name. This is especially important if someone else has registered your domain name on your behalf (e.g. a web developer or web services agency).

Most developers will do the right thing when it comes to registering domain names on behalf of their clients, but occasionally, an unscrupulous developer will register domain names under their own name and then lease the domain back to their clients. This is sometimes done to ensure that clients won’t leave them …

Make sure that your domain name registration details are correct

(Make sure that your domain name registration details are correct!)

You can check your domain name registration details by visiting the website below, and entering the domain name into the search field:

http://whois.icann.org

Note: It’s typical for web developers or agencies who register domain names on behalf of their clients to enter their contact details in the ‘Technical Contact’ or ‘Admin Contact’ fields. The ‘Registrant Contact’ details, however, should be in your name or your business name.

Secure Your Domain Name Family And Business Brand

The other important aspect of controlling your domain name is to try and secure the entire domain name ‘family’ if possible, as well as social media usernames that represent your brand or business name.

This prevents your competitors from controlling online assets that could be identified with or mistaken for your business.

An example of a domain name ‘family’ is shown below:

  • yourdomain.com
  • yourdomain.net
  • yourdomain.org
  • yourdomain.info
  • yourdomain.co.uk
  • yourdomain.com.au
  • yourdomain.us
  • etc …

Having a web presence has become so important to how we do business today that anyone contemplating starting a new business seriously needs to consider whether to use a name if the domain name version is already taken by someone else.

Put yourself in your competitors’ shoes for a moment …

Would you go through all the bother and expense of promoting a new business if every domain name related to your business belonged to someone else?

Probably not. What would be the point of spending money and working hard to promote and advertise your business only to send more and more potential customers to someone else’s website?

By focusing too narrowly on your local market, you could fail to see the wider global implications of the importance of safeguarding your brand online.

For example, many small businesses in Australia will register a .com.au domain for their business, but not necessarily the .com version of the same domain. This is the same for business owners all over the world – businesses in the UK will register a .co.uk domain, South African businesses will register a .za domain, Canadians a .ca domain, etc., but not the entire domain family.

If someone else owns another version of your domain, they could benefit from the traffic being generated by your efforts.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s something that can be prevented and that can help you avoid headaches later on, especially if you start growing your presence online internationally.

Not owning all of the domains associated with your business can weaken your brand.

With this in mind, here are a couple of really simple and inexpensive strategies that will help you safeguard your brand online and help add a layer of protection against your competitors:

Strategy #1: Secure All Domain Names Related To Your Brand

As mentioned earlier, one way to safeguard your business brand online is to register all of the variants of your domain name.

Some of the most common strategies for doing this include:

  • Registering the .com, .net and .org versions of your domain (e.g. mystore.com, mystore.net, mystore.org)
  • Registering your domain internationally (e.g. mystore.com.au, mystore.co.uk)
  • Registering both the hyphenated and non-hyphenated versions of your domain (e.g. mystore.com, my-store.com)
  • Registering a number of keyword-rich domains related to your business – you can then use these to build separate sites focused on niches in your industry and drive targeted traffic to your main web site, or develop these domains into separate divisions of your business.

Registering multiple domains is a relatively inexpensive investment and offers many benefits and advantages, such as:

  • It gives you a local / global monopoly over the brand.
  • It prevents competitors from securing those domains and diverting traffic to their sites.
  • It stops people registering business names offline that are similar or related to your domain.
  • It can significantly increase the resale value of your business.

Think about it … what other strategy can you think of that for a few dollars per year, will safeguard your business brand online and prevent potential competitors both locally and internationally from promoting their business using a similar name as yours?

Now … you may be wondering what to do with all of those domains after you have registered them. The simplest thing to do is to redirect all of these similar domains that you now own to just one domain (e.g. the main domain that you will be promoting).

Here are a couple of simple ways to do this:

  • Domain Parking: You can park your domain on top of another domain
  • Domain Redirect: You can set up the domain with a simple redirect code which then sends visitors from that domain to your main domain.

Use domain parking and domain redirection to point visitors to your main domain or any other domains

(Use domain parking and domain redirection to point visitors to your main domain or any other domains)

Parking and Redirecting domains is a fairly simple process. You can do this in your webhosting control panel.

Once you have your domain portfolio secured, you don’t have to build a website for each domain. Just park or redirect your domain and you’re all done!

To register a domain name, see this step-by-step tutorial:

Strategy #2: Secure Web 2.0 Usernames

The web has undergone many significant changes. One of these is the increasing relevance and dominance of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and dozens of other social networks and bookmarking sites.

Establishing an online presence in all major social networks is important not only in terms of creating a growing awareness for your business online, but it also helps to generate new sources of traffic and customers for your products and services.

The FIRST thing to do, then, is to secure your brand name with as many social sites as you can before someone else takes your name.

Vanity URLs

Many social sites allow you to specify a username when creating an account that will then become part of your account’s web address for that site. These web addresses are typically called a vanity URL. By using your business name as the username on these sites, you can create vanity URLs that will help to strengthen your brand online.

Here are some examples of vanity URLs:

  • Facebook.com/yourbusiness
  • Twitter.com/yourbusiness
  • LinkedIn.com/yourbusiness
  • etc…

You can check to see if your desired username is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites by visiting the site below:

http://namechk.com

Namechk

(Namechk)

Type in your desired username or vanity url and click the button to check its availability at dozens of the most popular social networking and social bookmarking sites. A list of all sites where the username is still available will be instantly returned, allowing you to visit those sites and create an account using your chosen username …

Find out which usernames are available

(Find out which usernames are available)

Tips For Unique Or Trademarked Business Names

What if your business name is a unique or trademarked name?

The same advice given earlier applies here … register all domain names related to your business and create as many accounts as you can with social networking and social bookmarking sites using your unique username.

Register Keyword-Related Domains

There is one more strategy you can use to protect your brand online … register keyword-rich domains related to your products and services.

This works well for businesses that have an unusual brand name (e.g., think of ‘Hammacher Schlemmer’, the giant American Catalog company), but would also like to have control of the main keywords related to their products or services.

Using a completely made up example, let’s say that you want to build a global online brand with a funky name like HowDooYooDoo.

Using the strategies discussed earlier, you would register the domain name HowDooYooDoo.com and its domain family (i.e. the .net, .org, .biz, .us, etc ).

Now … what if one of the products you plan to sell through HowDooYooDoo is a line of funky greeting cards? The name ‘HowDooYooDoo.com‘ may be unique sounding and even have a fun, catchy ring to it, but it is meaningless to search engines (and probably also to most people searching online for ‘greeting cards‘).

What you would do in this case, is perform some basic keyword research first to see what kind of search volume there is for keywords related to ‘greeting cards’ and the keywords you are interested in (e.g. ‘funky greeting cards’, etc.)

Next, you would do a ‘bulk’ domain search to see what keyword-related domains are available.

You would then go through the list, select the domains that appeal to you and register these.

Once you have registered these keyword-based domains, you could then either redirect the domain to your main website or a subfolder of your site (e.g. ‘HowDooYooDoo.com‘ or ‘HowDooYooDoo.com/funky-greeting-cards‘), or build an entire network of sites (one for each domain you have registered), and make the content specific to the topic of your domain name (e.g. sell oversized greeting cards at ‘GiantGreetingCards.net‘, and sell funny birthday greeting cards at ‘FunnyBirthdayGreetingCards.com‘).

You could then add links on all of your sites pointing to your main website and catalog of greeting cards at ‘HowDooYooDoo.com‘ …

Point visitors from your satellite sites to your main site

(Point visitors from your satellite sites to your main site)

Once you have a few strategies in place to capture your visitors details (e.g. a newsletter), you can then direct visitors to all of the sites that you own and start building segmented customer lists.

To learn more about registering keyword-related domains or bulk registering domain names, see the tutorial below:

Final Tip – Find Expired Domains

You can search for keyword-rich domain names that have expired and add these to your domain portfolio. Expired domains are domain names that the previous owner has chosen not to renew. Once a domain name expires, it becomes available for anyone to purchase.

Every day, thousands of domain names expire. Expired domains can be quite valuable depending on a number of factors, such as domain age, domain name length, number of active links pointing to the domain, etc.

Be aware, though, that this is a highly competitive market – many expired domain buyers use sophisticated tools and software to identify and bid on keywords that are about to expire.

Search for expired domain names by visiting the site below:

Domain Management Panel

ICANN, the body responsible for managing domain names globally, assigns the actual task of processing domain name registrations and domain name renewals to accredited agencies called Domain Registrars.

For a list of worldwide ICANN-accredited registrars go here:

http://www.internic.net

Most leading Domain Registrars provide users with access to domain management services like a control panel that lets domain owners perform various administrative tasks such as managing contact and registration details, monitoring domain expiry/renewal dates, managing webhosting and security settings, etc…

Most Domain Registrars also require you to maintain a valid source of payment in its billing section (e.g. a current, valid credit card or PayPal account details).

If you plan to outsource your domain management, this can present a security issue, as whoever is managing your domain names may ask you to provide them with your full credit card details.

For this reason, I recommend that you consider either managing your domain names yourself, or entering the payment details yourself when setting up your Domain Registrar account so that only you have access to credit card numbers, security codes, etc.

Hopefully, the above information has helped you understand more about the importance of protecting your brand online and given you some new ideas and practical tips on ways to gain a massive competitive business advantage.

Domain Management  – Taking Control

The information below will help you gain more control over your domain name(s).

Outsourcing Domain Management

Use the checklist below if you plan to outsource your domain management:

  • Make sure that whoever registers your domain name creates a separate Domain Registrar account for your business and provides you with the account login details. See the point made earlier about keeping your payment details secure.
  • Confirm that all domain names will be registered using your name or business name and your contact details as the Domain Name Registrant.
  • Ask for copies of all domain name registration confirmation emails to be forwarded to you. Enter these details in your master document (e.g. your master spreadsheet).
  • Log into your domain management area and check that your domains have been set to ‘lock’ and ‘auto-renew’ in your Domain Registrar’s administration panel.

DIY Domain Management

If you plan to manage your own domain names, see these detailed step-by-step tutorials:

Also, search online or see your web hosting provider’s tutorials for the following:

  • How To Park A Domain Name
  • How To Redirect A Domain Name
  • How To Transfer And Manage Domain Names

Key Points To Take Away – Domain Names

  • It only costs around $10 – $15 or less per year to register a domain name for most extensions. Beware of anyone offering domain name registration services at a significantly higher cost, especially “official-looking” domain name transfer and renewal forms sent via mail from competing domain registrars.
  • Ensure that all domain names are registered under your name / business name and that the domain has been set to ‘lock’ and ‘auto-renew’ to prevent accidental loss through unauthorized transfers or domain expiration.
  • Register as many domain names in your ‘domain family’ (and keyword-related domains) as possible. This is the cheapest way to prevent competitors from stealing your traffic and protect your business brand.

Domain Names – Useful Resources

  • ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers official website.
  • WHOIS – Look up domain name registrant details (i.e. who owns the domain name.)
  • GoDaddy – Domain name registrar services, domain auctions, expired domain backorders, etc.
  • Namecheap – Domain name registrar services

Domain Names: A Primer For Beginners

(Source: iStockPhoto)

Click one of the buttons below to continue …

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Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains

Learn the difference between using subdomains, addon domains and domain aliases.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked DomainsThis tutorial is part of our WordPress installation tutorial series, where we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name with no coding skills required.

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In our WordPress installation tutorials, we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name.

Typically, you will want to install WordPress either in the ‘root’ directory of your server (i.e. what visitors see when they type in your domain address – e.g. www.mydomain.com) or in a subfolder of your domain (e.g. www.mydomain.com/blog).

Depending on what you want to achieve and your digital business strategy, you may also decide to do things like:

  • Register multiple domain names for different products or services,
  • Set up different websites with identical content,
  • Publish different content in separate areas of your existing domain,
  • Redirect visitors from other web pages or domain names to specific web pages on a new website,
  • Ensure that visitors who mistype or hyphenate your domain name reach you (e.g. my-domain-name.com vs mydomainname.com)
  • etc.

All of these domain configurations can be set up inside your webhosting control panel.

Useful Tip

You should already be familiar with the following tutorials:

In addition to the detailed tutorials in the WordPress installation module, we also suggest watching the video tutorials listed in our WordPress Installation Video Tutorials section.

Let’s take a look then, at some of the main domain types you will probably want to use and learn more about.

Subdomains, Addon Domains, And Parked Domains

Subdomains

Subdomains are used to divide your primary website into different sections.

Each section or subdomain is then seen as a completely separate area of your website.

This is useful if, for example, you have an English language website and you want to create a separate Spanish-language version of your site using the same “root” domain.

Your English-speaking visitors would visit your website by typing in your regular domain web address (e.g. http://yourdomain.com), and your Spanish-speaking visitors would access the Spanish version of your site by typing something like http://es.yourdomain.com.

As described in the official cPanel documentation site …

“Use subdomains to create memorable URLs for different content areas of your site. For example, you can create a subdomain for your blog that is accessible through blog.example.com and www.example.com/blog”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Subdomains

Addon Domains

Addon domains are used when you want to add a new domain name to your existing hosting account instead of paying for new hosting.

The cPanel documentation site describes addon domains as follows …

“Addon Domains are additional websites that are hosted on your account. Each addon domain has its own files and will appear as a separate website to your visitors.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Addon Domains

Parked Domains

There is also another type of domain called a parked domain (also called aliases). Parked domains point visitors to other domains while displaying the parked domain URL on the visitor’s browser.

Once again, if we refer to the official cPanel documentation …

“Domain Aliases allow you to point additional domain names to your existing hosting account. This allows users to reach your website if they enter the pointed domain URL in their browsers.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Parked Domains

Redirects

“Redirects allow you to make a specific web page redirect to another page and display the contents of that page. This allows you to make a page with a long URL accessible through a page with a shorter, more memorable URL.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Redirects can be set up to point visitors from one URL to a different URL in the same domain, or to redirect visitors from web pages on a domain name that you are no longer promoting to pages on a new website.

This is useful if, for example, you have great content on an old website that you want to duplicate on your new website or content with updated references.

Redirects

You can also inform search engines whether to treat the redirection as permanent or temporary.

Setting Up Subdomains, Addon Domains & Parked Domains

This tutorial provides more information on the difference between addon domains, subdomains, and domain aliases, and shows you how to set these up in your webhosting control panel.

Addon Domains

An addon domain makes it possible to host two or more sites with two or more domains on the same hosting account. Addon domains are useful if you want to register and promote another domain name but don’t want to pay the additional cost of having another web hosting account. In this case, (if your web hosting company allows it), the best solution would be to create an addon domain.

An addon domain, therefore, is just like having a separate website. You host or point your addon domain to a folder in the public_html folder of your main domain name. Like your main domain, you will need to register your addon domain and set the nameservers for the addon domain to point to the same nameserver as your main domain name.

If your main domain name is called domainname.com and your addon domain name is called addondomain.com , then you could access your addon domain in one of the following ways:

  • addondomain.com
  • domainname.com/addondomain
  • addondomain.domainname.com

Benefits Of Using Addon Domains

One of the main benefits of using addon domains is that it helps to optimize your web hosting space. The addon domain uses the same space and bandwidth as your main account and has its own CGI and FTP access, as well as its own email accounts and web statistics, but it doesn’t have its own cPanel (web hosting manager) account.

Summarizing then, the benefits of using addon domains include:

  • Since typing addondomain.com into your web browser displays that exact domain name in the address bar, it’s like having a completely separate website.
  • You can create multiple domains and websites on the same web hosting account.
  • You save money and web space by using one web hosting account instead of having to purchase separate hosting accounts.
  • Your addon domain shares the same resources as your main domain name (i.e. disk space and bandwidth).
  • Your addon domain will have its own FTP access, site stats, and cgi-bin.
  • You can access your addon domain using different website addresses.

Subdomains

A subdomain uses your existing domain name. It is a subfolder of your main domain name and does not have its own separate domain name. So, for example, if your domain name is mydomainname.com and you install a blog inside a folder of that domain name called blog, then your blog would be located in a subdomain called mydomainname.com/blog.

A different variation of a subdomain that is also commonly used is blog.mydomainname.com. For example, you can access many of your Google accounts by typing in the subdomain myaccount.google.com into your web browser …

An example of a subdomain

(An example of a subdomain)

Parked Domains

A parked domain is a domain that is registered but does not have a web hosting account – it simply points to an existing domain. It is an additional domain you own that directs all traffic to the domain name it is “parked” on top of. If a visitor types in the address of a parked domain name into their web browser, they will be redirected to the main domain name and will see exactly the same information they would get if they had typed in the main domain name address.

In other words, it’s like building multiple identical websites using different domain names, but only having to maintain one.

Tip

A parked domain name is useful if you own a “domain name family” (e.g. domain.com, domain.net, domain.org, domain.mobi), or similar / related domains, but you only want to build and promote a single domain name (i.e. one website).

Similarly, if you plan to build an international business but are just starting out, you can initially point domains that you have registered with different country extensions (e.g. .us, .za, .nz, etc.) to your main website so that all visitors can access the same content until you are ready to expand and create different websites for each country.

Note: Your parked domain needs to be registered and pointing to the same nameservers as your existing domain name.

Comparing Addon vs Parked Domains

If you’re trying to decide what kind of domain configuration you should use, here’s a quick guide:

  • If you want to use different domain names to show the same content as your existing website, choose a domain name alias.
  • If you want to add a new domain name that shows different website content or uses different e-mail addresses as your existing website, choose an addon domain.

The screenshot below provides a quick comparison of Addon vs Alias (Parked) domains …

Addon vs Parked (Alias) Domains

(Addon vs Alias Domains – Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net)

Creating Addon Domains, Subdomains & Parked Domains In cPanel: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Log into your cPanel account …

cPanel Login Screen

Creating Subdomains

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and click on Subdomains

cPanel: Domains - Subdomains

(cPanel: Domains – Subdomains)

Adding a subdomain will create a new section in your website using any prefix you choose (e.g. “support”, “abc”, etc …).

Type in the name of your subdomain in the ‘Subdomain’ field, then click the blank field in the ‘Document Root:’ section. cPanel will automatically fill this section with the correct path information for your subdomain.

Click Create when finished …

Creating a subdomain in cPanel

(Creating subdomains in cPanel)

Your new subdomain is now created …

Subdomain setup confirmation

(Subdomain setup confirmation)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create subdomains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can easily remove subdomains using the cPanel Subdomains panel.

How To Delete A Subdomain

To delete your subdomain, go to the Subdomains > Modify a Subdomain panel, select the item you would like to delete and click Remove

How to remove subdomains

(How to delete subdomains)

You will be asked to confirm your deletion …

Click 'Delete Subdomain' to confirm deletion

(Confirm subdomain deletion)

The subdomain will be deleted …

Confirmation of permanent Subdomain deletion

(Confirmation of permanent Subdomain deletion)

How To Create An Addon Domain

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ area and click on the ‘Addon Domains’ link …

cPanel: Domains - Addon Domains

(cPanel: Domains – Addon Domains)

Enter your domain name in the ‘New Domain Name’ field (no http:// or www is required). Note: cPanel will automatically complete the “Subdomain/FTP Username:” and “Document Root:” fields.

Click the ‘Add Domain’ button to create your addon domain …

How To Create addon domains in cPanel

(How To Create addon domains)

Your new addon domain will be created …

Addon domain setup confirmation

(Addon domain created)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to set up addon domains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can easily remove addon domains using the Addon Domains feature.

Deleting An Addon Domain

To delete addon domains, go to the Addon Domains > Modify Addon Domain panel, then locate the item you want to delete and click Remove

Removing addon domains

(Removing an addon domain)

You will be asked to confirm your deletion …

Confirm addon domain deletion

(Click ‘Remove’ button to confirm deletion)

The addon domain will be permanently removed …

Confirmation of addon domain removal

(Confirmation of addon domain deletion)

How To Create A Domain Alias

To “park” a domain on top of another domain, first make sure that the domain’s nameservers have been set up correctly (see this tutorial for more information about setting up nameservers).

Log into your cPanel admin area and scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section. Click on Aliases

Domains - Aliases

(Domains – Aliases)

Note: In older versions of cPanel, the ‘aliases’ feature is listed as Parked Domains

Domains - Parked Domains

(Domains – Parked Domains)

Type in the name of the domain you want to park on top of your existing domain and click Add Domain to create a new domain alias …

How To Create a domain alias in cPanel

(Creating a parked domain)

A new parked domain will be created …

Parked domain created - confirmation message

(Domain alias created – confirmation message)

Important Info

Unless your web host has added limitations on your server, you can have multiple parked domain names on your existing domain. For example, this site is built on WPCompendium.org. We have also registered the related domains WPCompendium.com, WPCompendium.net, and WPCompendium.info, and parked these on top of this domain. To see how parked domains work, just type in any of the domain aliases into your browser (e.g. type in WPCompendium.net) 

You can have multiple parked domain names on your existing domain

(You can have multiple parked domain names)

You can also remove domain aliases using the Aliases feature.

Deleting Parked Domains

To delete your parked domain, go to Aliases > Remove Aliases, locate the domain alias to be deleted and click Remove

How to delete a domain alias

(How to delete domain aliases)

You will be asked to confirm your deletion …

Click 'Remove Alias' button to confirm deletion

(Click ‘Remove Alias’ button to confirm deletion)

The alias will be deleted …

Confirmation of permanent alias removal

(Confirmation of permanent alias removal)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create domain aliases …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

Useful Info

If you have not set up your domain nameservers correctly, you will get an error message when you try to perform the above tasks …

Don't forget to set up your DNS servers!

(Don’t forget to set up your DNS servers to avoid errors!)

See this tutorial to learn how to set up nameservers for your domains.

Congratulations! Now you know how to create subdomains, addon domains, and parked (alias) domains.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains

Learn How To Register A Domain Name

Learn How To Set Up Webhosting

Learn How To Set Up Domain Nameservers

Learn How To Create An Email Account

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How To Find Keyword Rich Domain Names Quickly

Learn how to find keyword rich domains that are still available quickly using the easy method shown in this step-by-step tutorial.

How To Find Keyword Rich Domains That Are Still AvailableIn our WordPress Installation tutorials module, we explain how to register a domain name. Refer to that tutorial if you want to learn how to register a domain name for your new WordPress website or blog.

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Typically, when you think of a great domain name for your website or business idea, you have to search and see if that domain is still available, or if it has already been registered by someone else. Searching for a great domain name that is available and that contains keywords related specifically to your business, products, or services this way can be a very time-consuming process.

Although it’s becoming harder to find, many great keyword rich domains are still available. In this tutorial, we will show you a simple, easy, and very quick method of sorting through multiple domains to find domain names containing relevant keywords that are still available for registration.

How To Quickly Find Keyword Rich Domain Names That Are Still Available

In this tutorial, you will learn a simple and easy method you can use to search through lots of keyword rich domain names quickly and find the ones that are still available so you can register them for your business or website(s).

Benefits Of Keyword Relevant Domain Names

Many SEO experts seem to disagree about whether keyword rich domain names can improve search engine rankings or not. For the purposes of this tutorial, however, we will ignore issues related to SEO and focus on the task of finding domains that you can register with the keywords you are looking for and the benefits of doing this.

Info

You can learn more about the pros and cons of arguments about SEO and domains with relevant keywords by searching online, e.g:

  • Do relevant keywords in a domain name affect SEO?
  • Keyword rich domains and SEO benefits
  • Do keywords in domain names improve search rankings? 

Owning a portfolio of domain names that contain keywords specifically related to your niche or business is still in many respects, a great investment. Here are some of the reasons why:

Branding

Domain names containing keywords related to your business, products, or services can help improve your branding, as this allows online users to associate the domain with what your business does or sells.

Competition

Owning domains that contain keywords relevant to your business, products, or services also prevents competitors from building their brands in your market using those same keywords in their domains.

Since owning a portfolio of domain names is not expensive (for about $1,000 a year you can register and control around 80-100 domain names), many companies employ this strategy to “monopolize” keyword rich domains. Depending on your business strategy, therefore, you may also want to consider building a portfolio of keyword relevant domains.

Redirect Traffic

As we explain in this tutorial, you can register multiple domain names without having to build multiple websites and simply “park” your unused domain names on top of your active domain. This redirects all traffic from your unused domain names to your main website.

A simple example of this is if you register multiple domains with different extensions (e.g. sampledomain.com, sampledomain.net, and sampledomain.org) and then redirect the unused domains (e.g. sampledomain.net and sampledomain.org) to your main domain (sampledomain.com in this example). Now, when visitors type either sampledomain.net or sampledomain.org into their web browsers, they will be redirected to  sampledomain.com.

How To Find Keyword Rich Domain Names That Are Still Available – Step 1

The first step in this process is to build yourself a large list of keywords and keyword phrases that you would like included in your domain name.

You can use any keyword tool or method you like for this step. There are a number of great paid and free keyword research tools available, such as:

In this tutorial, we’ll use the Google Keyword Planner tool. Google’s Keyword Planner tool allows you to build a very large list of keywords in minutes. To access this tool, you will need to have an AdWords account. If you don’t have an AdWords account, visit https://adwords.google.com to create one, or use a different keyword research tool from the list above.

Useful Tip

In addition to our detailed step-by-step written tutorials, we also recommend watching the video tutorials listed in our WordPress Installation Video Tutorials section.

How To Build A Large Keyword Using Google’s Keyword Planner

To access the Keyword Planner tool, log into your Google AdWords account and select Tools > Keyword Planner from the AdWords drop-down menu …

Google Keyword Planner Tool

(Google Keyword Planner Tool)

The Keyword Planner page will load in your browser. Click on ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’ …

Keyword Planner Tool - Search For Keywords

(Keyword Planner Tool – Search For Keywords)

The Keyword Planner tool provides many ways to search and filter keywords. In this tutorial, we’ll keep things simple. Leave all default settings as they are and enter a keyword or keyword phrase into the ‘Your product or service’ field. For this example, let’s say that you are searching for domain names related to “camping”…

Enter Your Keywords

(Enter Your Keywords)

To get only keywords related to “camping” in our results, click on the ‘Keyword options’ box in the search customization section and enable ‘Only show ideas closely related to my search terms’ then click Save to update your settings …

Narrow your search to keywords related to your search terms

(Narrow your list to keywords closely related to your search terms)

Click on the ‘Get ideas’ button to begin your search …

Click to search for keywords

(Click to begin searching for keywords)

The tool will return a list of keyword results …

Keyword Planner - Keyword Search Results

(Keyword Planner – Keyword Search Results)

Note: Don’t waste time sorting through your keyword list. All you want to do right now is build as big a list of keywords as possible.

Find the ‘Add all’ button and click on it to add the keyword results to your plan …

Add All Keywords To Your Plan

(Add All Keywords To Your Plan)

Once your keywords have been added, click on the ‘Copy to clipboard’ button to add the list of keywords to your clipboard …

Select Copy to clipboard

(Click ‘Copy to clipboard’)

A new window containing all of your saved keywords will pop up on your screen. Click anywhere inside the window to select all of the saved keywords, then right-click with your mouse button and copy the list to your clipboard. Click Close when finished to close the window …

Copy keywords to your clipboard

(Copy keywords to your clipboard)

Paste the list of keywords into a plain text file …

Paste the list into a text file

(Paste the keywords into a plain text file)

Repeat the above process and continue searching for keywords and adding them to your list until you have built a large a list of keywords …

Build as large a list as possible

(Build as large a list as you can)

You can build as large a list of keywords as you want to. Once you have added enough keywords to your list, save your text file. You will use this text file in the next step …

We'll use this list to find keyword rich domain names

(We’ll use this list to find keyword rich domain names)

How To Find Domains With Relevant Keywords That Are Still Available – Step 2

Now that we have our list of keywords, the next step is to see if any of these keyword phrases are available for registering as a domain name.

To do this search quickly, visit the GoDaddy website …

GoDaddy

(GoDaddy website)

Select the ‘Domains’ tab and click on Find a Domain > Bulk Domain Search to access GoDaddy’s Bulk Domain Name Search tool …

Bulk Domain Search Tool

(Bulk Domain Search Tool)

The Bulk Domain Name Registration feature allows you to search the availability of up to 500 keywords at a time …

GoDaddy - Bulk Registration Feature

(GoDaddy – Bulk Registration Feature)

Open the text file where you saved your keyword search results (in Step 1). Copy the list of keywords to your clipboard, then paste these into the

Copy the list of keywords to your clipboard, then paste these into the Bulk Registration screen (make sure that each keyword phrase is on a separate line and that you don’t exceed the search limit).  You can also select different domain extensions to check the availability of your keywords in those domains. and click

Click Go to begin searching …

Paste Your Keyword List And Begin Searching

(Paste Your Keyword List And Begin Searching)

The Bulk Domain Name Registration tool will process your keyword list and show you in seconds exactly which domains have already been registered and which domains are still available for registration …

All of these domains are available for registration

(All of these domains are available for registration)

If your list has more than 500 keywords, just repeat the above process.

Congratulations! Now you know how to quickly search for available keyword rich domain names.

Choose one of the options below to continue …

Find Available Domains

Learn How To Register A Domain Name

Return To WordPress Installation Overview

How To Register A Domain Name

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