When you’re at the beginning of your real estate career, or the beginning of planning a digital strategy and website, one of the first things you’re going to have to do is choose a domain. It’s something a lot of agents struggle with, and for good reason.
For the most part, the domain you choose is somewhat of a permanent decision, or at least it should feel like it.
As you work on your overall digital strategy, one of the main goals you’re trying to accomplish is to build authority for your domain. That’s essentially your domain’s reputation in the eyes of search engines (like Google).
As your website gets indexed, you add more content, build your backlink strategy, and your domain has been active longer, you’ll be contributing to increasing your overall domain authority.
For the most part, when you change your domain you’ll be starting over on making that same domain authoritative.
★ If you want to quickly check the authority of your domain, there’s a free tool right here that you can use.
Sometimes it’s unavoidable to change your domain, like if you’ve changed your team name or changed your target market.
If that’s the case, a lot of care and attention should be made to make sure you preserve as much of your domain authority and overall SEO rankings as possible; but, without a doubt, your rankings will drop as part of getting a new domain.
Deciding On A Domain
So, knowing that it’s largely a permanent decision, how do you decide?
The first thing to keep in mind is that your domain should be easy to remember.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you and I met in a loud bar to share a few drinks. If you told me your domain name, I should be able to remember it. It should be simple and memorable.
Another obvious choice for an agent’s domain is to use their own name. In my opinion, though, you should only do that if your name is easy to remember and easy to spell.
Keep in mind, too, that even something as simple as the name ‘Lindsey’ or ‘Sherry’ can have a number of different ways that it’s spelled. It should be something you can tell someone that they can type out without any confusion later on.
Typing and re-typing your domain is imperative here. It’s what’s often known as direct traffic, where someone is visiting your site by typing the name directly into their browser.
If it’s a complex name or a super long domain, there’s more margin for error that your average user may not arrive in the right place. In fact, it may frustrate them to the point that they never end up visiting — and that’s a missed opportunity simply based on your domain.
Treating Your Domain Holistically
When we talk to our clients about domain names, we like to try to emphasize the fact that your domain needs to be treated holistically. Essentially, it needs to come naturally to your user.
That begins with some simple tips and tricks.
First, try and avoid hyphens. They can come off as a bit spammy, to both people and search engines, and they’re hard to explain in conversation. If simpler is always better, hyphens simply add too much confusion into the mix.
Then, there’s the issue of availability. Along with your domain, you should be exploring the same name on multiple platforms. This is uniquely specific to social media, where you’ll want to tie your brand together by “claiming” these handles immediately.
Your domain is just as unique as your brand, and you need something that is simple, memorable, and stands the test of time.
Choosing Your Domain Today
The most important thing to remember about your domain is that you should treat it as a permanent decision.
It is now an intrinsic part of your brand, and your marketing and strategic efforts are now going to go into making it stronger and stronger.
That in mind, your domain is like an online investment. You want to hold it over a long period of time, watch it grow, and not simply abandon it at the first sign of trouble or change.
Your domain is a key part of your brand and your growth efforts. Above all else, it’s a key symbol of familiarity and comprehension for your target audience.
If your domain is simple and clear, it makes it easier for users to engage with it, revisit it, and find comfort within it. If it’s complex, users will reject, both in terms of quality and simply being able to get there at all. Trust us, nobody wants that.
Want to drive traffic, build your brand, and engage your target audience? Download our eBook: ‘The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Marketing’. It’s a collection of some of our best marketing articles, tips, and tricks that we’ve collected over the years.