When people talk about all the factors that influence a website’s success, very few mention the importance of domain names and how much they can influence your website. Your domain is the address your website has on the internet, so it’s in your best interest to have a good domain name.
The domain name you choose can influence how people perceive your business, make them decide if the website seems trustworthy, and tell them what they can expect from it. If you choose a poor domain name, however, you will lose a lot of potential website visitors and customers.
That is why it’s important to have a strong domain name that will stand against the dangers of the online world. But first, let’s see how you should choose your domain name.
How to choose a good domain name
Before you pick the perfect domain name, you need to think of a name that will embody the purpose of your website. And this is much more than just using a couple of keywords and hoping for the best.
There are certain rules for anyone who is making a website that needs to follow if they want to have a good domain name. And while there are some domains that don’t follow these rules, if you take a closer look, you will see they are mostly associated with unsuccessful websites.
Remember the following tips when choosing your domain name:
- Don’t make it too long. Long domain names aren’t as memorable as short ones, which is why the most common length is 12 characters. The ideal name contains two words and is between 6 and 14 characters long.
- Include keywords. If you want to focus on discoverability, include one or two keywords that are related to your niche. If you use these keywords correctly, it can improve your SEO and bring people to your website. Just make sure that all of your keywords make sense and flow well together.
- Know what to avoid. If your desired domain name isn’t available, don’t add elements such as numbers and hyphens to generate a unique name. If you do this, you will probably lose a lot of website visitors, as they will mistakenly go to websites with similar domain names.
- Choose the perfect extension. There are many extensions you can choose from. The most popular one is “.com” with 41.01% of all domains ending in it. However, there are numerous great options, and you can even choose the extension depending on your location or the purpose of your website.
Once you think of the perfect domain name, it’s time to register it. You don’t have to worry about paying an arm and a leg because there are always ways to register a cheap domain name. Keep in mind that you can find a perfect domain name that is affordable if you look at the right places.
How to warm up your domain before sending cold outreach emails
While some have dismissed cold outreach emails as an outdated form of marketing, it’s actually still very much alive and can be a great success if you know how to send them right.
However, a crucial thing you need to do before you start sending out these emails is to warm up your domain. If you don’t go through this step, you will probably be mistaken for a spammer. And if this happens, all of your marketing efforts will be in vain.
You will also face poor deliverability rates, but the worst thing of all is that you will ruin your domain reputation. If you don’t maintain a good domain reputation, your deliverability and open/click-through rates will be much lower than you hoped.
Before you start warming up your domain name, you need to realize that it will take a long time before you actually complete this goal, three months, or possibly more. You also need to wait at least two or three weeks after registering your domain before you actually start sending cold emails.
The most important thing, however, is to play it safe and take the appropriate steps.
Don’t automate right away
The easiest thing would be to automate the entire process, which most people do when warming up their domain name, but it’s not a smart idea at the beginning. The best choice is to start by manually sending out a couple of emails every day.
Don’t go overboard. During the first week, don’t send out more than 20 emails per day and slowly increase that number during the second and third week to 40 and then 80 emails. It’s important to increase this number gradually and consistently.
Even though the manual approach is very time-consuming, it’s a much safer option because it will be very unlikely that these emails will be marked as spam.
Realize the importance of personalization
Another thing you need to remember if you don’t want your emails to go straight to the spam folder is that it’s very important to personalize each email.
Take the time to find out the name of the person you’re contacting and use that information in the subject line and the email body. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, so just including the recipient’s first name can go a long way.
Send emails to friends and family
Warming up your domain name doesn’t only include sending out emails, it requires receiving replies as well. To make sure your reply rate is good, you can send emails to friends and family members who will reply to them and improve your reply rate.
Contact other businesses
This is an important step if you’re in the B2B industry, but anyone can benefit from this piece of advice. When you send emails and get responses from other businesses that already have reputable domains, email providers will have even more proof that you’re not sending spam emails.
Pro tip – send mail merge
Once you’re ready to automate, you can send mail merges and make communication much easier while still respecting all the important rules that make your email worthy of reply. You can send out personalized messages and even break Gmail’s sending limits, all while staying out of the spam folder.
How to protect your domain from spoofing
The best way to protect your domain from spoofing is by acquiring an SPF (Sender Policy Framework). This is an authentication standard domain owners use to prove email exchange senders have permission to send emails from their domain.
SPF has a record of all of your approved IP addresses, and when you have an SPF, your email service provider will be able to identify forged sender addresses. This means that spammers won’t have any chance of posing as your company and sending out unlawful spoofing emails.
These are the necessary steps you need to take to create an SPF record:
- Collect all IP addresses. Make a list of all the IP addresses from which you will send emails as well as all the mail servers you use.
- Create a list of your sending domains. If your company has several registered domain names, create a list of all of them, no matter if you use them for sending emails or not. This will prevent spammers from trying to use a domain you don’t use for sending emails.
- Create the record. Define the record as SPF by labeling it correctly and including the right tags. Your first SPF record will look like this: v = spf 1 followed by an approved IP address. You can’t exceed 255 characters on your SPF record.
- Publish the record. When you publish the record though your domain host providers, email service providers will have access to it.
There are a number of things you need to be careful about when you’re choosing your domain name, warming it up, and protecting it from spoofing. If you make critical mistakes, you can hardly expect to find success with your website.
But if you pass through those steps, you’ll be much closer to finding success. So, make sure you apply all the mentioned tips and there will be nothing to worry about.
Dave is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Shortlist in 2018, a marketing un-agency that serves as an outsourced dedicated marketing team.
He has also co-founded Less.churn, a churn reduction app, prior to selling it in 2018.
In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and have visited over 65 countries.