How do I pick a domain name for my real estate website for SEO?

By
Real Estate Technology with RealtyCandy.com

How important is a domain for SEO?

I recently did a blog post titled: How does Google Mobile First Search impact real estate websites? but how  does the domain impact Google search? 

Sometimes we don't really understand how SEO works.  Will my domain name change the way people find my site?  

The thing about SEO and domain names is that you won't rank any higher INITIALLY for "Miami real estate" because you have a specific domain name. 

So... here is what I have seen and what I believe.  

If a home buyer shows up to Google and searches for "Miami real estate" and these domains show up:

bobsellsmiami.com

carolbetts.com

miamihomesearch.com

realestatemiami.com

Which of these do you think people are most likely to click on?  

If you mentioned the last two, then you are probably right.  

Google isn't really about what site is the best, most useful, and has the most updated information. 

Google is a popularity contest.  Each time someone clicks on a site from search results, they are making a vote. 

The sites that get clicked the most are the ones that start moving up the search results with time.  If Google views your site and your competitor's site to be equal, but you start getting a few more clicks, you will move UP in the search results. 

I believe a domain name should have something to do with your market, the area you serve or something like that. 

Which leads to the next question...

Should I use my name for my real estate domain?

Unless your name is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Tom Hanks, I would not use your name.  That really only works for a few agents like thejills.com who have used their name as their brand, and they have huge name recognition.  

If you use jamescall.com or something like that, then it comes across to many people as a ego trip and that is not what you want as a realtor. 

It is better to not use your name unless you are the top agent in your market and people search for you by name.  

If someone googles your name and you are an active realtor, people will probably find you anyway with all of your social media, website, and even ActiveRain sites.

Should I use .realtor, .com, or .net on my real estate domain?

We just had a question about using a .realtor domain on the Q&A section of the site.  It looks like most of the agents have had very little success with those domain names.  

I mentioned that when I do Google searches, I don't see any .realtor domains.  

Google seems to rank .com domains the highest.  Domains that end in .net or .org don't seem to have as much value from Google. 

So the best domain for most brokers and agents is a .com.

Will a good domain name drive traffic to my website?

When you buy business cards, will a really nice business card bring you business?  What if the business cards are all in the top drawer of your desk?

Your domain is very much like your business cards. You want something that is good, but it will not bring clients to your website.  

The domain name of your real estate website, by itself, will not bring traffic to you.  You need to use ads or content marketing to get leads.  

It is important that the domain name be easy to remember.  You should tell visitors to your office " Hey check out Miamihomesearch.com " or when you show a home, you can tell your buyer client to look at your website.  

Where can  I search for a new real estate domain name?

I recommend https://domaintyper.com for looking and brainstorming for a domain name. 

Please....

DO NOT, select something like MiamyHomz.com mis-spelled words don't work.  People can't remember that. 

I also recommend to not use homessearch.com or something where there are two of the same letter right next together that people will get confused about. 

Your domain needs to be simple, clear, and easy to remember.  

What do you think?  What has worked for you?  What questions do you have about domains?

Leave a comment or question and share with others.  

You can also reach me at http://realtycandy.com if you need help with this.  

Comments (18)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

James, I did buy my name and company name years ago, but know I should have gone with something like my city.

Oct 25, 2016 03:25 AM
James Call

Why do you say you should have gone with your city?  What makes you wish you would have done something else?

Oct 25, 2016 04:58 AM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

I have several domain names but the main two I use are RealEstateInTheCape.com since I live in Cape Coral but people tend to call it "the Cape" and I also use ListWithMe.com

 

 

 

Oct 25, 2016 10:35 PM
James Call
RealtyCandy.com - Saint George, UT
RealtyCandy - IDX Broker WordPress Lead Nurturing

Terry, 

Thanks for sharing that. 

Does that RealEstateinthecape.com tend to give you good leads?

 

Thanks, 

James

Oct 26, 2016 12:39 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear James,

Good tips. Tough to find good names though, because there are so many out there already.

Oct 26, 2016 01:39 AM
James Call

You are right.  What is crazy is that there are tons of really good names that are bought but nobody is using them. :(

Oct 28, 2016 01:49 AM
Millie Gil, Florida Broker Owner
Bold Real Estate Group, Inc. - Port St Lucie, FL
Port St Lucie Florida

how about domain name including - (hyphen)?  thanks

Oct 26, 2016 03:46 AM
James Call

Millie,


Thanks for asking that.  I should have mentioned that above.  Hyphens are REALLY hard to people to remember so that is a big strike against them. 


But...


If it is miami-real-estate.com then it CAN end up getting clicked a lot on the search engine results which would move it up and up in the Google rankings.  


Like the world series, you can sometimes get a strike or two and hit a home run, but sometimes it is just a strike-out! :)

Oct 27, 2016 12:15 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Good tips - I agree that whatever you choose should be easy to remember and easy to spell.

I'd also point out that agents should avoid using any part of the brokerage name in their personal URL (unless they own the brokerage, of course).

They may be happy there today but two years from now they might want to change and they'll lose all the momentum they've gained through the site. 

I also agree - business cards are of absolutely no use if they're in your desk drawer! Get them out, give them away! 

Oct 26, 2016 06:39 AM
James Call

Marte, 


Thanks for your comment.  That is SO true.  If I am using jamesremax.com, If I am not sued, I will probably move away at some future date, making that domain useless. 


The other thing is that if I am on the fence about moving or have had some issues, the value in my domain, or my "perceived" value of the domain name my keep me in a place I don't want to be. 

Oct 27, 2016 12:17 AM
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Great tips for the new domain name.

My best advise...  Make it short as possible and impossible to misspell.

Oct 26, 2016 08:11 AM
James Call
RealtyCandy.com - Saint George, UT
RealtyCandy - IDX Broker WordPress Lead Nurturing

John, 

You are absolutely right!

Oct 27, 2016 12:17 AM
Rhonda Savoie
Nick Galiano Realty - New Orleans, LA

I enjoyed your article.  I am just starting out and I have already picked my domain name before reading this.  Iam happy to see that I followed your advice without even knowing it.  Good to know I made a wise decision.  Thanks for the tips.

Oct 27, 2016 06:26 AM
James Call

Rhonda, 


Welcome to the real estate world.  


If you have any questions, shoot me a message.  I will be happy to answer for you and write up a blog post about it!! 

Oct 28, 2016 01:50 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I was lucky I figured this out early on. From the begining I went with a website with my city name in it. Great advice

Nov 30, 2016 02:17 PM
James Call

Tammy, 


 


I am glad it worked for you. 


 

Nov 30, 2016 05:37 PM