How do you pick a website domain?
Two words: chat roulette
YES, finally someone answers all those questions we’ve had over the past two years about domain names and best practices for picking a URL. It’s changed so much because of how competitive search engine results have become.
At one time you could have bought the domain name “www.ReginaWebsites.com” and you’d get all the organic traffic for people search for websites in Regina. Times have changed. You can’t just “get” to the front page by setting up a keyword heavy domain name. Yes there will be exceptions to the rule and if you’re on the front page of Google with very little work it won’t last long.
Make it brand-able and pronounceable
Have you ever sat and wondered why your website isn’t getting the traffic you think it deserves?
The key to good traffic stems from many core parts, one of them being:
You could have the most outstanding content in the world, with videos that look like they were directed by Michael Bay (minus the scantily clad women of course), and writing that would bring a tear to Shakespeare’s eye, but if your website is not optimized properly you may not be getting the traffic you deserve.
One key part of optimization is the use of keywords on your page, in your blog, or anywhere else relevant on your website. We tried a little experiment in the lab here to see what the Top Home Construction Related Keywords in Regina are and this is what we came up with.
Now, if you are in the business of homes and you want your website to have more traffic, knowing which keywords perform best and optimizing for those keywords is your golden ticket!
Of course, optimizing is not the only thing that needs to be done to get more traffic to a website but it is definitely a step in the right direction. If you think your website may be lacking and might need a little boost, we might be able to help! Just fill out the contact form on the Contact page and we we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
The other day, Brandon and I went to a Campbell entrepreneurship class taught by Jordan McFarlen. Mr. McFarlen invited us to talk about how we started Strategy Lab and the entrepreneurial experience. The way Mr. McFarlen teaches the class is he divides them in two groups and they have to start companies which over the semester they will run like an actual company (last years company actually imported iPhone cases from China, pretty awesome). Mr. McFarlen is one in a million and the Campbell Business program is very lucky to have him. The passion and excitement for learning he has is such a bright light in our ever troubled education system.
Instead of talking about ourselves for an hour, we decided to do something different.
In the first 15 minutes we talked about as a company what we believe in, our 10 values, and the story of how Brandon and I met.
Then Brandon went to work.
This first thing Brandon did was made each company decide on a domain name and he bought for them. Then he set each website up on WordPress and give them the login. There’s a lot of technical work that Brandon didn’t do (like 18 hours worth of work he’d do on a regular website) but the students will figure that out, they can learn how to hack WordPress to get it to do what they want.
It was amazing to see the looks on their faces. Something that most people think takes days, weeks or even months, Brandon created in front of their very eyes. It was amazing to witness. A website doesn’t have to take months to create, you can have one in an hour, it won’t look great but you’ll have your very own online publishing platform.
Websites don’t take that long to build. Yes there is a lot of technical and design elements that you should trust a professional on but for the most part people spend an insanely long time on design. Why? Because they’re trying to appease everyone. But when need to build a bridge, you don’t ask a committee or a board, you hire the best dam bridge builder around. Something to think about the next time you want to “re-design” your website.
I’m really excited to see what the students at Campbell will end up doing with the websites. The last thing we said on our way out was, experiment, try new things, and try to break the website. Get Creative.
Hopefully they teach us an entirely different way that websites should look and feel.
Your search results are wrong. Well not exactly, but kind of. Google personalizes your search results based on your search history and location. To get a true look at the top search results in Google you have to turn off your cookies or use a service like Moz (the company we use).
Before we get into the 20 top Regina keyword searches we need to define a few terms for you.
From Moz (formerly known as SEO Moz): “Domain Authority represents Moz’s best prediction for how a website will perform in search engine rankings.”
- Based on 40 different signals Moz measures, including linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc.
- It’s a logarithmic scale so going from 10 to 20 is significantly easier than going from 60 to 70.
- It’s a relative measurement for predicting Google search results. It’s better to compare Domain Authority to other websites than simply using it to track a single websites’ success.
From Moz: “Page Authority is Moz’s calculated metric for how well a given webpage is likely to rank in Google.com’s search results.”
- Based on 100 measured variables Moz tracks
- Also a logarithmic scale, going from 10 to 20 will be easier than going from 50 to 60.
- Page Authority differs from Domain authority as the former measures how well a single page will rank in Google and the later predicts the overall performance of your website in Google.
External Linking Domains
External Linking Domain are hyperlinks on websites pointing back towards your website.
- Top SEOs believe that external links are the most important source of Google ranking power.
- Links to your website act as votes to search engines. The more votes you get, the more valuable your website appears to Google
Here are 20 of the most difficult “Regina” keywords to rank for in Google. It’s interesting to compare these keywords to the same for Vancouver, San Francisco and Palo Alto. It’s obviously not as difficult to rank here in Regina, but looking at other centres to see what the future of search engine optimization holds is always a good idea.
Search Engine Results Page
20. Apartment Regina
19. Dentists Regina Read more
Brandon recently completed a website for Regina Culture Days titled “iHeartCulture.ca“. Then they did the most important thing, they gave me a reason to check it out.
I love when people actually care about their website.
On their launch day at the downtown city square plaza you couldn’t miss this bus:
“Win packages to Saskatchewan Festivals. To enter visit IHeartCulture.ca”
They didn’t go the “field of dreams” route with their website like so many do. Spending a small fortune, you know, the if you build it they will come mentality. Stop it!
Building a website is easy. Getting people to your website again and again is difficult.
You must try harder every day to get people to your website. Obviously you’re going to need to measure what people are doing once they are on your website, but that’s for another blog post you silly nilly!
Good on you IHeartCulture!
The other day going a bunch of websites that Brandon had built a while ago we started noticing something odd. Whenever we would Google the obvious search terms that a website should be ranking for they turned out to not only rank but usually rank within the top 3.
And yes I checked the actually universal search terms not just the Google results on my laptop. Any time you Google something it’s customized based on your past search, location, and activity on Google+. For a true search you must turn off personalization.
Here are some examples: Read more
We here at Strategy Lab are big fans of WordPress. It really is the cats pajamas when it comes to building a valuable online presence. Cost effective, beautifully designed websites with a backend so simple a chimpanzee could update it. Yeah, that’s pretty simple hey?
The majority of the time when you’re in WordPress it’s because you need to:
1. Publish a blog post
2. Upload a photo
3. Embed a video
4. Update a page
Below are some of the more interesting/creative/weird/awkward/amazingly designed websites I’ve found over the past few years. If you have a really cool site you’d like to share please leave a link in the comments below, I’d love to see it.
Now put a helmet on cause your mind is about to be blown….
1. Musical Hands? I don’t even know what the heck this website is called but you can make music with the touch of a button(s).
2. Koala’s to the Max is a website that, well not at first but after you do some work, reveals something. Go on try it out, you’ll be hooked.
3. Interactive Triangulation is a website where, well, you interact with triangles.
4. Eye Candy is a psychedelic journey best viewed after a Cypress Hill or Neil Young concert.
5. Don’t Click It is a website where you navigate around by moving your mouse, not clicking at all. It’s difficult, try it out.
6. Avoid the Red Dots, that’s all you have to do, check out this website.
7. Larry Carlson’s Medijate is a wild cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and a tight and bright party. Make sure your speakers are one before you visit this site.
8. RainyMood.com is a website that just plays a loop of rain. Why you ask? Well it’s relaxing of course. Who doesn’t like to fall asleep to the sound of rain?!?
9. Simply Noise is a free site that plays, noise. Yup, white noise, pink noise ans brown noise. You can make it oscillate like a fan or put it on a timer for nights when you can’t sleep. First a Rain site now a noise site?!? WTF people? I’ve had it on for the last half hour (brown noise) relaxing. giver it a try.
10. Auditorium is a game using sound, I warn you – it’s addicting.
Do you have a site that’s fantastically awesome? Share the link in the comments below.
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