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How To Choose the Right Domain Name

How to choose a great domain name.

Are you considering a domain name for your business? If so, I have listed 13 important tips to help you select a great domain name. A domain name is your unique business address online. It helps bring traffic to your business and suggest services or products of the the business.

Deciding on a domain name is an important decision you need to make. The right domain name makes it easier for your customers to find your Website and helps with branding your company’s services. Also the right domain name is important in SEO and Internet marketing. There are important factors that you need to understand before you commit to a domain name which are:

1. Integrate Keywords in Your Domain Name

Choose a domain name rich in keywords that describes your business. This will indirectly help increase your visitors as Search Engines will display search result entries that are part of the domain name. While the inclusion of keywords can create a slightly longer domain name, the SEO benefits are worth it.

First you need to come up with a list of keywords related to your business. For example, if you are running a Web design Website, try to integrate the word “web” or “design” or other relevant keywords in the domain address. Then you can start experimenting with other descriptive words that can be included in your domain name.

2. Mean What you Say in Your Domain Name

When someone hears about your domain, they should be able to accurately guess the Website´s content. Your domain name should relate to the content of your Website. If your Website is books.com, then it should involve selling/buying books of some sort. If you own an abstract domain name such as amazon.com or monster.com, then be ready to budget more time and money in marketing the services of your company as these domain names make it impossible for visitors to guess what the Website is about.

Also don´t choose a trendy domain name, as trends are temporary and they are not effective when it comes to branding of your Website.

3. Keep the Domain Name Short

Short Domain names are better. A short URL is easier to remember and less likely to be misspelled than a long one. A good domain name should be friendly to both users and search engines. For the case of users, you want a short, memorable domain name that would be easy to type. You also want a domain name that fits better on a business card.

4. Easy to Type and to Remember

Your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for your target audience to find your Website. To do this, make the domain name easy to type and to remember. You should avoid using hyphens, numbers and other characters that can be difficult to type. Both hyphens and numbers make it hard to give your domain name verbally. You want to keep the domain name as easy as possible for your visitors. What good is a Website, if no one can find you online because the domain name is difficult to spell.

5. Avoid Numeral Substitutions

Abbreviations are not effective in a domain name, are unprofessional and can often be confusing and hard to remember. You have to tell your customers how to type the domain. For instance a domain such as “websiteforyou.com” is much better than “website4u.com” since in the latter case you have to explain to customers that it is the number “4” and the letter “u”. Keep the number “0” out of your domain since it is often mistaken for the letter “o”. Also try not to use the numeral “2” instead of word “to”.

6. Spell Check Your Domain

Check the spelling of the domain name. Unless your intention is to have a misspelled name, it makes your business look unprofessional. If you are using an odd spelling, make sure to buy the other domain with the typical spelling. For instance, flickr.com were smart enough to also buy the domain flicker.com because a lot of people will remember the latter. You can have many domains redirected to your main preferred domain.

7. Check Out the Competition & Make the Domain Unique

It is always a good idea to see what your competition has for a domain name so that you can learn from them. Check your domain name against other domains that already exist. Getting your Website confused with another Website is a recipe for disaster. Never choose domains that are hyphenated, misspelled or the plural version of an already established Website.

8. For a Business, Always Choose .com

For most cases, and for a business, it is best to stick with a .com domain. Although there are other options, such as .net, .org and many other domain extensions, most people automatically assume a business domain extension is .com. When people search for a Website, they assume it is a .com. If you own another extension, they might end up at the wrong Website. Also search engines search first for a .com Website. Online users are more used to .com Websites as opposed to other extensions. If you run a nonprofit organization, a .org is appropriate; however, if available, it is also a good idea to secure the .com extension (more on that later).

If your Website is primarily directed to local customers in your country, then you can use your country´s extension such as: (.com.lb, .co.uk, .ca). Using your country´s TLD tells your visitors that you are a local business. This might be exactly what you want to achieve.

9. Protect your Brand by Securing Other Extensions

While the .com extension is the most popular, and to keep competition out, buy also other extensions. At least purchase the .net, the .mobi, and the .org. This way, you insure that your business Website will not have competition. Also, if you do business internationally, try securing country domain extensions. For example flickr.com also bought the flickr.net and flickr.org domains. All the domains that you secure can easily be redirected to your main preferred domain.

Nowadays the cost to register a domain is 10-15 USD per year. So there is no reason not to protect your brand by securing other gTLDs.

10. Secure Misspelled Domain Names

Consider buying common misspellings of your domain name. All domain name variations can be redirected to your main preferred domain. In this case, your competitors will not be able to purchase the misspelled domains and draw off traffic intended for you. An example of a business that is using this strategy is yahoo.com. If you type in yaho.com or yahooo.com you will be redirected to their main preferred domain.

11. Stick With all Lower Case

Domain names are NOT case-sensitive regardless on what Web server your Website will end up being hosted. But the conventional wisdom is to stick with an all lower case letters for a domain name.

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12. Avoid Copyright Infringement

Just to be sure that you are not infringing on anyone´s copyright, make sure to do a copyright and trademark search on your intended domain name. You can perform a quick search by checking the references below.

References:

13. Domain Selection Tools

The tools below are essential to find out if a domain name is available. In some of the tools, if your desired domain is not available you will be given different suggestions that might work for you. Some tools have also other functionalities, so check them out.

References:

Conclusion

Your domain name is your Internet identity. Take the time to choose one that promotes your business. Ideally, your domain name should be short and easy to remember. By following the above tips, I am confident that you will find an appropriate domain name for your Website.

Are you satisfied with the domain name you chose? Do you have anything else to say? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

How did I choose blueoliveonline.com for a domain name for my Business?
My wife made me do it :-). The lesson: your wife´s opinion overwrites all the above important tips :-) (like super global variables). To give her credit, my wife was looking for a unique, outside of the box, brand name like apple.com or amazon.com. The drawback, you need to spend a lot more money on advertising and informing customers that Blue Olive Online is a Web development company and NO we don´t sell olives, not even blue ones.

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