How to Choose Your Domain Name
How to Choose Your Domain Name by Michelle Shaeffer

More than 50 million domain names have been registered and more are registered every day. Are you ready to join in and get your own domain? This article covers some of the important things to consider.

What is a domain name? Wondering how and why they work?

Here’s a great link:

The Domain Name System: A Non-Technical Explanation Why Universal Resolvability Is Important–http://www.internic.net/faqs/authoritative-dns.html

Grab a piece of paper. Write down your business name and your name as well as a list of the products or services you offer. These are your starting points. Keep this list in mind as we go through the points below.

1) Your domain should be easy to spell and easy to remember.

Do not choose a domain name which is difficult to spell or people trying to access your site may be frustrated and confused when they misspell it and end up at a different website or no website at all.

2) Consider including your keywords or phrases.

Having a domain name that includes your main product line makes it easier for customers to remember and will give you a boost in the search engines. After all, if you use the domain JohnsAlaskanRealEstate.com the chances are pretty good that you are offering Real Estate in Alaska and your site would be relevant to a search for Alaskan Real Estate. Of course, a domain name alone won’t rank you #1 for the word or phrase you’ve used, but it does help.

You could also consider a domain name like keyword-keyword.com such as Alaska-Real-Estate.com (but don’t go crazy with four or five hypenated words, see point 1 above and point 3 below!). If you do use a hypenated domain I recommend also purchasing the non-hyphenated version, in this example that would be AlaskaRealEstate.com, for use in offline advertising and 301 redirect it to your main website.

3) Keep it simple. Shorter is better.

www.mywebsitehostingisawesomeandmybusinessnameiselementalmuse.com is not

something people are going to remember or want to type out.

4) Check out similar domain names.

.net or .biz are fine domain extensions if the .com is taken for the domain you want, but keep in mind that some of your potential customers may mistype the domain to end it in .com and if the .com is a site you don’t want them visiting (such as an adult site), you need to reconsider your choice.

5) Be careful with numbers.

You can use numbers in a domain name, but try to avoid 0 (zero) because it may be mistaken for an O (letter o). Also be cautious with L, l, and 1.

6) Read it in various ways.

Have others look at your idea and read it… because sometimes the words can be combined differently and not quite as intended. Here are some examples of domains registered by companies who may not have considered alternative readings (you may have seen this, it’s widely circulated on the internet as a humorous forward email):

www.whorepresents.com

Who Represents is where you can find the agent that represents any celebrity.

www.expertsexchange.com

Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice.

www.penisland.net

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island.

www.therapistfinder.com

Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder.

www.powergenitalia.com

The Italian Power Generator company. (Which shows us how important it is to

choose carefully if your domain contains words that are not English.)

www.molestationnursery.com

The Mole Station Native Nursery in New South Wales.

www.ipanywhere.com

IP computer software.

www.speedofart.com

Designers available at Speed of Art.

7) Check domain history.

You really don’t want to purchase a domain that was previously used by spammers or an adult site. Go to www.waybackmachine.org to find past sites on a domain.

So, with these seven tips in mind, take that piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas. Once you’ve got a few you like the next step is to see what’s available for registration.

Find Michelle Shaeffer online at The Small Business Muse where she shares weekly tips and strategies for small businesses in The Muses Brainstorm. Stop by The Muses Guide for inspirational guides to help your small business grow.

Article Source: WAHM Articles

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