CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Choosing a Domain Name Is Getting Harder by the Day. Choose Your Domain Name Wisely. Apply This
Choosing your domain name is vital part of your overall website success
strategy. If you don't choose well, you will have a much more difficult time achieving your goals. Be
sure to consider the following aspects and factor them in when you make the decision to Register Your Domain Name.
Don't underestimate the power of a good domain name. When a person asks,
"Which website...," the answer almost always is a domain name. Here is how you choose your domain name
wisely. Pick it based on these considerations:
Choose Your Domain Name: The Name Game
Make your domain name the
same as the name of your website or blog. This simplifies everything, but may not be easy to do.
Generally speaking, the vast majority of "good" domain names are already taken. This makes finding a name for
your website more complicated. You may have to choose a name for your website based on whatever domain names
Of course, doing
this isn't an absolute necessity, but it decreases confusion and increases the appeal of your website.
When people think of your website or blog, you want them to associate it with your actual domain name. If
they are completely different, it will hurt you in the long
Name consistency is also very important. If you
have an offline business that is associated with the website or blog, it is best to have that business represented
in the domain name. For example, if you ran a sailboat store called "Chuck's Sailboats," it would be best if
your domain name was ChucksSailboats.com. Or, if that was unavailable, the next best thing would be a domain
name that at least represented the offline business well. Something like SailboatsByChuck.com might be an
option. Something like OpenWaterSailing.com would not be as good since it wouldn't naturally associate with
the offline business.
Name consistency is also important if you have chosen to
Create a Business Entity. It is difficult to have a "perfect
trifecta" where your domain name, offline business name, and business entity name are all identical. But, if
you can accomplish that, please do. Having your domain name the same as your business entity name clarifies
billing procedures since the charges will likely show up on a customer's statement as coming from the business
entity by name. If the website is totally different, they may think that charge was done fraudulently.
Then, you will get tagged with a dreaded chargeback.
The rest of this page is devoted to helping you find
success through your domain name choice. Name consistency is very important. Make the names match if
you can. But, be sure to incorporate and consider all of the rest of the aspects into your domain name as
well. The more you incorporate, the better your domain name will
Choose Your Domain Name: Brand Consideration
Have you created a new catchword or catch phrase to
represent your brand? If you have, it is a good idea to use it as your domain name. Doing this is
important to help your brand gain recognition.
The problem here is that this type of branding usually
uses short, succinct words or phrases. These are usually difficult to get due to the fact that most are
already registered. If you can register one for your brand, snap it up. If you absolutely must have a
specific domain name, you can usually buy them from the individual who currently owns it. This is usually
cost-prohibitive, however, as they often sell for thousands or tens of thousands of
A better option, is to use your creativity and keep
trying until you find a good domain name that works and hasn't been registered yet. If you can find one that
suits you, it could pay big marketing dividends later when your brand is more
Choose Your Domain Name: Trademark Check
Don't spend hours of time
and lots of energy making a website or blog successful only to have a lawyer knock on your door one day and give
you a cease and desist letter. Make sure you aren't violating a legal trademark of another
Even if you accidentally
use someone else's trademark, doing so could cause your website to come to a tragic end. Before settling on a
domain name, be sure to do a trademark search. The United States Government allows you to search enforceable
trademarks in the U.S.A. Search Trademarks by clicking this link. Do it before you build your website or blog
around a domain name.
Choose Your Domain Name: Length
Length is an important characteristic of your domain name.
It should be short and to the point. If it is long, people will mistype it, misread it, misremember it,
and generally have trouble getting to your website.
Domain names can be a maximum of 67 characters. This is
plenty of characters. I can't think of any domain name that should be that long. Short is
usually better. But, it is a good thing to make the name longer and incorporate the rest of the
characteristics mentioned here. A short, meaningless, misspelled, blah name, for example, would not do you
Choose Your Domain Name: Meaning
Make sure your domain name conveys
meaning. It should pack a punch. People whould know what your website or blog is generally about
just by seeing the domain name. You don't want the domain name to be an anachronym unless virtually
everyone within the niche understands instantly what the anachronym means. TEOTWAWKI.com might be a good
domain name for a gloom and doom disaster prediction website, but no one outside people obsessed with "the end
of the world as we know it" would likely have anything meaningful conveyed to them through the domain
If you think you have finally settled on a good domain name, show
it to a few firends and ask them what they think the website is about. If their ideas about what it is
about match what you intent it to be about, it is probably a keeper. If your domain name is not
immediately intuitive to people interested in your niche, your website or blog has the additional task of making
it immediately clear as soon as a visitor views the homepage.
Choose Your Domain Name: Spelling
Make sure the domain name is easy to
spell. Choosing a tricky spelling for your domain name spells "less traffic." Don't put words in
your domain name that are commonly misspelled.
Choose Your Domain Name: Ease of Recall
Make your domain name memorable. It is
true that clever doesn't sell. It is also true that clever helps people remember. So, make your
domain name as memorable as possible. If the domain name makes people laugh or take notice, all the
If it is too long, people can't remember
it. If it is too boring or obscure, people won't remember it. If it is clear and attention-grabbing,
people will remember it.
Choose Your Domain Name: Uniqueness
Your domain will be unique by default since
there can only be one website at any given domain name. However, attempt to set your website or blog apart
from the crowd in some way using your domain name.
Choose Your Domain Name: Keyword Content
Keywords are key when you are choosing a
niche, doing niche research, and writing website content. They are also important when you are choosing
your domain name.
Search engines prefer domain names
that have the main keyword of the website in the domain name. Try to pick a
domain name that contans the best keyword for your website's overall theme or concept. Give the
search engines what they want.
Choose Your Domain Name: Representative
Your domain name should communicate something
about you. It should be an extension of your personal style, approach, or edge. Try to pick a domain
name that displays your personality an "voice." As your human visitors read your content, a good domain
name will imprint more easily. Humans like domain names that resonate with the style of the website's
author (you!). Give the people what they want.
Choose Your Domain Name: Make It Timeless
Unless you are trying to capitalize on
something you identify as a fad, your domain name should be classy and professional. Don't make it hokey
or ridiculous. If you have the website for fifteen or twenty years, you want people to think of it as a
'57 Chevy instead of an El Camino or Pinto. You want your domain name to be appropriate and applicable a
generation from now. You want it to be timeless.
Choose Your Domain Name: Readability
Make sure that your domain name is easily read
by individuals. If there are more than two words in your doman name, you may want to consider hyphenating
the words. Using dashes to separate the words will often make it easier for people to quickly read and
understand your domain name.
Domain names with just two words usually don't
need a dash to improve their readability. However, in the likely event that someone has already registered
the name you would have chosen first, you might be able to add one between two words in order to register a name
that is closer to your ideal name.
Additionally, search engines generally treat
dashes as spaces. This means they will likely treat each word as an individual word, so your keyword
planning can remain intact.
Choose Your Domain Name: Attractiveness
Choose a domain name that is positive or
neutral. It should non-offensive to the largest base of people as possible. Choose a domain name
that is attractive to human viewers. Don't put anything in it that is generally associated with something
that has negative connotations.
Choose Your Domain Name: Ending
Pick a good ending. At some point in the
future, the ending of a domain name will not matter. There will be enough well-known domain names with
various endings that a tipping point in public perception will be reached. Until that happens, stick with
the established domain name endings.
Make sure your domain name ends in .com, .net,
or .org. These are the "Big Three." There are countless other domain name endings. Different
countries have different endings associated with websites in the country. Endings like .info, .us, and .me
are springing up.
However, .com, .net, and .org are still the
domain name endings that are respected by most internet users. They are seen as respectable and garner no
suspicious attitudes. Having a website or blog with an uncommon ending casts doubt on your
legitimacy. Stick with the top three for now. And, shoot for .com if you are running a
professional/commercial website or blog.
Choose Your Domain Name: A Few More Tips
A few other notes are in order before moving
on. Domain names are relative cheap. They cost around ten dollars per year. That is less than
a dollar a month. It is a good idea to buy more than you need in order to protect your brand or
niche-specific idea from being hi-jacked.
If you can, why not register both the
no-dashes and the dashed forms of a domain name? This prevents a competitor from piggy-backing your work
and diverting people away from your website or blog. Additionally, you may want to consider registering
the common misspellings of your domain name as well so that people who mistakenly type in the wrong address can
be automatically re-directed to your website.
If the domain name you want is taken (likely),
you can modify it slightly to get one that is acceptable. You can add "the" or "my" or "shop" to the
domain name somewhere. You can add other words also. One example would be turning "BestWebsite.com"
Choose Your Domain Name: Conclusion
Choosing a good domain name is getting harder
and harder as more and more names get snatched up. Be sure to work through all the information above and
get it right. One other thing to mention: depending on which service you choose to Register Your Domain Name, it may take a while to transfer it when you are
ready to publish your website.
So, you may want to Choose a Hosting Service prior to registering your domain name. Many
hosting services will also provide registration services if you use them. Either way, it is time to move
on and Register Your Domain Name and then Choose a Hosting Service.
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