Selecting Effective Domain Names
Though it may seem like an easy task, choosing the domain name for your business is more difficult than it appears. There are many factors that can affect the future success of your website and online business. Read this article to learn the most important factors you should consider when registering your next domain name.
Think of Domain Names that Reflect What You Do
Your domain name should reflect what you do and what your website is all about. To illustrate, if your website is about process consulting, you really wouldn’t want to select a domain name like ‘MyNameInc.com,’ since this doesn’t have anything to do with your business. You should choose a domain name that tells the world what your business and website is really about — something like ‘ProcessConsulting.com.’
Choose a Domain Name People Will Remember
There are, at last count, 106.87-MILLION websites on the internet (Netcraft.com, January 2007). Do you think people will remember your domain name? If not, better try for one that is easily remembered. If you use your website’s keywords in your domain name, you’ll have a better chance that they’ll remember it. They’ll think to themselves “I was searching for process consulting and oh yeah – that’s it – processconsulting.com” If you use YourLastNameInc.com, chances are they won’t remember.
Use Your Website’s Keywords in Your Domain Name
If you know they keywords people use to find your type of business in the search engines, you’ve covered one of the most important factors. The content on your website should be full of these keywords on various pages. With these keywords in mind, try creating a list of possible domain names using the most appropriate keywords. For instance, if people are searching for process consulting on the search engines, and that is your business and your website is full of content about process consulting, try to get a name based on those words – ProcessConsulting.com.3
Avoid Being Too Cute or Using Numbers in Your Domain Name
Using numbers to replace words in your domain name can cause lost traffic. It may seem like a cute idea to include abbreviations and numbers like – processconsulting4U.com but people barely ever get it right. If they can’t find your website after you’ve told them the domain name, they’ll find someone else’s.
Dot COM, Dot CA, Dot NET, DOT NAME? Which Extension is best?
Dot COM is probably still the best there is out there. Most people are barely even aware of all the other extensions that exist (there’s one for each country and them some). When internet surfers type in a domain name they almost always automatically think DOT COM. If you’re in Canada, the DOT CA extension is quite popular and gaining ground and many surfers looking for a Canadian company will try .ca if .com fails. Recommendation: try to get .com and .ca but make your primary website reside on the .com extension and forward the .ca to it.
Avoid Using Very Long Domain Names
Try to keep your domain name as short and to the point as possible. There are exceptions at times that a phrase can be more memorable than a generic short name but often people get it wrong. Either they forgot the exact words or they mis-type the name. Since I started doing a lot of Google Ads and Yahoo Ads, I wanted to be able to fit the domain name properly in the space they alot for it. Keep it under 25 characters (including the extension) for better advertising.
Research Current Trademarks and DO NOT VIOLATE Them
You should consider researching if there are any existing trademarks before you register a domain name. If you’ve found a great name that is available and infringes on a company’s trademark, they can easily take it away. And with it, they’ll take away your traffic and your busienss.
Tips for Creating Domain Names
Get out a sheet of paper and a pen. At the top, write Domain Names. On a line beneath it list your keywords or keyword phrases. Then draw a horizontal line across the page beneath it. Then divide the remaining space into two colums. In each colum, on each line start writing and let the ideas and creativity flow. When you’ve hit the right name it will jump out at you and you will know that it has to be your domain name.
The second part is to search for each of your domain names and cross of the ones that are already taken from your list. If your favorite is already registered, sigh and then move on. You’ll find one soon enough.
You may now be wondering where should I register my domain name?
That’s a good question – in looking at this post years later, I’ve erased the one I used to recommend and will prepare a new list for you soon.