A Guide for Domain Name Selection
Setting up a business website is considered as a very important part of present day advertisement. The first and the foremost thing to be done is to select a suitable domain name for the website as this will be the face of the whole business.
A domain name is nothing but the web address that your business will have. When chosen thoughtfully, a successful name will ensure quality advertisement and popularity for the business. The registration of a domain name and website hosting automatically gets the business listed into directories guiding web traffic, different forums and portals, into the search engine rank system and so on.
One can not just blindly choose a domain name as lot of company’s reputation depends on it. Following are some very important tips, necessary guidelines to be kept in mind while purchasing a successful domain name for your business website.
- Availability: You would have definitely thought of a name that suits your business and will represent it appropriately. But to acquire this name you need to check if it’s available or has already been taken by someone else. To do this you can take the help of tools facilitated by the domain name registration sites(e.g. Bluehost.com, Godaddy.com etc) and check your desired name’s availability.
Many common names like diet, food, business, travel have already been taken and vastly in use. In case the name you have chosen is already in use, the tool will provide you with suggestions that help you to make changes. It is a good practice to check even US trademark database as you don’t want to face problems later on. Do make it a point that even if some one used a particular name earlier and now you have bought it, it was not used for any illegal purpose. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Selection: The name that you choose for your website has to be relevant to your business, appropriately represent it and build identity. You might go in with the company or brand name itself in case the business already exists. Popular websites like eBay.com have carried over their brand names. In case of business being new and domain name is going to play a part in building the reputation, then you experiment. Use keywords that represent your business, bring uniqueness and make it catchy. When the keyword is placed at the beginning of the domain name, it works much better with search engines. Do not make the mistake of reusing the same word in domain name as it just adds to the confusion.
- Short and sweet: It is not always necessary to have big or long names to make your business successful. Crisp, catchy, relevant and business minded domain names are always a hit. The most important thing about the name is that it has to be easy to remember and to be printed. Short names will also avoid any spelling mistakes and do no consume lot of space when printed on products. The ideal size of a domain name is 10 characters. Its not easy finding this size though, given the fact that many names have be taken, registered, and sold again and so on. Do not go in for short forms of names because it normally works with company names that are already in use not for businesses that are budding.
- Prefix and suffix: The domain name is not alone by itself. Usually a “www” will be prefixed to the domain name and then suffix of “.com” will follow. The general notion in the customer’s mind is that most businesses have .com as suffix. You can choose to experiment with it and use .net, .info, .net, .org etc instead. Though it takes time for people to get used to it, the advantage is that you can take an already existing domain name and just replace .com with any others mentioned above. The one thing to be kept in mind is that you need to look for the most relevant name rather than the popular ones because little mistakes might just take the traffic away from your website.
- Easy to remember: Most of us have passwords made of numbers, letters and characters which make them unique. But using the same formula for domain names is not a good idea. You don’t wish that the customers forget the domain name the very next moment that they heard. Opting to use random names, miss spelt words and acronyms for businesses that are yet to be established is a bad idea. When such domain names are advertised on radio or live shows, people are mostly to forget them.
First thing is that the name should be easy to recite or pronounce. This way it puts the first print on both advertiser and the audiences’ mind. Then follows its uniqueness that is the relevance to the business that it represents like ezinearticles.com, which is all about articles.
Last it has to be easy to be remembered and recalled at any time. Avoid having words that can be spelt many ways but pronounced same like two, too, to or sea, see and so on. Avoid dashes(-) too in your domain name as people generally don’t remember the dashes in domain names.
Some handy tips:
- The keyword has to be what your business is all about. For example, if you are marketing gardening tools, this is your keyword. This also helps you get visitors who are specifically looking for what you are marketing.
- Many a times when you find that the desired domain is already registered, try adding an action word at the end, for example, gardentoolsinfo. Some other commonly used words are sale, shop, deals etc. you can even put a few numbers that have some significance like the day this company was started or even your birth date. This way you will be able to gain uniqueness and also get the desired domain name.
- Play a trick by using very common search keywords like news, image, video etc. This automatically matches your site name with more searches and visitors than it would otherwise. This helps your ranking in a great way.
- Stick to using popular top level domain(TLD) like .com, .net and so on. You might be tempted to use something like .tv but that will only drive your customers away because it has nothing to do with your business. It is better to make alterations in name rather than in domain TLD. There are plenty of sites that will help you to acquire a reasonable name with the help of the keywords that you provide.
- Using hyphens was a trend a few years ago but now it’s a big no. This is mainly because it affects your ranking in the search engines.
- Take help of your friends, associates and clients to finalize on your domain name. This will also help you to understand what they think of your business and in turn build its identity.
- Do not waste any time once you have decided on the name and got its availability. Immediately register it so that no one should take away the name before you do. Registering names is happening at lightening speed and you should not left behind.
- Keep a check on how much you agree to pay as domain names are not as expensive as they used to be. Collect information and do a survey in your circle as to what is a reasonable price to pay and do not get fooled by paying more than you really should. You should not pay more then $10 to $20 for a year of domain name registration.
- Some common don’ts in selecting a domain names are: using words that are not relevant to your business, repeating the keywords and using more than 2 keywords.
- Setting up a domain name is a big task in itself. But that’s not the end of it; in fact it’s a beginning of many things to follow. People will come to know about your website only when you advertise it. Some great ways to market your domain name and thus advertising your business are as following: run ads on forums, discussions, newsletters etc.
Use it as a part of your signature whenever you send an email or write a blog or comment in forums. According to the traffic on your website, the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing will update your domain name in their ranking. Apart from this you can print it on anything that your business is related to like your business card, products, ads in news papers and magazines and so on.
By understanding the importance of a domain name you will also know the kind of impact it will have on your business. It is much more than just a name, thus it has to be selected tactically keeping in mind all the above mentioned points. One should remember that after a domain name is registered it automatically becomes a part of search engines and forums. In case any change is to done later, you might have to suffer a great amount of loss. Do not make haste but do it in time to boost your business to great levels.
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