What’s in a Name? Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Whether you are developing your first website, thinking of starting a site or you already have multiple sites in the workings, choosing a domain name is one of the most significant factors that figures into any new website. You may think—it’s just a name…but the reality is a domain name represents the property that the website will have on the world wide web and like anything else in the world, LOCATION is everything!

Whether you’re have a little trouble coming up with a domain name or you’ve thought of a few but they are already taken, here are some tips that will help you choose a new domain name that is memorable, relevant and most of all effective for your upcoming website.

Relevance Matters in Domain Name Choosing

First things first, you have to make sure that you choose a domain name that is relevant to your plans for the website or the product or service that the website will be promoting. You may like the idea of choosing a catchy domain name just because you like the name but if it doesn’t have anything to do with what the site will be about then it’s best not to choose it. Not only are irrelevant domain names confusing to humans, they can also make it difficult to rank the site within search and may be marked as spam if you aren’t careful.

Short Domains are Memorable Domains

Whenever possible, keep the domain name as short and relevant as possible. Short domain names are easy to remember, leave less room for human typo error and just work better than long, drawn out names. It’s easy for someone to remember a one or two word name that is relevant to the product or service being offered—longer names are more difficult to remember and easier to mistake.

Effective Domains Incorporate Keywords

If you haven’t done this before then there’s a chance you aren’t real sure about the use of keywords and the effectiveness of keywords when it comes to website development but the reality is, effective domains incorporate keywords right into the domain name. If you haven’t researched keywords, it’s time to do so—you’ll want to have a good list of keywords already established prior to developing the website and even prior to choosing the domain name. For instance, if your are starting a site for a shoe store consider including keywords related to shoes in the domain name. Don’t go overboard, one or two keywords will be sufficient (remember, short domain names are easier to remember).

What to Do When the Domain Name You Have Chosen is Already Taken

So, you’ve chosen a domain name and now you realize that the name you chose that incorporated keywords and was short and sweet is already chosen—now what? Consider variations of the domain name such as using a hyphen in between major words or a phrase of the domain name. Often times the single word variation of a domain will be taken but hyphenated versions will still be available. The downside is that when you choose to use a hyphenated version of a domain name there is a chance that your visitors will forget to insert the hyphen and this could drive your traffic to your competitor’s site (something you definitely don’t want to happen).

For more information on website development, keyword research and choosing an effective domain name, contact Advantage Media today (800) 372-9565.

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