Selecting a Domain Name is the first steps to taking control of your web presence. I have listed 10 tips for selecting a domain name that will help below:
- Set a Deadline
Coming up with a domain name can be like those crossword puzzles that get started but never get finished, you come back once in a while and see a piece that fits, but never finish it. I set a 3 day deadline, this gives me a day to brainstorm and come up with a handful of potential names, and a day to run them by someone else to see what they think and to check availability using GoDaddy. Then I sleep on the ones that sound good letting my subconscious help in the selection, then I pick the best of the best on the third day.
If you already have a business name this might make the task of selecting a domain name easier, or harder if the business name is already used by another business on the web. Just don’t let that stop you, pick some keyword that fit your type of business, for example, if your a printing shop: print, printing, printers. Then combine them with other keywords that relate: fastprinting, topprint, printquick, qualityprinting, ultraprinting, maybe combine these with your location, this can be local or wide: pacificprinting, nationalprinters, westernprinters, etc.
- Easy to Remember
We have all seen names that for the life of us, we cannot remember. These will not help spread your name by word of mouth. Words that people can spell without looking at a dictionary work best. Take for example trying to verbally tell someone to go visit: wishes4significantrelatives.com as opposed to, makeawish.com. Also, domain names are not case sensitive, so a name like smalltimemarketer.com also works as SmallTimeMarketer.com which makes it easy on the eyes and to your brain to remember when you see it.
- Short is Better
Take my name SmallTimeMarketer.com it’s easy to remember, but not short enough to work with all the Social Media websites like Twitter, who only allow 15 character names, making my Twitter name @SmallTimeMarket. But like many, I just liked the name and had to have it… Hey I’m only human and I think Twitter should have longer names anyway!
- Make the Domain Unique
I don’t choose domains that are the plural, misspelled or hyphenated versions of an already established name. Another problem I see on selecting a domain name is confusing spelling like: Flickr vs Flicker or Carpenter vs Karpenter, or 2guyspizza vs twoguyspizza.
- Dot-Com Domains
Even today with all the .net, .org .biz’s, go for the .com first and only use one of the others if you have to. People still have .com on the brain, and assume that .com is all that is out there. If you would like to, registering several similar domain names if your budget permits and you have a popular sounding name others would most likely copy. Some people even like to register common misspellings of their companies name. You should also check to see if you have MyName.com that the others like MyName.net or.biz, are not bad sites.
- Copyright Infringement
Not often but it happens… To be sure not to infringe on anyone’s copyright with your prospective domain name, visit copyright.gov and search the catalog.
- Brand Yourself
A brand is not just a combination of words, names like marketingyou.com are not as compelling as a branded name like SmallTimeMarketer.com.
Taking into consideration all the above, if you can have your main keyword used to describe your business in the domain you create, it still gives you some clout with the search engines and is still part of proper SEO tactics.
- Register Now
Domain’s are being snatched up faster than candy at Halloween. You don’t have to have a website to register a domain name, heck you don’t even need a business. I recommend GoDaddy for Domains, they have an easy to use control panel, that makes setup easy, and the cost is about average.
Keep these in mind and you won’t go wrong when selecting a domain name, and remember do as I say not as I do and keep it under 15 letters if you can.
Until next time,