Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Picking the Right Domain Name

Choosing the right domain for your business can be critical. Actually, choosing a great domain is far less important than NOT choosing a bad domain.

Here are a few suggestions for choosing a great domain name.
  • Say your prospective domain name aloud. Is it easy to say? Avoid tongue twisters.
  • Avoid repeated letters between words. www.blueemporiummart.com is hard to read and will frequently be mistyped.
  • Avoid homonyms. NicePear.com could be a fruit seller, where NicePair could be a site for twins, couples, or a page dedicated to large-busted women.
  • Avoid plurals when possible. This domain, JasonsMillion.com, is singular, but I also had to buy the plural version, JasonsMillions.com, to ensure that people won't make mistakes.
  • Avoid hyphens. Hyphens look good visually, but saying them verbally sounds bad. You'll be amazed how often you will give your web address verbally.
  • Don't use "2" in place of "to", "4" instead of "for", or "U" in place of "you", unless you purchase both names. If you registered flowers4u.com, also register flowersforyou.com.
  • Never use a .net or .org name unless you also own the .com. When typing your URL or e-mail address, people may make mistakes. You want them to find you and not another company, especially if it's a competitor.
  • Shorter is better. JasonsMillion.com is much better than Jasonthemilliondollarblogger.com. Shorten your domain as much as possible, without violating the rules above. Today I wouldn't consider a domain greater than 20 characters except in rare circumstances.
  • Finally, the Internet is a dynamically changing community. Certain domain names will make your website appeared dated. A few years ago adding the letter "e" with a hyphen was cool. Then, everyone started adding the word "my" to the front. Today, Apple has made the letter "i" popular. Prefixes like cyber-, uber-, and others are catchy, but will have a short life span. Sentences like www.howtonameyourdomain.com can be good for a marketing cycle, but might not have staying power. Unfortunately all of these could look very dated in 2020. I recommend using whole words whenever possible. Few words will go out of style.
Choosing a good domain name is as important to website marketing as naming your company. Today, many startup companies create their corporate name only after registering a domain name.

Do you need help finding a great domain name? One of the services my company provides is domain name acquisition. Visit my corporate website at www.tweednet.com for more information, or give me a call at 215-541-5382.
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