Part 1: The Do’s and Don’ts of Picking Domain Names
Getting ready to choose your domain name? Just in case you weren’t already aware, the Internet is typically the first place people look when they’re searching for information on what you do. Additionally, the Internet is typically one of the first places people look when they want to find out about you or your business – or as we say in the online world, they Google you.
That being said, you can probably surmise just how important it is to not only have the people you want to find you, find you, but also to have them find the information you want them to find both quickly and easily – And having great domain names is a critical step in making that happen.
Now over the years I’ve coached a number of small businesses as well as independent professionals such as authors, real estate agents, network marketers, and sales representatives of larger corporations, and I’ve seen them choose and/or use all kinds of effective as well as ineffective domain names – most of the time, not really being aware of how important and powerful a properly chosen domain name can be.
So here a couple of do’s and don’ts to help you choose domain names that get results:
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- Learn what keywords people search for when looking for what you do and look to use those in your domain names.
- At less than $10 a pop per year for most domain names, allow yourself to buy more than 1.
- Choose domain names that are memorable.
- Choose domain names that make it easier to find you online.
- Use specific domain names for specific promotions or ad campaigns.
- Shorter is not always better but in many cases it is – I know I don’t like typing long URLs – do you?
- Buy common misspellings of your domain name.
- If possible, to avoid confusing your target market, spell the domain name exactly how it sounds.
- Even though alternatives are available (e.g. “.net”, “.info”, “.org”, etc.), buy “.com” addresses whenever possible – this is still the commonly assumed domain name extension of the masses.
- Unless you’re a big company with a recognizable brand such as an IBM or EDS, using an acronym for your domain name is probably not a wise choice.
- Stay away from hyphen and underscore characters between words in a multiple word domain name – it just complicates communicating your web site address as well as making it more difficult to find.
- Be careful when substituting numbers for the actual spelled out version of the word (e.g. using the number “4” instead of spelling out the word “four” or “for”). Again, it just complicates communicating your web site address as well as making it more difficult to find.
So in closing, in part 2 of this article, I will share with you part of my domain name strategy to give you a glimpse into how I play the domain name game.