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CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME 

Choosing a Domain Name Is Getting Harder by the Day.  Choose Your Domain Name Wisely.  Apply This Information.

Choosing your domain name is vital part of your overall website success strategy.  If you don't choose well, you will have a much more difficult time achieving your goals.  Be sure to consider the following aspects and factor them in when you make the decision to Register Your Domain Name

Don't underestimate the power of a good domain name.  When a person asks, "Which website...," the answer almost always is a domain name.  Here is how you choose your domain name wisely.  Pick it based on these considerations:

Choose Your Domain Name: The Name Game     Choose Your Domain Name

Make your domain name the same as the name of your website or blog.  This simplifies everything, but may not be easy to do.  Generally speaking, the vast majority of "good" domain names are already taken.  This makes finding a name for your website more complicated.  You may have to choose a name for your website based on whatever domain names are available.

Of course, doing this isn't an absolute necessity, but it decreases confusion and increases the appeal of your website.  When people think of your website or blog, you want them to associate it with your actual domain name.  If they are completely different, it will hurt you in the long run.

Name consistency is also very important.  If you have an offline business that is associated with the website or blog, it is best to have that business represented in the domain name.  For example, if you ran a sailboat store called "Chuck's Sailboats," it would be best if your domain name was ChucksSailboats.com.  Or, if that was unavailable, the next best thing would be a domain name that at least represented the offline business well.  Something like SailboatsByChuck.com might be an option.  Something like OpenWaterSailing.com would not be as good since it wouldn't naturally associate with the offline business.

Name consistency is also important if you have chosen to Create a Business Entity.  It is difficult to have a "perfect trifecta" where your domain name, offline business name, and business entity name are all identical.  But, if you can accomplish that, please do.  Having your domain name the same as your business entity name clarifies billing procedures since the charges will likely show up on a customer's statement as coming from the business entity by name.  If the website is totally different, they may think that charge was done fraudulently.  Then, you will get tagged with a dreaded chargeback.

The rest of this page is devoted to helping you find success through your domain name choice.  Name consistency is very important.  Make the names match if you can.  But, be sure to incorporate and consider all of the rest of the aspects into your domain name as well.  The more you incorporate, the better your domain name will be.

Choose Your Domain Name: Brand Consideration     Choose Your Domain Name Brand

Have you created a new catchword or catch phrase to represent your brand?  If you have, it is a good idea to use it as your domain name.  Doing this is important to help your brand gain recognition.

The problem here is that this type of branding usually uses short, succinct words or phrases.  These are usually difficult to get due to the fact that most are already registered.  If you can register one for your brand, snap it up.  If you absolutely must have a specific domain name, you can usually buy them from the individual who currently owns it.  This is usually cost-prohibitive, however, as they often sell for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

A better option, is to use your creativity and keep trying until you find a good domain name that works and hasn't been registered yet.  If you can find one that suits you, it could pay big marketing dividends later when your brand is more established.

Choose Your Domain Name: Trademark Check     Choose Your Domain Name Trademark

Don't spend hours of time and lots of energy making a website or blog successful only to have a lawyer knock on your door one day and give you a cease and desist letter.  Make sure you aren't violating a legal trademark of another business.

 

Even if you accidentally use someone else's trademark, doing so could cause your website to come to a tragic end.  Before settling on a domain name, be sure to do a trademark search.  The United States Government allows you to search enforceable trademarks in the U.S.A.  Search Trademarks by clicking this link.  Do it before you build your website or blog around a domain name.

Choose Your Domain Name: Length     Choose Your Domain Name Length

Length is an important characteristic of your domain name.  It should be short and to the point.  If it is long, people will mistype it, misread it, misremember it, and generally have trouble getting to your website.

 

Domain names can be a maximum of 67 characters.  This is plenty of characters.  I can't think of any domain name that should be that long.  Short is usually better.  But, it is a good thing to make the name longer and incorporate the rest of the characteristics mentioned here.  A short, meaningless, misspelled, blah name, for example, would not do you much good.

Choose Your Domain Name: Meaning     Choose Your Domain Name Meaning

Make sure your domain name conveys meaning.  It should pack a punch.  People whould know what your website or blog is generally about just by seeing the domain name.  You don't want the domain name to be an anachronym unless virtually everyone within the niche understands instantly what the anachronym means.  TEOTWAWKI.com might be a good domain name for a gloom and doom disaster prediction website, but no one outside people obsessed with "the end of the world as we know it" would likely have anything meaningful conveyed to them through the domain name.

 

If you think you have finally settled on a good domain name, show it to a few firends and ask them what they think the website is about.  If their ideas about what it is about match what you intent it to be about, it is probably a keeper.  If your domain name is not immediately intuitive to people interested in your niche, your website or blog has the additional task of making it immediately clear as soon as a visitor views the homepage.

Choose Your Domain Name: Spelling     Choose Your Domain Name Spelling

Make sure the domain name is easy to spell.  Choosing a tricky spelling for your domain name spells "less traffic."  Don't put words in your domain name that are commonly misspelled.

Choose Your Domain Name: Ease of Recall     Choose Your Domain Name Recall

Make your domain name memorable.  It is true that clever doesn't sell.  It is also true that clever helps people remember.  So, make your domain name as memorable as possible.  If the domain name makes people laugh or take notice, all the better.

 

If it is too long, people can't remember it.  If it is too boring or obscure, people won't remember it.  If it is clear and attention-grabbing, people will remember it.

Choose Your Domain Name: Uniqueness     Choose Your Domain Name Uniqueness

Your domain will be unique by default since there can only be one website at any given domain name.  However, attempt to set your website or blog apart from the crowd in some way using your domain name.

Choose Your Domain Name: Keyword Content     Choose Your Domain Name Keyword

Keywords are key when you are choosing a niche, doing niche research, and writing website content.  They are also important when you are choosing your domain name.

 

Search engines prefer domain names that have the main keyword of the website in the domain name.  Try to pick a domain name that contans the best keyword for your website's overall theme or concept.  Give the search engines what they want.  

Choose Your Domain Name: Representative     Choose Your Domain Name Represent

Your domain name should communicate something about you.  It should be an extension of your personal style, approach, or edge.  Try to pick a domain name that displays your personality an "voice."  As your human visitors read your content, a good domain name will imprint more easily.  Humans like domain names that resonate with the style of the website's author (you!).  Give the people what they want.  

Choose Your Domain Name: Make It Timeless     Choose Your Domain Name Timeless

Unless you are trying to capitalize on something you identify as a fad, your domain name should be classy and professional.  Don't make it hokey or ridiculous.  If you have the website for fifteen or twenty years, you want people to think of it as a '57 Chevy instead of an El Camino or Pinto.  You want your domain name to be appropriate and applicable a generation from now.  You want it to be timeless.

Choose Your Domain Name: Readability     Choose Your Domain Name Readability

Make sure that your domain name is easily read by individuals.  If there are more than two words in your doman name, you may want to consider hyphenating the words.  Using dashes to separate the words will often make it easier for people to quickly read and understand your domain name.

 

Domain names with just two words usually don't need a dash to improve their readability.  However, in the likely event that someone has already registered the name you would have chosen first, you might be able to add one between two words in order to register a name that is closer to your ideal name.

 

Additionally, search engines generally treat dashes as spaces.  This means they will likely treat each word as an individual word, so your keyword planning can remain intact.  

Choose Your Domain Name: Attractiveness     Choose Your Domain Name Attractive

Choose a domain name that is positive or neutral.  It should non-offensive to the largest base of people as possible.  Choose a domain name that is attractive to human viewers.  Don't put anything in it that is generally associated with something that has negative connotations.  

Choose Your Domain Name: Ending     Choose Your Domain Name Ending

Pick a good ending.  At some point in the future, the ending of a domain name will not matter.  There will be enough well-known domain names with various endings that a tipping point in public perception will be reached.  Until that happens, stick with the established domain name endings.

 

Make sure your domain name ends in .com, .net, or .org.  These are the "Big Three."  There are countless other domain name endings.  Different countries have different endings associated with websites in the country.  Endings like .info, .us, and .me are springing up.

 

However, .com, .net, and .org are still the domain name endings that are respected by most internet users.  They are seen as respectable and garner no suspicious attitudes.  Having a website or blog with an uncommon ending casts doubt on your legitimacy.  Stick with the top three for now.  And, shoot for .com if you are running a professional/commercial website or blog.

Choose Your Domain Name: A Few More Tips     Choose Your Domain Name Tips

A few other notes are in order before moving on.  Domain names are relative cheap.  They cost around ten dollars per year.  That is less than a dollar a month.  It is a good idea to buy more than you need in order to protect your brand or niche-specific idea from being hi-jacked.

 

If you can, why not register both the no-dashes and the dashed forms of a domain name?  This prevents a competitor from piggy-backing your work and diverting people away from your website or blog.  Additionally, you may want to consider registering the common misspellings of your domain name as well so that people who mistakenly type in the wrong address can be automatically re-directed to your website.

 

If the domain name you want is taken (likely), you can modify it slightly to get one that is acceptable.  You can add "the" or "my" or "shop" to the domain name somewhere.  You can add other words also.  One example would be turning "BestWebsite.com" into "TheBestWebsite.com."  

Choose Your Domain Name: Conclusion     Choose Your Domain Name Conclusion

Choosing a good domain name is getting harder and harder as more and more names get snatched up.  Be sure to work through all the information above and get it right.  One other thing to mention: depending on which service you choose to Register Your Domain Name, it may take a while to transfer it when you are ready to publish your website.

 

So, you may want to Choose a Hosting Service prior to registering your domain name.  Many hosting services will also provide registration services if you use them.  Either way, it is time to move on and Register Your Domain Name and then Choose a Hosting Service.

 

 

Copyright © 2009-2010, Issachar Knowledge, LLC: Choose Your Domain Name

 

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