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How to Pick the Perfect Domain Name                   


Michael Thomas - 08/03/09

  • Learn how to pick the perfect domain name (website address) for your business. Identifies common mistakes made when picking a domain name.  

 

What makes the perfect domain name?

Well, it has to be:

 

     1.  Relatively short

     2.  Simple to remember

     3.  Easy to spell

 

I was speaking to a customer recently who had a business called 'Otway Valley Trading Company'.

 

The domain name he wanted was:

www.otwayvalleytradingcompany.com

 

Can you spot some of the problems with this domain name?

 

Here's a few:

 

 

  1. It's too long:

Having to type a long domain name into your browser is annoying and also increases the chances of your customers making a spelling mistake.

 

 

  1. Too many keywords:

Having 4 keywords (Otway Valley Trading Company) makes it hard for customers to remember the name of the site.

 

Try to stick to one or two keywords in your domain name.

 

 

  1. Easy to misspell:

The word 'otway' can be easily confused for 'ottway'.

 

 

  1. Makes the email address too long:

An email address for this domain name would look like this:

 

sales@otwayvalleytradingcompany.com

 

... that's a mouthful for anyone to remember.

 

 

Picking a Good Domain Name:

  

 

  1. The shorter the better

Having a short and snappy domain name makes it easier for your customer to remember your website address, and easier to type into their Internet browser.

 

 

  1. Go for something catchy

Keep in mind that your domain name doesn't have to be boring. In fact, if you can come up with something catchy - it's a great way to distinguish your business from the competition - just ask the people at Yahoo!.

 

 

  1. Avoid using hyphens

We've found that hyphens in domain names tend to confuse people.

 

Sometimes you'll see websites that have a hyphen separating keywords (e.g. ace-accounting.com). This is almost always because the preferred name (aceaccounting.com) has already been registered by someone else.

 

If the domain you want is already being used by someone else, then you're better off coming up with an alternative name then using hyphens.

 

 

  1. Avoid using numbers

If possible, try avoiding the use of numbers in your domain name, as this can also lead to confusion (e.g. was that 3phones.com or threephones.com ?).

 

But if you have to use a number, make sure you register both the written and numerical versions of your domain name (3phones.com and threephones.com).

 

 

  1. Grab a thesaurus

If you're struggling for inspiration or finding it difficult to come up with a domain name that hasn't already been taken - grab a thesaurus (or visit http:///Thesaurus.com)

 

Say you run an adventure tour company and you want to register excitingadventures.com - but somebody has already registered the domain name.

 

Lookup the word 'exciting' at Thesaurus.com and you can quickly find an alternative like 'breathtaking, sensational or fascinating'.

 

And don't be afraid to use a little imagination - companies like Google and Yahoo! have benefited a lot by having a unique web address.

 

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