Choosing the perfect domain name

April 9, 2006 at 4:54 am 1 comment

Choosing the perfect domain name for your website is an essential move for anyone who is serious about internet success, a quick browse the top 100 visited websites on the net can reveal one similarity between them all: they all have a good domain name.

A domain name by itself doesn’t generate traffic, as soon as you register one hundreds of thousands of people don’t just turn up; it’s more of an assistant to all of your other promotions, especially when you plan to generate a lot of your visitation from offline promotion methods like Business Cards, Posters, Word of the mouth etc. in this case it’s important that people can remember your URL.

In a sense a domain name becomes the brand name of your site and with that comes a reputation, having a good domain names like having a businesses head office in a classy skyscraper, while having a long hard to remember one’s like having a dingy office behind the local gas station.

Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a good domain name:

Short and Simple
A good domain name should be as short as possible, if you plan to advertise offline this is essential. People won’t try to remember 56 character domains, so keep it short! Most of the really short domains are already taken, but you might be able to still get 5+ character domains. As a general rule the shorter the better.

Easy to Say and understand If you want to encourage people to tell their friends about your great site, you better make it easy to say and hard to hear the wrong way. For example C2C.com is a bad domain name choice because people could hear it as SeatoSea.com or SeetoSee.com. That means these other sites would be getting your traffic, and that’s not good.

Easy to type and spell
A good domain name should be simple to spell, and type. You can accomplish this by having short domains, and domains that represent real things like doglife.com or fishcake.org, Practice typing the domain name that you want several times and think of all the problems potential visitors might have. Example : Becuase.com and Because.com

Avoid Numbers, underscores and hyphens
I know that you can use underlines (_), hyphens (-) and numbers (3) in your domain name but do you really won’t to? Using numbers means that you have to register several domain names (twodogs.com, 2dogs.com) because people might hear them the wrong way and underscores and hyphens can get confusing for people.

Avoid letters between words
This is one that many people don’t really think about, but it’s important. Let’s say that you have a design company called Willard Design, what would the problems be with this domain? Some people would type the URL as: Willardesign.com while others would type it as Willarddesign.com. That means you have to register both domain names.

Plural?
If you had a domain of Cat.com, some people could type Cats.com, which would mean they are sent to a different site, unless you register the other domain.

Logical
If you have an already established business it makes sense to register a domain under that e.g. Harry’s Pizza you could register Harryspizza.com and any other domains that a visitor might accidentally type. If you are a new site with no offline business, you don’t have to worry about this.

Guessable
If you have a domain name make it guessable, a visitor should be able to guess what it is if they can only remember parts of the domain.

TLD Problems
TLD stands for Top Level Domain, which is any domain name like yahoo.com, fishguts.net, W3C.org. The most common TLD is .COM, but as the internet has grown several others have been invented: These include .net, .org, .info etc.
For a full list visit: Techdictionary.com

The problem with this is that some inexperienced net users think .com is the only TLD, and think that any other is simply a misprint,

“Dot what? Dot you mean Dot Com?”
In any case it’s probably a good idea to register as many TLDs of your domain that you can. Especially .COM!

Register Others
In the above examples I’ve shown you how people might mistake your domain for another domain; my advice is to brainstorm all the possible mistakes people might make based on the above points, then register as many as you can that includes spelling errors, plural mistakes, common mishearings and TLD mistakes.

Conclusion
Finding the perfect domain name has never been easy, but it is getting harder everyday as the number of domain names registered increases, the best thing you can do is register your domain as quick as possible, if it’s still available…

Just last week I wanted a domain, and then it was taken 1 week later.How bad’s that? Even if you don’t have a website yet but you plan to in the future you should consider registering that domain name right now, so no one else can take it. Careful thought now can pay large dividends in the future…

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Entry filed under: News and Issues, Promotion and SEO, Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Shelly  |  October 21, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    I’m addicted to buying domains now. I’ve even sold a few at a profit. I use http://rightfuldomains.com to register my domain and build my site. They have the best prices.

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