Just exactly how to choose a domain name for your new online venture? A website’s domain name (also know as a website address or URL) is an important consideration when developing your online presence.
Choosing an appropriate name is that the initiative within the process of building online credibility. Remember to settle on it carefully. Because this online address could also be where your business resides for the remainder of its operating life.
Important tips to think about before choosing your domain name:
Choosing Your Domain Extension A domain extension or top level domain is just the suffix of your website address: (.com, .net, .org, .ca, etc.) Most Internet users are conversant in the “.com” extension, and will generally use this extension by default when typing an address into their browser.
Choosing a “.com” extension should be your fist choice. Just in case your potential customers forget that your address is “www.mybusiness.NET”, and visit your competitor at “www.mybusiness.COM” by mistake. Choosing the “.com” extension gives your website the foremost credibility within the eyes of your customers.
If your business only caters to the local community.
Then it makes sense to get a country specific domain name, such as the “.ca” extension. A country specific domain benefits you in two ways. Both your customers and search engines like Google will know that your website is registered to a Canadian and operates in Canada.
Potential customers will feel easier knowing that they’re using a Canadian company, and not a U.S. based business pretending to be a Canadian company.
Also, search engines will give your website higher placement within the search results when a user is performing a Canadian specific search.
I personally recommend that my clients, if possible, register both the “.com” AND “.ca” extension.
This way, your Canadian based website will enjoy using the “.ca” extension, while at an equivalent time ensuring that they reach your website if they accidentally type the “.com” extension into their browser.
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Using Your Business Name
The first choice for any domain name would be your business’ name. This ensures that your customers will remember your website’s address. You can’t expect your potential customers to remember a phrase that just relates to your business.
How to Choose a Domain Name -consider keywords
Choosing Choice Keywords Including specific keywords in your website’s address will help your rankings in popular search engines like Google or Yahoo.
It is best to settle on a keyword that your potential customers will use to look for your business. A search engine optimization (SEO) professional like Cost Effective Design can assist you in choosing your keyword(s).
These sort of domain names are utilized in instances where the client doesn’t want to use the business name. This is because it’s either already registered by another company, or the company name is simply too long. Any company that is serious about generating traffic through search engines, should acquire a domain name with a keyword in addition to your business name. This can be an important consideration when deciding how to choose your domain name.
Don’t Confuse Customers With Your Domain Name
If possible try not to use domain names that include: “2” for “To” or “4” for “For” or “u” for “You”. These may make your domain look “cool” or “hip”, but actually they’re not very practical.
These domain names create a drag when directing your clients to your website verbally or over the phone. For example, if you owned http://www.UsedCars4U.com, every time you verbally directed someone to your website, you would have to specify that the URL uses the actual number 4, and letter U.
To Use, Or Not to Use Hyphens When Choosing Your Domain Name
Given that more and more businesses are registering domain names every day. Getting the web site address you would like is becoming increasingly difficult.
One or two word domain names are usually already registered. Thus forcing new registrants to settle on URLs containing three or four words.
To some people, these URLs can appear as if an enormous mess of words. Using hyphens in between the words can make them visually more appealing.
For example, “www.used-cars-for-you.com, looks better than “www.usedcarsforyou.com. The jury remains out on hyphenated domain names.
The advantages are that they appear better and search engines can easily distinguish the separate keywords for better search placements. But the disadvantages are that they’re difficult to verbally communicate and type.
The best solution would be to register both the hyphenated, and the un-hyphenated version of the name to ensure there’s no confusion.
Domain Name Length
Even though you’re allowed to use 67 characters for a website name, the overall rule of thumb is. Shorter is best .
Although, in some instances, a website address may be more memorable if it is more descriptive. For example a website consisting of initials only, like “www.waa.com”, might not create an enduring impression compared to the name “www.windsorautoassociation.com”.
Therefore, it’s best to settle on a domain that, while short, contains enough description for your customers to simply remember.
Buying an Existing Domain Name
Maybe the name you actually want is already registered. Either by a legitimate company, or by a “domain flipper” who registered the name to sell for a profit at a later date.
You can bid for these sorts of domains, although they may cost several hundred, or maybe thousands of dollars.
There are advantages to purchasing an existing domain name. In addition to getting the domain you would like , it’s going to also rank highly within the search engines. Surely keywords generate topic specific traffic that you will benefit your business.