Tips for Choosing Your Domain Name

Every business, website, or blog benefits from having its own, unique domain name. This gives it professional status and helps it to stand out from the crowd. What’s more, the domain name itself can play a key role in attracting visitors, with appropriate wording, so it pays to think about it carefully. But there’s more to stringing together an attractive, promotional name than you might think. It’ll need to be catchy, memorable and original, for instance, while also giving an indication of what your website offers. Check your preferred domain name for maximum effectiveness by asking yourself if it will do the following:

Lead searchers to your site

Choose words that searchers are likely to use when looking for a website like yours. If it advertises knitwear that you sell, for instance, include “Knitwear,” “Knit,” “Wool” or another word that searchers are likely to use. Check S.E.O. (search engine optimization) rankings for the most frequently used words appropriate to your business, then see if you can work the top ones into your domain name.

Say or hint at what you do

Attract searchers to your site by indicating your specific niche or service, as well as your general topic. To take the knitwear example, perhaps you make the garments yourself or provide organic or ethically sourced ones, or maybe you offer a platform for buying and selling knitwear, in which case, say so in your domain name. The more you can reveal about your website’s content in its name, the more traffic you will draw.

Offer a soundbite or eyecatcher

You’ll want your site to stand out from the crowd, so pick a name that will attract browsers and stay in the minds of previous visitors. Try to phrase your name so that it rolls off the tongue and sticks in the memory. It might have a catchy rhythm, quirky pun or nice rhyme, for instance, or two words starting with the same letter. Make it easy to read, too, by using short or familiar words, and separating them from each other with dots. Suppose you sell downloadable waterfall photos, for instance, and want to use that full description in your name, you’ be wise to divide them up with dots. Ideally, though, you’d avoid this tricky mouthful by using a more straightforward phrase.

Offer easy letters for keying in

Some people have difficulties with typing, spelling or both, so try to avoid uncommon letters, like “Z” and “Q,” and number digits, in your domain name. Words that are difficult to spell present off-putting challenges to potential returners and could prevent some searchers from finding you at all, so pick simple alternatives when you can. If your website features pharmaceutical products, for instance, you’d be wise to avoid the long, complicated word, “Pharmaceutical,” using a simple, familiar alternative instead.  Before settling on a domain name, try keying it in yourself to see how your fingers cope.

Be unique

For both practical and legal reasons, your domain name must be different from all others, even if only by one letter, but that side will be taken care of automatically by the registering process. If your intended name is already in use, it will not be accepted, and you’ll need to alter it (perhaps several times) to find an arrangement of letters and dots that no one else is using. Your application will then be accepted.

Once you have decided on your domain – or even, if you’re thinking about it – I highly recommend Namecheap to register your domain. They provide an excellent technical platform and their prices are among the best in the industry. You’ll also find advice, clarification and useful links to help you when setting up your online business.

Registering your domain name will be like putting the “Open” sign on your shop door and switching on the lights, ready for customers. It’s a simple step, once you’ve fixed the wording. Just make sure you’re ready for all the business coming your way.

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About the Author: Dan Millington

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