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6 Rules for Choosing the Right Domain Name
Choosing the right domain name should be taken as seriously as selecting the business name, as it is your identity on the web. You want to make sure it fits your business as well as is something that is easy to promote. Many think the first step to starting your website is design, but choosing the right domain name is equally important and sometimes the hardest part in site creation.
Follow these simple rules when thinking of the right domain name for your website.
- Keep It Simple
Make sure it is easy to spell and simple to type, not keeping it simple could make it harder for customers to find your site. I just redesigned a website for a high school with the URL www.notredamepreaparatory.org, since preparatory is a harder word to spell we shortened the URL to www.ndpsaints.org, which keeps it simple and easy for the audience to remember.
Everything about the internet should be search focused to help your business get exposure, but don’t only use keywords. Try adding keywords that describe your business or service to help you come up organically in search results. As for Tidbits, I chose www.tidbitsmarketing.com using the keyword marketing, to gain exposure to those searching for a marketing company, but still maintaining the branding of the company.
- Be Memorable
Find a URL that stays in people’s minds, you don’t want them trying to find you, but not remembering your URL. Test it out to close friends to see what they think. See if they remember.
Anytime I have a client thinking of a URL or business name, the first thing I do is a search for multiple reasons. First, to see if it is trademarked, copyrighted or being used. Second, to see what comes up with similar results – is my name coming up with the competition or is it bringing up unrelated material.
- Fulfill Expectations
When someone hears your domain name they should first think what content would be found there. WebMD.com is obvious in the content, where as Monster.com has to do more SEO (search engine optimization) and branding for you to know what they do. When it comes to small, local businesses I encourage them to have their product or service in the name so they can get more results in search engines.
- Don’t Be Clever
Thinking of hard-to-spell, clever words or complex ideas just makes it harder for people to remember your site. It should be best practice to use a name with one possible spelling or purchase the domains for all the ways to spell it. Flickr.com purchased Flicker.com because I am sure they were loosing traffic to those who spelt the URL correctly.