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6 Tips to Choose the Right Domain Name

How to Choose the Right Domain NameChoosing the right domain name is tricky business. If you do not put a lot of effort into thinking before registering one, you might easily end up with a domain name that you later regret – and worse – have built an entire business on top of. Of course, it depends a lot on whether you intend to put up a personal site or an online extension of your well established business, or an online start-up venture, but choosing the right domain name is the first, and probably the most important step in making your Internet presence a profitable one.

In this article I present a few key areas you must consider before choosing your own domain name:

1. Keep Your Domain Name Purpose In Mind

As obvious as it may sound, you have to be clear with what you intend to use the domain name for. It’s better to include your functionality in your domain name, as it is easier to remember and less likely to be confused with something else. For example, if you deliver cookies, www.cookiedelivery.com would be a better domain name choice than www.cookie.com. Also, never compromise: spending $500 to acquire an already registered domain name from someone else might be expensive in the short term, but wise in the long term.

2. Short And Simple Domain Names Are Best

Size definitely matters, and as far as you domain name is concerned, you really want to keep it short and simple. Lengthy URLs obviously are easy to forget, and cumbersome to work with. A length around 6 letters is what you should aim for. But take care: even a very short, seemingly nonsensical sequence of letters is hard to remember too. For example, tiuiop.com, will be considered a bad choice. So just keep it as short and simple as possible.

3. Select The Right Top Level Domain

The top level domain (TLD) address is what comes after the dot, for example, com, net, org, in, uk, etc. The rule of thumb is to always go for .com if the desired name is available since many businesses operate around the world, but in my opinion, it really depends on what are you buying the domain for. Sure .com seems authentic and is probably the top choice for any domain, but if your business is confined to a particular region, you might want to apply for the TLD (Top Level Domain) of that country. For example, www.cookiedelivery.in is a much better choice if you deliver cookies in India. So, all you need is some smart, and situational thinking. Similarly, .org domain is the pinnacle TLD for a not-for-profit organization or non-governmental organization.

4. Don’t Use Numbers or Dashes/Hyphens

The use of numbers in a domain name is a big no. Why? Because numbers are hard to remember. If you own a business, you really don’t want your customers to end up at your competitor’s site just because they wrote ‘to’ or ‘two’ instead of ‘2’. For exactly the same reason, avoid hyphens (also known as dashes), unless you have no other choice. The use of special characters, such as ampersand (&), are simply not allowed by domain name registrars so there’s no reason to even consider them.

5. Spend About $10 for a New Domain Name

The cost of registering and keeping a domain name is around $10 a year. That is, if you buy a new one. (Search on Google for “domain name” and you can usually find a deal through GoDaddy, the largest registrar in the world, for around $8 per year.) The domains that are auctioned can cost anything depending on the willingness of the seller – but from what I’ve seen most domains sell for less than $500. So, go as far as your pocket permits you, and get yourself a perfect domain name. You can even attend a domain name auction if you need to.

6. If One Domain Name is Good, Two is Better!

And not just two, go out and buy all those domains that you think are too similar to yours. Let me give you some examples. If your site is www.cookiedelivery.in, you can buy www.cookiesdelivery.com, www.cookiedelivery.net, www.cookiedelivery.com, and redirect all these to your main page. Benefits? Do I even need to mention? Not only do you prevent your competitors from choosing a domain that is confusingly similar to yours, but you ensured no customer gets lost on the way to your web page due to a typing error or a bad memory.

Conclusion

All in all, these six points pretty much sum up all the things you need to know. Yet you might still ask, ‘What’s in a name?’ To a web based businessman, nothing gives more satisfaction than having a unique, brandable and memorable domain name. Remember:

1. Keep Your Domain Name Purpose In Mind
2. Short And Simple Domain Names Are Best
3. Select The Right Top Level Domain
4. Don’t Use Numbers or Dashes/Hyphens
5. Spend About $10 for a New Domain Name
6. If One Domain Name is Good, Two is Better!

[Photo credit: BdR76]

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