10 Rules Of Thumb To Select A Great Domain Name

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Having a hardworking domain name for your website helps you clearly communicate with your prospects and clients. A great domain name makes it easy for prospects and clients to find your website, says something specific about you and your business, and helps protect your brand.

Here are 10 rules of thumb to select a great domain name:

1. It’s easy to say.

This also means your domain name must be easy for teleclass, workshop, and radio show listeners to accurately hear.

Poor: TeamSpecialists.com

Better: TeamExperts.com

2. It’s easy to spell.

Poor: PhenomenalMnemonicDevices.com

Better: GreatMemoryDevices.com

Best: MemoryDevices.com

3. It’s easy to read, even when all letters are lowercase.

Poor: theenglishpoets.com

Better: englishpoets.com

Note: Make it easy for readers by capitalizing each word in your printed materials.

4. It’s catchy and easy to remember.

Example (one of Taco Bell’s actual domain names): FourthMeal.com

This example comes with a caveat; I don’t advocate eating a fourth meal of fast food late at night!

5. It’s clear, not cryptic.

Do you have a favorite phrase or industry jargon that’s meaningful to you? Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes: Would they have a clue what your clever domain name means?

6. It’s only 1 or 2 words long (3 words is acceptable; 4 is generally too long unless the words are short).

Acceptable: WritingTipsForKids.com

Acceptable, but confusing when stated verbally: WritingTips4Kids.com

7. It has the fewest syllables possible.

Poor: ExperiencedCareerAdvisors.com

Better: CareerExperts.com

8. It communicates your business or brand.

Acceptable: JaniceJones.com

Better: JonesCPA.com

9. It ends with .com.

Let’s say you want to purchase LeadershipStrategies.com, but it’s already taken. Don’t buy LeadershipStrategies.net. This will just confuse your clients and website visitors. Keep researching-you’ll come up with a domain name that fits these criteria. Also, let’s say you live in Canada; your best choices would be .com and .ca.

10. It may use hyphens but not underscores.

Poor: Janice_Jones_CPA.com

Better: Jones-CPA.com

Note: In this example, Janice Jones is wise to own at least two domain names: JonesCPA.com (her main website) and Jones-CPA.com. The latter helps protect her brand and is easier to read in printed materials. However, she must be sure to “redirect” visitors from Jones-CPA.com to her main site, JonesCPA.com.

More tips to select and purchase domain names:

  • Buy various versions to protect your brand-Our fictional accountant, Janice Jones, might decide to use JonesCPA.com as her main website. However, she should also purchase JonesCPA.net, JonesCPA.biz, JonesCPA.info, JaniceJones.com, JaniceJonesCPA.com, JJonesCPA.com, JonesAccounting.com, etc. This might seem expensive, but it will protect her brand if another Janice Jones exists, especially if she happens to be a CPA.
  • Purchase your business’s tagline and book titles-If possible, purchase the tagline of your business, since this is foundational to your brand. And purchase the domain name that reflects any books or information products that you’ve created. You can use these domains as sales pages to sell your product as well as protect your brand.
  • Use redirects-If Janice Jones’s main website is JonesCPA.com, all her other domain names can be set up to automatically transfer visitors to that main site. Using redirects enables visitors to arrive at your website, even if they accidentally type a slight alteration. You can also redirect your product domain name to the correlating page on your main website.
  • Buy common misspellings of your domain name-What if our fictional accountant’s name is Janice Kavanaugh? She would be wise to purchase the domain names KavanaughCPA.com and CavanaughCPA.com.
  • Buy domain names with hyphens-In print, domain names with hyphens are easier to read. Also, buying versions of your domain names with hyphens can help protect your brand.
  • Use www.NameBoy.com to brainstorm and find available names-This website offers an easy tool to quickly brainstorm oodles of potential domain names for your business. You can purchase domain names at NameBoy.com, GoDaddy.com, and multiple other websites. I’ve been purchasing my domain names at GoDaddy.com, because I like their customer service.
  • Make the investment now, don’t wait-If you have an idea for a book or information product that you may someday create, be sure to snap up the available domain name now. Great domain names are rare and precious commodities!

  • When selecting a great domain name, explore lots of possibilities, think about what various domain names might communicate to prospects and clients, and have fun!

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