How to Choose and Register a Domain Name For an Internet Marketing Site

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Once you get your web hosting squared away, you’re going to have to register a domain name for your new website. I use a web host that also registers domain names. It’s more convenient that way.

There seem to be two schools of thought about the importance of the domain name. Let’s talk about the issues surrounding this.

Some people think you need a memorable domain name, like businesses need a memorable name. My feeling is, yeah, that’s important, but not nearly as important in the online world as in the off-line world.

This all gets back to our discussion about how visitors get to your site. People don’t discover your site by typing in the URL. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone refer me to a site by telling me the name of the URL. Unless it’s in the sphere of a site like Digg or StumbleUpon, the number of people who discover a site through a referral has to be almost nil. Within Digg or StumbleUpon, yeah, sure you discover sites recommended by your peeps, but the platform takes care of the details.

Usually when I read the results from a Google search, I check out the domain name, especially if the blurb about the website is unclear. So, your domain name could affect your traffic that way. Although I don’t really think there’s going to be too much of a negative impact there, either. (Unless there’s too much of a disconnect between your page’s content and the name of your site.)

When I decide on a domain name I look at my main keyword phrase and see if I can get anything out of that. I brainstorm and make a list of ten or twenty names. I have to go through this process to choose a good domain name. Although, usually after I’ve done all of this, the name just pops into my head at some random time.

Try to keep the name down to three words. Two would be better, but I don’t know if I’ve been able to think of a two word name lately that hasn’t been taken. A good trick to make your name more readable by human’s is to put hyphens between the words.

This isn’t a real domain name (or at least I don’t think it is-I didn’t check it to see), but if your website was about model English trains, and you wanted your domain name to be www.modelenglishtrains.com, it’s better to put hyphens between the words. Look how much easier it is to read this: www.model-english-trains.com.

According to Google’s information at the Webmaster’s Tools, the hyphens are easier for the search engines to read, also. In addition, the second URL is much easier for a human to read than the first, and it will encourage humans to click on the link for your page from the search engine results page.

Although I register my domain names through my web host, you can also look them up through Yahoo!’s domain registration page. You can Google that and find it. Either way is fine.

You’ll want your domain to end in a .com or a .net. Nothing funky. If you can’t find one of the standard suffixes for the name you’ve chosen, then find another name.

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