Top 10 Tips on Picking Effective Domain Names

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

10. Shorter is better. A long name like searchengineoptimizationspecialist.com may sound like a good idea to an SEO expert, but I assure you most users either won’t remember it, or won’t type it right.

9. Easy to spell. Make sure you pick a domain name that’s easy to spell. Most internet users are not great spellers so just avoid words that are difficult to spell. A good rule of thumb is to use high school level vocabulary.

8. Avoid numbers and hyphens. This speaks for itself. We don’t visualize in terms of hyphens and unless you have a unique number or a number with some significance, don’t include those either.

7. Relevant and unique. An effective domain name could work as a powerful marketing tool. Pick a domain name that describe your venture in some way or is unique and fun.

6. Avoid trademark issues. Do whatever you can to avoid trademark issues. It’s better to stay away from variations of existing brand names, including misspellings, abbreviations and trademark names. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can avoid trademark hassle with a hyphen.

5. Avoid misunderstandings. The other day I came across a site: whorepresents.com. The site name is actually “Who Represents” and it gives information about celebrity agents, lawyers, managers and publicists. However, when you look at the URL, the two words that pop into your head are “whore” and “presents.” Enough said, I suppose.

4. Alternate TLDs. You should avoid registering an alternate TLD like .info or .me, if the .com name is already taken. Avoid doing this especially if the name you want is a brand name, trademark or the name of an existing business.

3. Intentional misspellings. You must not get domain names that are intentionally misspelled, hoping that people will catch on the new spelling. You might have to end up spending millions to educate the public about your special spelling, and even then you will lose a lot of traffic. People won’t spell your name right when they type it in their browser.

2. Check domain availability. This goes without saying, but it’s important. Once you select a name, don’t start making plans around that name until you make sure that it’s available. Quite often, your first choice won’t be available when you check for it and you’ll need to come up with an alternative. Now, this in itself can sometimes be a good thing since it allows you to brainstorm more and often you will come up with a better name.

1. Include keywords. Finally, and most importantly, include keywords in your domain names. This can not only help improve your search engine rankings but also describes the nature of your business to your visitors.

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