What’s in a Name? If It’s a Domain Name – Everything

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

When selecting a domain name, it’s important to take into consideration the impact that name will have on your business and with your prospective customers. Names can hurt sometimes, so be careful with your choice in words.

I don’t mean to write about a topic that’s been written about so many times and by so many authors just to have another article published. However, I believe it’s one worth repeating. Let’s face it; your domain name is a part of your business that will be with you for a long time. You can change the layout of your site; the colors; and the products you sell. But you cannot go and change your domain name at will…You’re stuck with it. Therefore, make it count.

So, how do you find a good domain name; what are some of the ‘rules’ when selecting the name for your site? Well here are just some of the basic rules you will need to consider:

1. Make it Simple – A one word domain name is best. It’s probably next to impossible to achieve today. But if you’re lucky enough to find a single word that describes your site; then take it. Don’t be discouraged if you need to create a phrase name instead of a single word. If “Best.com”, is already taken, then perhaps, “TheBestSite.com”, can be a good alternative.

2. Easy to Remember – This is the main reason for the ‘one word’ site name, it’s easy to remember. Nevertheless, even a phrase-name can be easy to remember, if thought out properly.

3. Easy to Spell – Whatever the name or phrase- name you choose it’s has to be easy to spell. If your prospective customer needs to be a great speller in order to locate your site, you’re only hurting yourself. Do not use fancy words; or incorporate other languages. If your store is the “yes” store, do not consider calling your website the “Qui store.com”. If you use words that are not of the common vernacular, your potential customers will soon become frustrated in trying to locate you and stop visiting altogether. That is, If they don’t bookmark your site.

4. Don’t – Stay away from the hyphens, or the plurals. If the hyphen is not placed properly or left out altogether, your customer will most likely end up on somebody else’s site, not yours. Even worse yet, a competitor’s site. Do not use a well known brand name. Just because the ‘dot com’ has not been purchased yet doesn’t mean to go out and get it. You’ll lose in the long run. Big corporations are just that, ‘big corporations’; moreover, you’re not. They will come after you, and you will lose.

5. Do – Consider purchasing variations of your site’s name. Most Registrars (where you buy your domain name) will provide to you variations of the site name that is available. If your site name is “Bananas.com” consider the following variations: “thebananastore.com, or “bananas.net”. You have to think about the person searching for your site or brand with Google or Yahoo. It’s easy to add the word “the” before any site name, and before you know it, your customer is on another website…not yours. Stick with the ‘.com’ extensions and avoid the others…especially if your website is an ecommerce site. It’s easy to get frustrated when trying to acquire your domain name; most of the good names are already taken. Don’t go down the wrong path and compromise a good domain name by accepting the ‘.net’ , or the ‘.org’ extensions because you think there is no other choice; that’s wrong. You will have to be creative and work with keyword phrase names instead of the single word name.

6. Keyword – Whenever possible, always include a keyword as part of your name. If your name is ‘Mike’, and you sell windows, then the obvious domain name (if available) will be, ‘MikesWindows.com’. If your company installs windows, then ‘MikesWindowInstallations.com’. You’re all about windows, so why not have the word ‘windows’ as part of your site’s name…Think about the Google searcher. You will have a hard time getting people to locate your site if the name was ‘MikesInstallations.com’. It doesn’t completely describe what it is that you do. When GOOGLE first started out, nobody knew what the heck this company was about. The name doesn’t really tell you anything. It took years before they started to become a well known name. You don’t have years; nor can you afford to wait for a long period of time.

There are more things to consider when selecting a name than just the six, I’ve listed above. Nevertheless, I believe these to be some of the most important ones you should take into account when deciding on a good domain name.

The old saying goes: ‘sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me’. Well, in the virtual world of the Internet, that’s not always true. A poorly selected domain name will hurt you, and it will hurt for a long time. Take the time to think about your business, your brand, and the person searching the Internet. If you will do that, and then apply the basic rules I’ve listed, you will avoid a boat-load of disappointment and the spending of a lot of money for those pay-per-click ads to compensate for a poor domain name selection.

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