Sensible Steps to Take When Choosing Your Domain Name
10 Sensible Steps to Take When Choosing Your Domain Name
With such a huge growth in the number of websites and the resulting
difficulty in finding an available domain name, it is tempting to
grab the first one that sounds like it might do the trick. However,
a small amount of homework will pay big dividends - follow the ten
steps below to obtain the optimal domain:
If it's not available you can't have it - simple!
Ensure that you do not breach copyright or infringe trademarks
with your choice of domain.
It's widely acknowledged that the best TLD (top level domain) is
.com. However, in the UK, web users are more than used to .co.uk
so this is equally acceptable for UK websites. If .com isn't available
and you use .net instead (for example), check that .com isn't either
a competitor or that the .com site content is acceptable! Always
try to get the .com, your country TLD or .net in that order. Web
users are still not used to .biz or .info.
4. BE GREEDY!
If more than one TLD variant is available, buy as many as you
can afford and set them all to point to your website. This is a
form of brand protection and prevents unscrupulous competitors trying
to cash in on your hard-earned web traffic.
5. BE MEMORABLE
Make sure that potential web users will remember your domain name
and that they can spell it properly.
6. BE PRONOUNCABLE
Try telling people your web address over the phone - can they understand
what you tell them? Or do they give up and try someone else's website.
7. BE DESCRIPTIVE
If you are a new business, very few people will remember or search
for your domain name if it is your company name. Try choosing a
domain name that is descriptive of your products instead e.g. cheap<<your
product here>>.com. Try testing it with a hyphen as well as
using just one word.
8. OFFLINE MARKETING Use your domain name in your
offline marketing literature and ensure that it is as visible as
possible. However, if your domain name consists of more than one
word, that isn't hyphenated, try using capital letters e.g. which
is easier to read - littlefishwebdesign.com or LittleFishWebDesign.com?
Domain names are not case sensitive so your clients will find your
site whichever version they use.
9. BUY YOUR DOMAIN FOR LONGER
Search engines are now looking at less obvious information such
as how long you have bought your domain name for. Domain names owned
for less than two years are though to be penalised, so buy your
domain for as long as possible.
10. OWN YOUR DOMAIN NAME
If you use a web designer or third party for your domain names,
ensure they are registered in your name and that you have a signed
agreement with the company that they will release all the details
(including password) to you, quibble free, if you choose to move
to another design or hosting company.
About the Author
Emma Kalson is the
owner of http://www.littlefishwebdesign.com
and has been designing websites for about 10 years. She doesn't
believe in unnecessary bells and whistles on websites and wants
to help remove some of the myths surrounding website design and
search engine activity.