How To Choose A Domain Name

Published June 7, 2013

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Modern business concept…and if you haven’t got a business name yet, this could help, too!
When I talk to business owners about taking their business online, the question of How To Choose A Domain Name usually comes up pretty quickly.

And that’s great because choosing your domain name is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to taking your business online or starting an online business from scratch.

I have put together The Top 5 Questions you must consider when Choosing Your Domain Name.

Let’s go!

How To Choose A Domain Name – Question 1

Why is your domain name so important?
Your domain name (or URL) is your online address. To find you on the
internet, visitors have to type in your URL. Your domain name can also help
define your online identity: there is obviously a difference between

www.HeavenlyLingerie.com.au and www.FantasyLingerie.com.au.

Your domain name can help establish your position and branding in the
market.

However most importantly, your domain name helps search engines to
determine how relevant your site is to a particular keyword* search.

[*A keyword is a word or phrase that someone would enter into a search
engine to find a service, product or simply a piece of information they are
looking for on the Internet.
Say you were planning a holiday to Antigua; the keyword or keyword phrase
you might be putting into your search engine could be ‘accommodation
Antigua’ or ‘best time of the year to visit antigua’.

You can imagine that you create completely different search results with
these two different keyword phrases.]

How To Choose A Domain Name – Question 2

How should you call your domain?

I’ll say it again: choosing your domain name is one of the most important
decisions that you are going to make when you commission a website. Many
people call their domains as their business name and that seems to make
sense.

If you haven’t got a business name yet, that’s probably a great place to be
right now. Because after reading this report you will be able to make a very
informed decision on this topic!

Time to do some research! Here’s your step-by-step guide to do this:

Brainstorm keywords that are relevant to your market. Then go to
http://bit.ly/6ENK4q (this is simply the shortened URL for the Google keyword
tool. You can simply put the word ‘keyword’ into the Google search engine
and it will come up with the google keyword tool).

Put your keywords into the box below these words: ‘Enter one keyword or
phrase per line:’, then type in the characters and hit the ‘Get keyword ideas’
button.

Great keywords are keywords which generate around 1000 hits per month in the
local search volume section.

Not only will Google tell you how many times your keyword has been
searched for (over the last month), it will also give you related keywords,
keywords that you might have never considered but which can be a great
addition to your domain name.

Write down the 50 most popular keywords. Then pick the top 3-5 keywords
and combine them into different keyword phrases. The more specific you can
get on what you are selling, the easier it is for people to find you.

How To Choose A Domain Name – Question 3

Should I buy a dot.com, a dot.com.au or a different
extension?

A dot.com is still the best extension to buy if you are planning to market a
product to the world. It is getting a little more difficult these days to find a
relatively short and meaningful domain name for any niche. However it’s ok
to go for a longer name as long as it contains some keywords and is easy to
remember.

A local extension (like dot.com.au, or dot.eu, or dot.de) is the right choice for
any local business. If you want to buy a pizza, you probably don’t want a
pizza shop on the other site of the globe. So for a local business it pays to
have a local extension.

It has been said that when you type a keyword into a search engine, the
search engine will first look for dot.com, and for any of the other extensions
afterwards.

For example, one of my domain names is Web Design That Sells. The dot.com
was not available when I founded the company so I went for the dot.com.au.
In the search engines, my company name will always come second to the
dot.com. BUT my customers know that I’m based in Australia.

As far as other extensions are concerned (for example dot.net or dot.org), if
you are selling online, you are probably best of not to use any of these.
‘dot.org’ is typically chosen by not- for-profits. And the other extensions are
still fairly uncommon.

My personal preference is the dot.com. Think about it, when you think of a
website or domain name, what do you think of? After all, dot.com has long
become an established part of our everyday language!

All that said, a dot.net can be an alternative if your perfect domain name is
available there. And it might be useful to own the dot.net on top of your
domain name so that you can extend your online presence into a second site
for the future.

Make sure that whenever and wherever you market your domain (be that on
your business card, on video or when you are giving a talk) you use your full
domain name.

How To Choose A Domain Name – Question 4

Can I use hyphens?

This is actually a bit of a controversial question. Some people argue that
search engines prefer the separation between the keywords, because they
can read it more easily. For example read this domain name

www.goodsexchange.com

Try again!

What did you read? goods-exchange or good-sex-change?
I think you get my gist. 😉

I think hyphens are bad news and I try to avoid them at all cost. When you
talk about your company and your domain name you are unlikely to say
‘goods hyphen exchange’.

If you already have a domain name with a hyphen please make sure that you
do mention the hyphen when you mention the site!

People tend to forget about the hyphen or miss it when they are typing which
means that they will end up right on your competitor’s site. After all the reason
why you are even considering a hyphen, is because somebody else already
owns the better, hyphen-free version!

I would also regularly check if the hyphen-free version becomes available, and
buy it when you can. You can then redirect this domain name to your original one
and people will get to your site either way.

How To Choose A Domain Name – Question 5

How about numbers?

Bingo! This is a little known secret, but I’m going to share it with you! In any
directory (on- and offline), names are ranked in a specific order.
Symbols and punctuation marks rank first! (but domain names don’t
accept these) Numbers rank before letters. Letters rank alphabetically.

Why is this important? Well, whilst Google is a search engine, Yahoo is
actually a directory! And it’s still the world’s second ranking website straight
after Google!

Consider this when you name your domain. You could call it 3win, or
1stopshop or something like that and this will improve your directory ranking
and this of course has a positive impact on your search engine rank!
If you consider these 5 basic questions before deciding on your domain
name, you’re already a step ahead of your competitors!

Bonus Tip

If you have vision then buy your own name as a ‘.com’ and a ‘.com.au’ (or
whichever your country specific extension might be)! It’s imperative to own
your own name online when you want to be your brand.
Even if you don’t want to be the one in the spotlight, you definitely don’t want
anybody else to own your name, who knows what they’re selling and if you
want to be associated with that!

Consider these things before you buy a domain name, and you can be sure
that you’ll make none of the blunders that many business owners make
and your domain name will help
you succeed online!

If you enjoyed this, join the club! My tribe kicks butt in biz and supports each other big time. If you don’t want to do this alone, just put in your details below and we’ll be around whenever you need us!

by Kath Luty | Business Mentor