iNoobs: Tips For Selecting A Domain Name

Categories Articles, How To, iNoobs, Web Design

In this latest article in the iNoobs series I thought we should discuss another vital marketing effort, one that may not initially be considered on – the all important domain name! I’ve seen it hundreds of times a new business or venture spends hours upon hours – sometimes days/weeks/months, debating on a domain name, and often – they don’t even know the profound impact it can have on your business in the web world.

Let’s dive deeper:

How to Select a Domain Name

Domain NameYour domain name isn’t something that should be taken lightly. In fact it is something that you ought to begin researching long before you begin building your website.

Ideally you should be researching the availability of web domain names when you are brainstorming business names so that you can launch a unified brand from the start without any expensive hiccups and the need to go back to the drawing board.

In a perfect world your Internet domain name would include your primary keyword, your business name and be catchy all at the same time. Obviously though, this isn’t always possible. Even when it is, perhaps you need to consider whether it is going to be too confusing to remember or too easy to misspell. After all you don’t want to be sending business to your competition.

This also brings up the importance of registering multiple variations of your web domain name right away. Those with common spelling errors, the dot com version, the country specific variation and so on. You have probably heard this before but so many take this advice too lightly, only to find the competition moving in on their business.

If you are really stuck for a great domain name you may want to consider acquiring a domain name that matches your toll free vanity number. This has been proven to be pretty powerful for a number of companies recently and can also definitely increase the effectiveness and click-through rate on your advertising.

When registering your Internet domain name you may also want to give serious thought to reserving your domain for as long as you can afford to. There has been much debate about whether this really makes a big impact on SEO or not, though when it comes to search engine optimization and rankings you can be sure that every little thing helps. So instead of 1 or 2 years what about 5 or 10? Network Solutions now even offers 20 and 100 year registration! Even if it doesn’t give your SEO an immediate boost you will never have to worry about forgetting to renew and losing your most valuable asset.

Main Rules in Selecting a Domain Name:

  • The Shorter the Better – NEVER MORE THAN 15 CHARACTERS!
  • .com Rules – Even though it won’t really effect ONLINE marketing .com is the defacto domain suffix in the U.S. – use the other extensions (.net & .org) if you have to, and by all means snap them up if you can afford them, but if possible stick to .com.
  • Keep it Simple – Don’t make weird acronyms, abbreviations, or shorter versions, if some doesn’t immediately know how to spell
  • Include Keywords in the Domain Name – As long as the above is met I would try to include keywords (as long as it doesn’t hurt your brand – in the case of a brand name domain versus a keyword match domain, I will go with the brand name – but purchase the keyword match domain if possible).

Zach Katkin - Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Designer and Writer - is the co-founder of Florida Web Design Company Atilus. In business for nearly a decade, Atilus has more than 600 clients worldwide.