How to Choose Your Domain NameMonday, May 5th, 2008
Your domain name is a key part of your brand and most importantly it is the first impression of your website that a visitor gets. Make sure you choose it carefully!
Update (21 July 2008): Domain names with .info extensions may be slightly deprecated now. As the cheapest domain names available and therefore a favorite with spammers, Google may start to be penalizing them and now ICANN has approved a new policy allowing the registry service, Afilias, to disable abused .info accounts.
Slide 1: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Step 5: Your domain name is your identity
- Step 1: How to set your website goal
- Step 2: How to identify and target your market
- Step 3: How to write your content
- Do you need a web designer?
- Step 4: How to choose a web designer
- Step 5: How to choose your domain name
- Step 6: How to choose your web host
- Step 7: How to launch your website
- Why completing your website is not the end
- Step 8: How to promote your website
See the complete guide at www.realfreewebsites.com/website-plan
What is a domain name?
- Your unique internet address
- Can be registered for a minimum of one year
- Registered as yours through a domain registrar
IDEAL Scenario: www.ideal.com
Domain name is
- The same as your business or a keyword related to your field
- Easy to spell
Best names already taken Imagination required to find a good name
How to test domain name availability
- Test by typing directly into your browser address bar
- Only use a registrar’s search box when you are ready to buy
- This will prevent unscrupulous parties stealing your domain name ideas
Time to get imaginative
1. Come up with a domain name
Use a brand name?
- Easy to find an available domain
- Can be short and easy to remember But, without promotion no one will have heard of your brand and will not be searching for it
Use keyword filled name?
- Keywords in the domain name help people identify the purpose of your website
- Using keywords in your name will boost your ranking for searches of that word But very hard to find anything short that is available
Use a combination?
- Using keywords in your name will boost your ranking for searches of that word
- Allows people to identify the purpose of your website But lengthens the name, and may appear tacky
- Use hyphens to divide up the letters differently
- No clear difference from search engine optimization point of view But hyphens are harder for people to remember
Use a clever subdomain? E.g. del.icio.us
- Del.ico.us has registered icio.us and then created a subdomain “del”
- Subdomains are provided by your web host and should be unlimited at no extra cost But knowing where to put the dot can be hard to remember
2. Choose a domain extension
Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)
- Some extensions have prerequisites, e.g. .edu or .gov, but most are open to anyone
- Appears to be no difference in search engine ranking between extensions
- People’s reaction to extensions are different – may prefer local extension, and/or .com
Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)
- Some countries have strict prerequisites E.g. .ca (Canada), .fr (France)
- Use a ccTLD if your market geographically targeted ? You will benefit in local search engines E.g. Google.co.uk
3. Poll your target market
Get feedback from your market
- How do they react to the suggested domain name?
- Can they remember it?
- Do they misspell it?
- Which extension do they expect to use?
- Rethink if the reaction is not positive
4. Consider registering multiple domain names
Multiple domain names
Other extensions: www.mybusiness.com
- Can send additional direct traffic from misspellings of your domain
- Prevent competitors benefitting from misspellings
- Register .com if available – people will use .com if they’re guessing
- Don’t go overboard in buying all potential variations
5. Choose a domain registrar
A good domain registrar Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
- Is ICANN accredited
- Has a low price with no hidden fees (e.g. for transferring a domain name, changing contact details)
- Offers an easy-to-use administration interface
- Provides good customer service
- Allows easy transfer of a domain to another registrar
6. Register your domain!
Register Register your domain for more than 1 year, so
- You won’t lose it after forgetting to re-register
- Search engines will give greater authority to your domain
The domain you choose will be the first impression of your website. Make sure it’s a good one.
You’ve now seen how to choose a domain name. This is the fifth step in the process of good website design. See the complete guide at www.realfreewebsites.com/website-plan
Need Help? Ask the experts at guiding you through website development: www.realfreewebsites.com