How to Select Your Domain Name

December 1, 2008 by  Filed under: other 
 

There are many different opinions on how to select the best domain name for your business online. You want to draw the maximum number of customers to your site, and selecting an appropriate domain name will help you achieve that goal. A really good domain name serves not only as a piece of the technical jigsaw, but more importantly, it is your identity, brand and personality online.

At the present time, there seem to be two main theories on the best way to go. One belief is that you should use keywords in your domain name, for example, if you are selling extra size shoes in Chicago, then you may choose something like “bigshoeschicago.com”.

The other school of thought is that your domain name should reflect your brand, and most people seem to favor this approach. An example of a branding style domain name is this. If you own a company called Asian Art then your website would be called “asianart.com”.

The power of branding is greater than all other considerations, providing that you are willing and able to spend a vast amount of time, effort and money on it. Compare an auction house called “williamsofwales.com” with the mighty “eBay.com”. If you were searching for an online auction house, even if you lived in Wales, which would you choose?

Another consideration is if you decide on a keyword rich domain name, will your customers remember it? Will it look easy on the eye? How long should it be? If you go for four or five words, will your customers remember them? Will they remember if you have hyphens between words, or underscores?

You will need to strike a balance with this consideration against the fact that search engines do look at your domain name and analyze the content. It is important to understand the basic workings of various search engines. They are more likely to list your domain name in search results if the name contains common search keywords for the area of interest to which your site belongs. But not only do you need to consider the search engines behavior, you need to consider internet users behavior too. You would be wise to keep it simple.

If you decide to go with the simple classic branded domain name, but you see the sense in using keywords, then how about using your favourite keywords as directory or page names on your website? You could use: www.brandname.com/keyword/ for example.

Whatever you decide about selecting a domain name, whether you go for keywords or branding, remember that it is your own personal brand and personality when you are online and that, as important as it is – and it really is – content is king.

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