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Choosing a domain name can be overwhelming, I know! Over the years I’ve helped friends and clients with their online presence and similar to choosing a company name, this is one of the most important steps in building a successful business. Your domain name is your identity on the web, so choose a name that fits your business, but is easy to find and promote.

1. Make it easy to spell

Finding a domain name that’s easy to spell or type out is the first hurdle to get over for online success. Rarely would I recommend using shortcuts like (u instead of you) or words that are hard to spell because it might make it hard for customers to find your site.

2. Short is much better than long

If your domain name is long and complex, you risk customers mistyping or misspelling it. Short and simple is the way to go.

3. Use keywords

Try using keywords that describe your business and the services you offer. Include the keywords that people will enter when searching for a business like yours. For example: BuildYourOwnWebsite.com or BooksOnline.com.

4. Target your area

Is your business local? Consider including your city or state in your domain name to make it easy for local customers to find and remember. Example: LACarRepair.com.

5. Just say no to numbers and hyphens

Numbers and hyphens are often confusing. I can just hear the receptionist say for the millionth time, “no, it’s spelled out. O.N.E. People who hear your website address don’t know if you’re using a numeral (1) or it’s spelled out (one) or they could misplace or forget the dash. If the name you want has already been taken, sticking a hyphen between the words seems less professional

6. Be memorable

There are millions of registered domain names, so having a domain that’s catchy and memorable is essential. Once you’ve come up with a name, share it with close friends to make sure it sounds appealing and makes sense to others.

7. Do your research

Avoid any legal issues by doing a simple Google search to see if the name you’ve selected is trademarked, copyrighted or being used by another company.

8. The right extension can make or break your online success

Extensions are suffixes, such as .com or .net, at the end of web addresses. The .com domain extension is hands down the most popular and still considered the most legitimate for business.

9. Do it now!

Here today and gone tomorrow, or maybe in the next hour! Domain names sell quickly so my best advise is buy it now because domain names are relatively inexpensive.

 

Image by Jeff Sheldon.