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Choosing The Right Domain Name

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

For anybody starting out with a website, the domain name that they choose is the most important factor of getting their business noticed. If they have a completely unmemorable domain name, then there is no way that anyone is going to visit their website more than once.

The domain name is also a first impression for the customer and can have a huge impact in how your company is perceived. For example, a website selling web hosting that has the domain name “simplewebhosting.co.uk” is instantly more professional and trustworthy than “host-ur-site-ere-lol-for-cheap.co.uk”. It’s imperative that you are careful with your naming. There are some simple rules that you can follow.

Firstly, we would always suggest that you keep the domain name short and simple. No-one is going to remember a lengthy and complex domain name (see above example) and thus you will lose out on the massive potential market of word of mouth advertising (read more on that here). Also, it means that people are going to have to search for your website every time, which is a problem if you don’t rank particularly highly in search engine results.

Also, it is important to ensure that your domain name isn’t similar to someone else’s. Your domain needs to stand out as being unique; otherwise you will just be seen as copying someone else. Managing a unique identity for your website is essential as it provides something for you to be identified by, both online and in general as an organisation. Without a unique identity, you have no hope of your domain name becoming recognisable and thus the chance of people becoming regular visitors to your website is lowered.

Equally important is that your domain name is low on usage of numbers and symbols. If you choose a domain name that is full of awkward characters and numbers, then there is a higher chance of people forgetting it, or getting the wrong combination of these symbols and numerical figures. It is much easier to remember a domain name that is comprised of normal English words than one that is full of symbols or numbers (again see the example at the beginning of this article).

Along with avoiding numbers and symbols, you must make your domain name easy to type. There is no point in using words that are difficult to spell or words with lots of awkward letters (like Q and X) in because people will start making mistakes and not getting to your website, or worse being sent to someone else’s website. Again, this could result in them referring back to search engines, which (depending on the quality of your SEO) could be disastrous.

So, there are a number of factors that you need to take into account when you are selecting the domain name for your business’ website. Various issues can arise that you must work around in order to come up with a domain name that manages to be descriptive whilst also being short and memorable.

It is a difficult process to get right, but a strong domain name can lead to a very successful website indeed.

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