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Be prepared – finding an effective, affordable and available domain name for your business can quickly turn into an exercise in compromise, disappointment and frustration. Be patient, flexible, and follow these 6 guidelines to find the best online address for your business or blog.
1. Make It Easy To Type
Finding a domain name that’s easy to type is critical to online success. If you use slang (u instead of you) or words with multiple spellings (express vs. xpress), it might be harder for customers to find your site.
2. Make The Domain Unique
Having your website confused with a popular site already owned by someone else is a recipe for disaster. Thus, I never choose domains that are simply the plural, hyphenated or misspelled version of an already established domain. Even after years of branding, Flickr desperately needed Flicker.com (which they did eventually buy). When people told their friends and family to find photos on Flickr, the pronunciation vs. spelling issue sent many to the wrong place.
3. Avoid Hyphens & Numbers
Another thing to avoid are hyphens when choosing your domain. Again, picture yourself having to tell someone or it coming over the radio. You are better off if the domain doesn’t need to be explained as, “hyphen . . . hyphen. . .” in between words. This just sounds choppy and not as smooth. Many times we see websites that use numbers in them. For example, “www.motiv8edforlife.com”. Notice the number 8 in the middle of the domain name. In this scenario, you would have to pause and explain that there is actually a number in your domain, and that it’s not actually the word “motivated”.
4. Don’t Follow The Latest Trends
Website names that rely on odd mis-spellings (like many Web 2.0 style sites), multiple hyphens (like the SEO-optimized domains of the early 2000’s), or uninspiring short adjectives (like “top…x,” “best…x,” “hot…x”) aren’t always the best choice. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but in the world of naming conventions in general, if everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean it’s a surefire strategy. Just look at all the people who named their businesses “AAA… x” over the last 50 years to be first in the phone book; how many Fortune 2000’s are named “AAA company?”
5. Avoid Copyright Infringement
Example: A web designer, specializing in WordPress web design, may want to include “WordPress” in her business name. However, “WordPress” is copyrighted. She could use WP, and then use the word WordPress in her content, but not in her business name.
6. Protect & Build Your Brand
To protect your brand, you should purchase various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions and ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
Finding the right domain can seem like a difficult task but it is one that can be exciting if you get behind it and follow these 6 tips to choosing the right domain for your website. If you have any question about getting started in digital marketing don’t hesitate to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible