Choosing an Appropriate Domain Name

With more than 50 million domain names registered, it’s difficult to find a good one that’s still available. Unfortunately, there are many opportunistic “traders” in the domain name industry who buy and sell domain names with no intention of ever using them. As a result, the majority of domain names registered do not even have a website to go with them!

This can be aggravating as you look for a domain name to use for your own website.

However, in a world where everything is first-come, first-served, we must try to find another way to get that great domain name.

When it comes to finding a domain name, there are a number of tools that can be very useful. In a separate article, I go over these tools. We’ll talk about what makes a good domain name in this article.

Is it better to brand or not to brand?

Traditional “offline” marketing relies heavily on bracing. Any business can benefit from having a unique, catchy name. When it comes to an online presence, however, you might be better off with a keyword-rich domain name.

As you may know, search engines rely heavily on keywords. When you type in a search term or “keywords,” the search engine generates results based on their formulas and the websites they believe are the best match for your query.

Now, anyone can use a variety of Search Engine Optimization techniques on any website. The same techniques could be used on a variety of websites, so my question is: what is the one thing that distinguishes one website from another? Domain names, of course!

I prefer to include keywords in the domain names I own because it gives me an advantage over competitors. Of course, if your website is purely personal and you have no intention of making money from it, it isn’t as important. However, if you want to sell something or make money from your website, I strongly advise you to use keywords in your domain names. To demonstrate, go to Google.com and type in “domain name.” You’ll notice that any occurrence of the words “domain” or “name” is bolded in the results. As a result, Google is actively tracking your search terms and highlighting them for you.

Branding, on the other hand, is still a powerful concept in the online world. You could be well on your way to word-of-mouth fame in no time if you find that catchy name (such as….hmmm Google?) and market it well.

Register your business name if it isn’t already taken. You can always register keyword-rich domain names to attract visitors and then redirect them to your company’s domain.

Is it better to use hyphens or not?

Another hot topic is whether or not to use hyphens in your domain names. I have hyphenated and non-hyphenated names in my possession. Hyphens are perfectly acceptable. In fact, by separating words that could be read differently, you are assisting search engines. Here’s an illustration: mikesmithstables.com

This domain could be used by a horse trainer named “Mike Smith” to promote his racing stables, or it could be read as “Mike Smith’s Tables.” So there’s nothing wrong with hyphenation; in fact, it would help distinguish where the words end in the example above. The only minor issue you’ll face is word-of-mouth advertising, in which people will have to point out the hyphens. But believe me when I say that you want all of your traffic to come from search engines because it’s free and there’s a lot of it.

Why don’t you use abbreviations?

Should you take flowers2you.com instead of flowerstoyou.com if your preferred name is flowerstoyou.com but it is already taken? In cyberspace, there are several common abbreviations or variations of certain words that are almost universally accepted. We’ve become accustomed to using “2″ instead of “to,” “4″ instead of “for,” and so on, thanks to SMS messaging. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use such variations in your domain name (ok I was trying to be funny..).

However, keep in mind that word-of-mouth advertising always necessitates the person making the recommendation to remind others of the alternative.

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