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Top tips for choosing a great domain name for your business

April 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Domain News

It’s important to choose the right domain name. Choose a name that people will remember. After all, the right domain name will increase visibility, inspire trust and attract customers.

Here are some great tips to help you through this process.

1. Choose your domain name quickly

.uk domain names are being registered at a rate of one every 20 seconds and allocated on a first-registered, first-served basis, so a delay in decision making could mean someone else gets there first.

2. Choose a name that suits your business

You should choose your domain name so that it best represents your company’s interests. Bear in mind the brand, what you offer, your unique selling point and the implications of being alphabetically listed.

Think about domain names that solve a problem or names that describe the products or services your company provides e.g. ‘marketing solutions’. Either way, your name will help drive targeted traffic to your web site if you take this approach.

3. Keep it short and memorable

Short memorable brand names are effective, especially if relevant to the personality of a business brand. If you keep the name short and snappy it is also less likely that people will misspell it and more likely that they will remember it and pass it on via word of mouth. For the same reasons it’s a good idea to keep the number of words in a domain name to 2 or 3 at most.

4. Think about keywords and branding

There is some debate about whether it’s better to choose a domain name that contains keywords (that will increase your search engine optimisation) or to focus on a name that is more generic or related to your brand.

If you are particularly interested in attracting customers via search engines it is advisable to choose a name that is a keyword. Choose keywords that are the names of the products or services you will be offering on your web site. You could then use specific keyword software to see how popular your potential domain names are to customers using search engines.

5. Decide which Top Level Domain (TLD) to use

Companies based in the UK usually register a domain name ending in .co.uk, and recent independent research suggests that British Internet users are six times more likely to choose a .uk rather than a .com address when looking for information via an Internet search engine. 72% of respondents also said they would visit a British web site above any other.

There are however a number of other alternatives including .com or other Second Level Domains such as .org.uk (or non-commercial organisations), .me.uk (for individuals), .ltd.uk and .plc.uk (for Ltd and Plc companies) and .com, .info and others for generic usage.

6. Register your domain name in other suffixes

It’s not a bad idea to register several similar domain names. If you have ‘yourname.co.uk’ you could register ‘yourname.org.uk’ so no-one else can come in at a later stage and capitalise on your brand name using another major domain name type. You could also register your full company name and a shorter, easier to remember version.

7. Hyphens: Good or Bad?

If your ideal choice of domain name is not available, you might consider using a hyphenated version. One advantage of using them is that hyphens are said to identify keywords to search engines more clearly. The disadvantages of using hyphens are it makes your domain name harder to remember and more difficult to tell to a customer (e.g. on the telephone).

8. Take account of misspellings

Don’t use words that are difficult to spell, as people are likely to misspell your domain name, which may mean they don’t arrive at your web site. It’s also a good idea to avoid words that are spelt differently in some countries.

However, if you have a company name that is difficult to spell, it is worth registering domain names with common misspellings of it. You can of course point several domain names to your web site.

9. Before you register it, ask other people for their opinion

You might think your domain name is great, but what about other people? Ultimately you will be relying on whether other people find it memorable, understandable and useful in terms of attracting traffic to your web site.

A name that makes perfect sense to you may be too hard to remember or confusing to someone else. The easier the name is to spell, pronounce, remember and type the better. Web users are often impatient and if your site is not easy to find they may quickly give up trying.

10. Check whether your chosen name has already been registered

Use the search facility on our web site to check whether the domain name you have chosen is available. If the domain name is not available in any of the suffixes, you could try and contact the current registrant to see if they would be willing to sell the name to you.

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What to Do If Your Favorite Domain Name Has Already Been Taken

February 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Domains

The first thing you can try is to buy the domain name off of the person who presently owns it. This is not uncommon but it will cost you significantly more to buy an existing domain name than it would if you were to create one that no one currently has. However, asking if the domain is for sale from the current owner is one option you can explore.

Many people get caught up in using .com and have the impression that it is the only domain name available. This is not the case and you can try other domains such as .net, .tv, or even .org to see if you can still get the web address that you want. Of course the danger in using this route is that it can confuse customers and potentially cause problems with getting traffic to your website. The way to combat that is to make sure your website is optimized for exposure so that people will find your site when they search for it.

Sometimes patience is the best method to getting what you want and that may be the case with getting the web address you want. Check with the company that registered the domain name to the current owner and then see when their registration expires. Many registration companies allow you to put in a back order which means that if the current owner decides to not update their registration, or forgets to, then you will be able to purchase the domain name.

Another method you can try is to use a slight variation of the name you wanted and see if that variation is available. For example, if you wanted to register ABCcompany(dot)com but someone else has already registered it, then try TheABCcompany(dot)com or some other variation on the web address. The potential for confusion is there again but with a proper search engine optimization approach, you can eliminate much of the confusion that your address could cause any potential customers.

And for the absolute best solution of what you should do if your favorite domain name is already taken, and what to do after you get that perfect web address, go to http://whoisdirectory.com/needawebsite

By Jean Kadau – Professional Business Reviews, Internet Marketer, Proofreader/Editor for 19 years http://www.WhoIsJeanKadau.com

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It’s All in a Domain Name

February 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Domains

When you have decided to start your online business the first thing you will need to do is choose a domain name. This is the name that your website will be called, and will be the most important part of your URL link. A lot of people enjoy the process of choosing a domain name, whilst others may feel a bit overwhelmed. This is understandable because your domain name is so important, and not something you can easily change if you do not like it anymore.

As I mentioned before, choosing a domain name can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily there are some basic guidelines that will help you make your decision. Firstly, remember that shorter domain names always work better. A shorter name will be more memorable, and if your domain name is too long the people may tend to forget a part of it. If they are really seeking your website, they may type the part of your domain name that they do remember into a search engine, but the results brought up may not point to your site! A short, simple domain name will be more effective with regards to your marketing, both on and offline.

Naturally, it’s a good idea to use your business name as your domain name. If your business name is too long, shorten it appropriately. If your business name is not available perhaps you could work with a variation of it by putting a dash in between two parts of the word. Alternatively, you could choose a domain name that suits the niche market that you are trying to target. Get creative with the different variations you can use. Always remember to keep the name as short and simple as possible. Another good idea is to use a targeted keyword as your domain name. For example, if you are going to have a business that sells chocolates and confectionaries you could perhaps use a domain name called chocolategoods or the like.

Once you have decided on the actual name part, you are going to need to decide on which domain extension you are going to use. The most popularly used domain extension is .com if you are aiming to target an international audience. Oftentimes .biz will be used by companies, whilst .net is normally for networking sites and some hosting or software companies. It is recommended that you steer clear of the .info extension, as even though it is the cheapest domain extension to register, it is not taken very seriously in the online world. If you are going to primarily target your local audience it is best to use the extension of your country. When in doubt, simply use .com. With a .com you can never go wrong! If you have an organization or political party a .org site is always nice and suitable.

As you can see, it is not too difficult to choose a domain name. A lot of good registration sites will offer you variations of your requested domain name if the one you have chosen is taken.

Christine Anderssen is the owner of Tailormade4you, a company that specialises in web design and hosting for your website. Visit http://www.tm4yhosting.co.za for more information.

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