Choosing the right domain name can be critical to the success of your website.
A very (possibly the most) powerful domain name contains “keywords”. Keywords are essentially words that people will type in to search engines when they are looking for your product or service. A good keyword-type domain name for a lawn service in Houston, would be houstonlawns.com.
You can also choose a domain name containing your company name. If your company name is Smith’s Roofing, a good name might be smithsroofing.com.
There is not a lot of mystery to selecting a good domain name. It is mostly common sense.
- Keep it short. People will likely not remember, nor want to bother typing in a very long domain name. Who would feel like typing in, smithsbaitandtackleshopamarillo.com for example.
- Keep it simple, as easy to spell as possible. You don’t want to have people misspell your domain name and reach someone else’s website.
- Avoid domain names that sound like or contain the trade name for another company. You would not want to try to register searsautomotive.com for example. Even if your last name really is Sears, you could get in to a legal battle.
- Avoid hyphens. It is simply too difficult for people to remember. Which words are hyphenated? Which aren’t. Even Wal-Mart dropped the hyphen from their domain name in their advertising. You can still reach their site by typing in wal-mart.com, but it now redirects you to the URL without the hyphen. If your domain name idea is already taken, again, adding a hyphen is not a good solution. It is just going to route people to the competitor’s site if they forget your domain name is hyphenated.
- Make it appropriate. The domain name should reflect something about your line of business or your business name. Anything that does not associate your company with your domain name in people’s memories may not be remembered.
- Use the “.com” TLD. If the .com is taken by someone else, using another TLD like .net or .org is not a good alternative. It will most likely send people to the competition’s site, because people are just too used to the .com
- Consider buying other common TLDs in addition to the .com. For instance, the .net and .org, .us, maybe the .biz. You can redirect people to the .com site very easily. This way competitors and “squatters” will not be tempted to adopt the other domains out from under you.
- If your domain name is easy to misspell. For instance, smithsshingles.com, people may not remember if there are one or two letters, “S”. You may want to buy both terrysshingles.com and terryshingles.com and redirect to the same site. Google did this very thing. If you type, “gogle.com” in your browser, you will go to Google.com
One more consideration: Is the domain available? Just because you type a domain in your browser, and get a site not found error does not mean the domain is available. There are tools all over the internet that will tell you if a domain name is already taken.