Of course if you’ve been doing your homework on choosing domain names you’ve come across numerous people advocating a short, one-word domain name. By now, after wasted hours feeding words into a domain search box, you’ve discovered there are almost none left–at least as dot-coms. What are you to do? You’ve been told repeatedly that where domain names are concerned, shorter is better. And that’s true…up to a point.
What makes a short one-word domain name valuable is that it is easily remembered by potential customers when they decide to look for your website. “Sex.Com” being the extreme example of this. “Antidisestablishmentarianism.Com” would be an example of the other extreme. Both are already registered, by the way. Sex.Com has other virtues to recommend it, obviously, but Antidisestablishmentarianism.Com will help us make another point–even the long words have been registered in the dot-com extension. You can, however get it in other extensions. “Antidisestablishmentarianism.Mobi” is still available as of this writing if you can stand the irony.
All this leaves a businessperson searching for the best name with two choices: one, forget about dot-com when choosing a domain name; two, use more than one word for your name. Which is where the whole point of this article comes in: don’t abbreviate those words just to make your domain name short. All it does is make the name impossible to spell and hard to remember. Two things you don’t want happening!
Suppose the name of your company is Lake Superior Ground Maintenance. Would you be inclined to shorten it to “LakeSupGrdMaint” for your domain name? Don’t laugh, there are a lot of names out there that look and sound just as awkward. And which of the two names is most likely to be remembered by a potential customer and typed into the address line regardless of length? You guessed it!
Of course now that we’ve promulgated this hard and fast rule regarding abbreviations we will now proceed to contradict ourselves: when choosing a domain name, almost always abbreviate words that are expected to be abbreviated…state abbreviations, for example. Words like television, compact disc and digital video disc. Nobody in his right mind would register “northdakotatelevision.com” because nobody will ever type it into an address line. “Ndtv.com,” on the other hand, would be a real winner, but don’t worry it’s long gone.
Remember when choosing a domain name, it’s all about making it as easy as possible for your customer or potential customer to find your site. Short is great but short shouldn’t be your goal. A name that your customers can remember easily and spell without difficulty is what you’re after.