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Picking a domain name: keep it simple and stand-out

Your domain name says a lot about what users should expect to see before they click on a search engine results, follow a link, or enter-in your url. You must be sure that your domain name suits your business and the expectations of your target audience. Remember to not limit yourself when picking your domain name. If you are selling one product one day and selling ten others a few years later, your domain name should be able to stay relevant.

Invent words. There are many domain names out there that are one-word, nonsensical utterances that do not mean anything, but are catchy and easy to remember. One example is Deezer.com, the website formally known as Blogmusik.net. To stand out from the hundreds of “music” and “blog” combinations, they went with the new catch-word, Deezer. This solution is not suitable for everyone (imagine www.lawyuz.com being used for a law firm), especially not for small businesses that do not have multi-million marketing budgets to spread their nonsensical name throughout the Web (i.e. Google).

Use keywords. Whenever possible, add in a keyword or two to give your domain name that extra little boost. Of course that can lead to some very spammy looking domain names such as mortgage-homebuyer-badcredit.net. Moz has a rudimentary algorithm for analyzing a domain name and determining whether it is spammy or not. We passed the test with a score of 0.385 (1 being extremely spammy and 0 being, well, tough to get close to unless using a .gov or .edu domain extension). Remember: do not sacrifice quality for a few keywords. It is more important to have a domain name that is creative and unique.

Keep it short. Whatever you do, make sure that when you say what your domain name is over the phone, that someone will remember it. You should not have to email someone a link for them to visit your website. It should be easy enough to remember that a client can type it in themselves into the browser address line.

Use your company name. Okay, so this is the traditional way of going about picking your domain name when you are not an online company and already have name for you business. It also has its risks, though. First of all, be sure that your domain name doesn’t do something like this: www.atcibusinessschool.com. Second, the length of your company name may be too long. Consider shortening it. For example, consider using www.tahitibar.com instead of an entire company name such as “Tahiti Late Night Dancing Bar”.

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