Choosing a Good Domain Name

It’s all about selecting the right domain  name

A critical element if you want to build an online business is choosing a good domain name. Regardless of whether your web enterprize is connected to physical goods, services, or even selling ebooks you must get this right – choosing a good domain name.

It is certainly not getting any easier to purchase really good domain names that are still available. So what is it that makes a good domain name?

Top Level Domains

If your business is in USA or if your web site is targeting a global audience then it is best to use .com as your top-level domain. Generally .net and .org domain names are not perceived as being as professional as .com domain names . If however you are aiming for a local audience in a different country, for example in Britain or Australia , then using the local .com domain such as .com.uk or .com.au may make it easier for visitors to recognize that your site is local.

Short Name

Although domain names can be up to 67 characters, your domain name should be shorter, preferably 7 characters or less. Shorter domain names are easier to remember , easier to type and less likely to be entered incorrectly . Domain names with 7-8 characters and less are harder to come by nowadays , so you might need to settle for a domain name that is a little longer.

A Domain That is Keyword Optimized

Your domain name ought to contain popular keywords closely related to your online business . This will help your site to rank high in the natural rankings of search engines.

Hyphenated Domains

If you are having trouble getting the name you want , consider a hyphenated domain name, e.g. barbecue-grills.com. However the downside of this approach is that some people will forget the hyphen when typing your domain name.

What Does it Sound Like?

If you say your domain over the telephone can someone easily spell it correctly on the first try?

Don’t Ignore Trademarks

Be very sure that your domain name is free of any legal conflicts due to trademarks owned by other businesses. That would includes names like GoogleSecrets.com and CocaColaRecipe.com . Stay away from other companies’ names and trademarks .

Keep these things in mind when you choose your next domain name. Your next mission should be to build a strong mailing list of customers and potential customers.

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I am a professional SEM with over 10 years experience in Search Engine Optimization.

13 thoughts on “Choosing a Good Domain Name”

  1. Good article as usual…

    .com is obviously the most popular TLD, but I am interested to hear your thoughts on .net, .org, .info etc as other options for domains where the .com is gone.

    Also, how much weight do search engines put on a keyword in the actual domain name?

  2. Lots of people are using the .net and .info TLD nows because the .com ones have been taken. However the TLD tells the search engine what type of website it is. For example a .com website is for commercial websites, .net is for network websites like hosting companies etc and .info is a great TLD if you have an information website.

    The search engines put a lot of weight in a domain which has your niches keywords in it. The domain name is the first place the search engines look at.

    Cheers

    Steve

  3. Thank you, I never thought about it that way: if TLD is a factor in serach engines algo, you can give them a better understanding of your website. For example, using .info is a great idea for bloggers.

  4. i think it’s important for what you are buying the domain. if you want to rank high for a competitive keyword, but you’re not interested in the branding, then you should definitely buy a domain with the keywords in it, even though it is long or has hyphens. but if you want to build a website brandable, than you should buy a short domain, but you’ll lose the advantage of the keywords in the domain name

  5. You are spot on Groom. Unless you are trying to brand your website (like Cocoa Cola) it is vital you have you primary (targeted) keywords in your domain name.

    Steve

  6. I agree that your domain should be as short and catchy as possible, but that isn’t so easily done these days as most of the short domains have been taken. However, that isn’t the be all and end all as in my humble opinion having a keyword optimised domain is far, far more important. As proof of this I offer my PR3 site http://www.justcampingfrance.co.uk for which the main keywords are camping France and camping in France, which are, believe it or not, hugely competitive terms. In just 12 months and some hard work I got the site to No 3 in Google UK, Yahoo UK and Bing. This would not have happened if the domain was http://www.joeblogs.com, and I have to admit that there are some better sites than mine well lower in Google etc. Keyword optimised domains equal success!

  7. Arthur you are exactly right and I have been preaching it daily to new clients of my web design company. Nearly every one of them wants to see their business name up in lights (and domain name) making it 400% more difficult to get a decent ranking for them. But, after I explain to them about the keywords in domain fact, they are swayed to think my way. It amazes me how some companies just don’t see the light 🙁 Unless you are a company on everyones lips, forget using your business name as your domain name.

    Steve

  8. the thing is, if your domain name matches exactly your keywords, you’ll get a huge advantage. i tested it with a domain that matched exactly the keyword and even though i didn’t take that site live yet and still there is no link to it, and i also disallowed all the robots with robots.txt file, it still got indexed (i don’t know how, maybe the registrar pinged the new domain) and it’s still on first pages on google (the competition is very low)… so if you can and the domain is free, go for the long-keyword domain name if you’re looking for SEO

    Tym

  9. Hello everyone
    one thing I’ve learned for sure is ………choose what ever TLD you like…but not something that is not frequently answered on the internet .
    If you keep your domain name short and easy to remember and your website or blog has useful content then people will always remember it no matter what……
    Ihave to admit that .com looks more professional…………….because is most known to people ……if .net or .org was the first tld on the internet and all of a sudden they see a .com they would think that .com is amateur

  10. All content from this site is very useful for me..coz i’m still trying to build my site have higher rank and have more back link.. Is there any suggestion for me, how to make my site have better rank faster..Thanks anyway..

  11. All content from this site is very useful for me..coz i’m still trying to build my site have higher rank and have more back link.. Is there any suggestion for me, how to make my site have better rank faster ?..Thanks anyway..

  12. Hi Aneka, just keep doing what you read on this website and your ranking will get better. Just give it time. Most webmasters want instant results, but savvy webmasters know that you have to wait for good things to come.

    Steve

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