How to Pick a Domain Name That Works
by Rusty Campbell
One of the first things that you will need
to do when you set up your first web site is to choose
name. You should spend enough time on this critical process
to get it right. Your domain name should be simple
to say, and easy to hear over the phone. It
should include keywords, as you’ll
want to use search engines to find your site. A
be as short as possible. You’ll
find that two words for a domain name is usually possible
to find with some effort. One word domain names are mostly
Availability of three
domain names is common; and if the words are small, the
domain name will not be too large. An example of this
You can use dashes in a domain
name. This will separate the keywords for
the search engines. Then, every time you use your domain
name in a link, the keywords that you are targeting will
be picked up by the search engine. A good example is:
tools available to help you search for unused domain names
and find different combinations for
those names. An excellent domain registrar is www.cyberspaceregister.com.
The tools available on their web site are powerful and easy-to-use.
They provide good technical support, and the domain names
sell for rock bottom prices.
The best domain names are .com. Your
customers tend to assume the dot com at the end of
domain names. If
you pick a different type such as .org, .tv, .us, or .net,
you will lose customers to the other sites who
have the dot
of the domain name you pick. If you like a domain name
well enough to use the version other than dot com, you
will need to be sure that the dot com is not owned
by a competitor in
field. That can really spell disaster.
We usually start with a .com
name and if the others are available,
as well to diversify our project. If you use a different
domain name for email, for example, you can sometimes
development of your website.
Keep your domain names as short as possible,
and make sure they are easy to say over the phone. Domain
names that you
have to spell, or differentiate between spelled out numbers,
or numerals will cause confusion. The domain, domains4you.com
is an example. To communicate this domain name over the
need to make sure the customer knows you mean "4",
not "four". You will also have to tell them that
it is "u", not "you". This will become a frustrating waste
of time if you are handling sales over the phone.
Stay away from words that are spelled different for different
meanings, such as "To", "too, "two",
and "2". Another is with our successful website,
royaltyware.com. Though it is not a serious problem, we
do have to deal
with ware vs. wear in our telephone support with this site.
We didn't even see this one coming.
When I pick a domain name, I will usually look at a two
word definition of what I am trying to market, or the mental
image I am
trying to present. I will run these two words through an
online thesaurus. Then, when I have a list of each, I
will try different
combinations until I find one that flows well, sounds
nice when spoken, is not terribly confusing, and doesn't
need to be spelled out 50 times a day. You will be amazed
many really excellent .com names, using two words, are still
Sometimes when I am looking for a domain, I will
end up buying
three for later use, or resale. In fact, you may even
want to purchase domain names that are close misspellings
your original name.
When we name a new software product, we name the product
with available domain names in mind. Our soon to be released
free affiliate organizer is called Affiliate File Cabinet.
We chose the name and purchased affiliatefilecabinet.com at
the same time. That not only puts critical keywords in
the domain name, it also ties the domain name directly
to it's product.