Choose a Great Domain Name

Need some help choosing a domain name? Take a look at these six tips:

Keep it Short
Aim for 20 characters or less to keep it easy to remember. If you (or anyone else for that matter) mentions it to another person, you want that person to recall the address when they get a chance to look you up later.

One way to achieve this is to

Stay Simple and Obvious
Make sure your domain is easy to remember and spell. If possible, it's best to err on the side of being very straightforward by ensuring the domain name is simply the name of your business (or at the very least includes the name of your business).

One way to keep things simple and obvious is to:

Avoid Numerals, Underscores, and Hyphens If You Can
Adding numbers and non-alphabetic characters can cause confusion, likely to result in lost traffic to your site. If you have a business called Reflections Photography, reflectionsphotography.com or reflectionsphoto.com are much better choices than reflections-photography.com since many people will not think to add a hyphen when entering the address.

But what if you can’t get the domain you want without using these? Then you might want to:

Consider Keywords and Cleverness
If your top domain choice is not available, consider including a keyword as part of it. Let’s say you run Brenda’s Bakery in San Francisco, but you’re disappointed to discover that brendasbakery.com is already taken. In that case, brendasbakerysf.com is an exellent alternative. As are visitbrendas.com, brendasf.com, brendabakes.com, and many other variations.

Once you’ve settled on a domain, then it’s often worth it to: 

Register Your Domain for Multiple Years
If your budget permits, registering your domain for multiple years can help your site rank higher with Google and the other search engines. Why? Because it implies your business will be around for all those years, which legitimizes it in the eyes of Google when compared to sites whose domain registrations last for shorter terms.

Along these same lines, you might want to:

Look for Variations on Your Domain
While unnecessary, purchasing multiple versions of a domain name ensures competitors can’t undercut you in the future. Beyond concerns over competition, let’s say you own lakedistrictsailing.co.uk. In that case it certainly wouldn’t hurt to also own lakedistrictsailing.com to ensure someone who enters either address ends up at your site.  

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