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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your Domain Name Describes Your Internet Business

When deciding on a domain name for your online presence, there are a few important things to consider. Having the right domain name will present your business to the world in a way that is positive and enhance all of your other branding efforts. It needs to be clever and easy to remember so your customer can find you. More importantly, you need to keep in mind that for your website to get noticed by new customers it needs to attract the interest of the search engines, and there are a few key ways to do this.

Initially, you should try and find a name that describes your business clearly and is reasonably short and easy to remember. The single, easiest way to get a better result with most search engines is by having a good descriptor about your site in the name. Even though you can apply a lot of other techniques to improve your SEO within the content, this one factor is amazingly powerful. Be careful to not go overboard and pack too many words into the domain name for your business, remember to keep it short. Even though this is a sure-fire way of improving your rankings, it can get annoying. Nobody likes to remember "" if they can more easily find "". The challenge is that the web has been around for a while, so most of the domains are already spoken for, creativity is key. The good thing about packing these terms into your actual domain name is that the search engines love this. Just having these terms in the name will really help you get higher in the searches than someone that embeds keywords in their pages.

Try and avoid using dashes, numbers and special characters in your choice as these can be easy to forget for your users and you will probably end up sending them to another site if they enter your address without them. It's also a good idea to avoid clever spellings for your name such as "dogz" or "catz" as this can confuse your visitors. The whole point of having a website is making it easy for folks to find it. It may be tempting to tweak the word since many of the conventional spellings may be taken, but it can backfire on you.

Avoid any terms that may be trademarked. Even words that are derivative of a trademark can get you in trouble these days, so be careful when you settle on a name and make sure you're not trespassing on any protected terms. In the early days of the web, any name you could grab was fine, since a lot of the established trademark law wasn't easily applied to this new medium called the internet. In the years since, the web has become a hotbed of activity for trademark protection and will be enforced, so be careful.

The real trick when picking your name is to be flexible and remember that you are trying to settle on a name that reflects your business name or your type of business. If your business name is Supreme Paints, don't worry so much about trying to secure a domain that fits your name into the URL. Even though this is a good way for your current customers to remember your address, it does very little to drive new customers to your site. Picking a domain name that expands on the concept of paint, would serve you better. Remember that once a visitor hits your site, you can brand it any way you want. So for example, if a customer finds you as "", you can easily brand your homepage they land on as Supreme Paints so they know who you are. If you are having a problem finding a name that suits your business, most domain registrars have a great search feature to show the names that are available for either a name you want, or terms you want. Even though it would be great to have your name in the ".com" domain, be sure to search the other domains as well. In today's internet, "" is almost as good as "".

Picking the perfect domain name is a very important step in helping your business to expand on the web. Following the suggestions outlined can help you pick a good one that will drive traffic to your site and flood you with new visitors. Keep in mind that the name you pick is really the gateway these customers will use to find and buy from your site.

Follow these suggestions:

- Keep it short and easy to remember and avoid trademarks
- Use key terms that apply to your core business to help with search
- Avoid dashes, numbers, special characters, and odd spellings
- Use the domain registrars search function to suggest names

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