Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a domain name is easy. Getting that domain name is another issue! With so many websites out there, and so many domains already bought, you may find it difficult to get your first choice.

----Whenever possible I recommend buying a ".com" These are harder to come by now unless you get a little creative, however, we have all been trained to type ".com" at the end of an address. If you need to settle for the ".net" (which is generally my second choice), Make sure that the .com version isn't a competetor and that their site doesn't contain anything distasteful. When possible, work out an agreement for that site owner to forward any email they may get that is meant for you, and perhaps even add links to both sites directing people who landed on the wrong one.

----For search engine purposes, I like to see domains that have the main keywords of the business in them. For example www.mybluewidgets.com, it is easy to remember and the domain tells you what the website is all about. The domain is easy to remember, and helps their rankings by containing keywords. If you are able to do this remember to add the same keyphrases in the H1 and titles for good SEO.

----I am not a fan of dashes. However, it does sometimes help get the words in the domain you are looking for. Remember to keep it as simple as possible. There is credibility in having a shorter, easier domain.

---Buying multiple domains is a popular way to cover a lot of issues, such as a difficult to spell company name, or multiple product offerings or locations. That said, dozens of domains pointing to the same site (and same page), can cause a problem with some of the search engines. There are legitimate reasons for owning and using more than one domain, but make sure yours is one of them. And unless you are a big corporation, keep it to about 6 or less.

---Do not go around buying the domains names of your competetors or celebrities and pointing them to your site. That is called cyber-squating, and you can be sued for it. Unless you have a right to the name (if you have been doing business under that name for some time) or if it is you (I am Meghan Wier -- I own www.meghanwier.com), you should stick to describing what you do, and where you are - (i.e. seo rochester), or a combination of who, what, and where.

Domain choosing can be a tough -- but oh-so-important aspect of business. Think carefully about what people would search on, if your company name is recognized and memorable, and what your competition is doing in order to make the best decisions.

If you have any questions on choosing a domain, I would be happy to assist you.

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