Five Tips when Selecting a Domain Name

What’s in a name? That question long posed by William Shakespeare has dominated online marketing and search engine experts for years. A domain like toys.com was purchased for $5.1M two years ago -today ranks on page three of Google for the search term “toys”. Not exactly a great return on investment; but by avoiding the pitfalls you can benefit from more exposure online.  We’ve put together a brief list of tips to help you find that effective domain name:

Match your Brand with Your Domain

Avoid generic domains that don’t well represent your brand or identity. While generic domains are valuable they usually require a substantial amount of marketing support.  A domain should also fulfill expectations, domains like webMD.com and Hautelook.com give a user a good idea of exactly what they’re getting without sacrificing originality.

Select a Short Domain Name

Short domain names are more easily remembered and are far less susceptible to incorrect spellings and the typing fatigue factor. Short domains should not be hyphenated as they are difficult to remember and hard to type. You also don’t want to redirect your traffic to a competitors site that may own the non-hyphenated version. Also, avoid words the end in a vowel and being with a vowel. (liveeatery.com, having two words ending in “e” makes it hard to type.

Select a Top-Level Domain (TLDs)

There are hundreds of top level domains such as (.com, .edu, .net, .cc) make sure to select the appropriate type of domain for your organization. A for profit business should avoid .a .org domain as well as country domains that may not be as familiar to new users. Stick with a .com domain, after all most users are unaware that other domains exist and even the most tech savvy make the automatic assumption that it is .com.

Avoid Copyright Issues

Many companies attempt to piggy back on search engine traffic of established companies by including a copyrighted keyword within the domain. In the United States especially this may open you up to litigation you’re much better off avoiding. Do a search for your domain at copyright.gov prior to the purchase of your domain.

Get Expert Advice

Selecting a marketing partner that can help you with the tools and techniques to ensure you’re properly branded and separating yourself from the competition.  A domain name specialist will provide you insight into the available domain name market and provide you with a strategic approach to your domain and be a perfect brainstorm partner. Some marketing firms and website design companies bundle these services in with marketing packages, so make sure to ask.

Selecting a smart domain name strategy can significantly help your company with its search engine marketing. After all, even the best web design needs to be anchored with a great and memorable name.