Some Tips for Choosing a Great Domain Name

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What’s in a Domain Name?

When it comes to your website, your name says a lot!
Here are some basics to follow when deciding on your website URL.

Get a Good Domain Name

Your web address, also known as your domain name, is usually the entry point to your site. It should make a good impression for usability, as well as for SEO, or search engine optimization.

Some Tips for Choosing a Great Domain Name

• Make it easy to spell. Don’t use slang, made-up, or misspelled words.

• Keep it short. The shorter it is, the easier it is to remember. The shorter it is, the easier it is to type correctly. The shorter it is, the easier it is to fit on your business card!

• Use the right domain extension. Try to get a .com domain name (as opposed to .net, .co or such). If your site represents a town or a municipality, get the .gov suffix. If you’re a school or educational facility, you can use the .edu suffix. If you’re a non-profit, buy the .org. If you like, you can purchase a few suffix versions to prevent anyone else from buying them. We own DevineDesign.com and DevineDesign.net for that reason. Don’t go crazy buying up all the suffix options, as that’s probably just a waste of your money.

• Create an SEO-friendly URL. When appropriate, try to develop an SEO-friendly website address that includes keywords and geographic location, like “www.ParisTours.com.”

Allow for Growth Of Your Business

• Make the address broad enough to allow for your business to change. Amazon.com was wise to use that URL, rather than BooksOnline.com, for example. They began selling just books. Now, Amazon sells pretty much everything. The vague URL allowed them to grow without rebranding and renaming.

Make The Domain Name Easy To Use

• Try to make it easy to spell and say on the phone. B’s can easily be confused with d’s; f’s, and s’s sound the same. Say your proposed URL out loud and see if it’s easy to understand.

• Check to see what it spells! Sometimes the long string of letters can unintentionally spell out some pretty funny/smutty words!

• Make it memorable. Your website name must be catchy and memorable.

• Avoid hyphens. They are hard to remember, and it’s easy to type in the wrong type of hyphen. Word-only domains are much easier to use.

Do Your Research

• Research your domain name. Google the proposed domain name to see if a similar website address for a similar company already exists. Check the name on USPTO.gov to make sure it does not contain any registered trademarks. Click here.  NOTE: USPTO is a really an old-school looking website, but it’s an excellent place to start to search if your name is already trademarked.

• Most domain names are about $12 per year. But if it’s being resold, it may be much more expensive. Weight the pros and cons of the expense.

• Choose a name that conveys a meaning. Users should immediately know what your business is. “Google” was very expensive to brand. Your small business probably does not have their budget!

Be Sure To Keep It Paid for And Active!

• We put most of our clients’ URLs under our master account, which is set to automatically pay for a renew the domain name automatically. You can do this on your own, as well.

If you do this yourself, remember .. you must pay your renewal on time. If you forget to pay your fee to Go Daddy (or a similar domain name company) you can lose the domain name.  Somebody else can scoop it up and place their website on that domain. Or, they may offer to resell it to you at a much higher price, holding it hostage, until you pay them. It’s so much worse than having to change your phone number.  You’ll lose your search engine rankings, all inbound links to your site … and more.

In Conclusion

Creating a great small business website URL is not as simple as you might think. However, if you consider these points, you’ll have a URL that you will love, will be memorable, easy to use, and help your business grow!

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