Top 7 Things You Need to Know About Choosing A Domain Name
By Andrea J. Lee
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Aside from the nuts and bolts of where to register your domain name and purchasing a good economical hosting service, there are a few things to know about buying a good domain name, that only experience can teach.
Here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot:
- Buy only ".com" and don't trouble yourself with the others.
Although the domain name players have gone to some trouble to publicize and market to us about the availability of other extensions such as .org, .net, .us and others...there is still no real reason to buy anything but ".com."
If you currently have a domain name that is not a ".com," I strongly suggest you obtain it. Or, if that's not possible, consider finding a new domain name.
The rationale is simple: if the point of having a website is to get people to visit it, the best rule of thumb is to make it easy to remember. If your customers have to think in order to get to your website, and maybe even have to type in a wrong domain first before they finally reach you...you want to change that so they don't.
- Buy your own personal name.
What better way to make it easy for your customers to find you? As you become better known online, and as you build your customer database, it will become increasingly important for your customers to be able to find you based on your personal name.
Buying your personal name allows you to build credibility for your brand identity and makes it easy to "Google" you. Ever tried typing in just your first and last names at Google? Try it and see what happens.
If you aren't showing up in the results, you will want to work on this. And buying your own personal name as a domain name is a simple and very effective way to get going.
Buy the most common spelling mistakes for your domain.
Even if you follow the advice in (2) above, it may be inevitable that some of your visitors will misspell your domain. It's human error.
So although these may not be obvious to you at first, it's worthwhile putting your antennae up in order to figure it out. The first hint? If you misspell your own domain name, chances are others will. Be sure to grab the most common ones.
Example: http://www.Google.com, http://www.Gogle.com and http://www.Gooogle.com all go to the same page. Why? Google "gets" that lots of people type in too few or too many "Os" and has set it up so everyone gets to the right place.
- Double check your domain names for odd or unintentional meanings.
Double check to see if your domain says something you didn't expect.
What do I mean?
www.newsextracts.com is actually a clipping service, but could be interpreted to be something rather more racy.
www.whorepresents.com is actually a site where you can find a given actor's agent or manager, but can be interpreted to be something else.
- Consult DeletedDomains.com.
DeletedDomains.com is a terrific resource of domains previously owned by others, but newly available for purchase. Go to DeletedDomains.com with a clear product or project and search for a few keywords in the search feature.
Following the other rules in this list, see whether you can pick up a great domain here. Two things: (1) If the site has had a following built up by the previous owner, you may be the beneficiary of some great established traffic. And (2) Sometimes dynamite domain names get dropped by accident by their owners and this means you get a domain that would be very hard to secure otherwise.
- Watch your "perspective."
By perspective, I mean watch the words "my" and "your." For example, "MyHousekeeper.com" is infinitely better than "YourHousekeeper.com" because the perspective is right. As your customer, when I type "MyHousekeeper.com" I feel more connected with you. "YourHousekeeper.com" does the opposite.
Remember you are choosing a domain for your customers, not for you.
- When in doubt, ask.
Last but not least, as with everything online, we as ebusiness owners have the luxury of easily and quickly asking our customers most anything, including "What do you think is the best domain name for this project?"
So when in doubt, ask your customers what they think. Give them a choice of a few domains you've narrowed it down to, and offer a prize of some sort to encourage participation. It works, and you'll end up avoiding potholes along the way.
Andrea J. Lee coaches entrepreneurs and online business owners. As Thomas J.Leonard's General Manager, she helped build and manage the largest network and trainer of personal and business coaches in the world. Now the CEO of Andrea J. Lee Group of Companies, she writes, speaks and consults on Marketing, Internet and Business systems. For more helpful tips, visit http://www.multiplestreamsofcoachingincome.com/join.html.
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Article Submitted On: November 13, 2004