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Tips on Choosing a Domain Name
for Your Online Business

Think Before You Jump - There's Still Gold In Them There Hills!
 
Paul Smithson - 5th February 2009
   
paul smithson If you think all of the good domains are taken, you’re wrong.  There are plenty of great domains left, but you may have to be prepared to settle for second best. Second best can still be a really good domain; it just may not be the one or two word domain you were hoping for.

The first thing you need to do is decide on the purpose of your domain. If you’re developing a company website, or a website to sell one specific product, then you’re probably going to want to try to register the name of your company or the name of the product. 

You may find that a company with a similar name or product has already registered that domain, but don’t worry. You can add something to the end to find a domain you like. 


If your company’s name is “White Rose,” and you sell wedding supplies, you might find the domain whiterose.com is already taken.  But you could try variations such as whiteroseinc.com, whiteroseweddingsupplies.com, or whiteroseweddings.com.  You could also choose to register a domain that doesn’t have your company name it at all, such as weddingsupplies.com, or greatweddingsupplies.com.

If you’re running an e-commerce store, content website, or some other type of site that will rely heavily on search engine traffic, then you should probably try to get a domain that contains your main keywords. 

If you sell fishing rods, you’ll probably find that fishingrods.com is taken, but you could use a keyword research tool to find other popular phrases that are related to “fishing rods.”  You could try variations like customfishingrods.com, fishingrodsandreels.com, or cheapfishingrods.com.  You should be able to find something related that’s available.

You may be tempted to try to register a .net, .org, .info, or other extension.  There are a couple of reasons you might want to avoid this.  For one thing, the person who has registered the .com may have trademarked the name. If they have, this might get you into some legal trouble later.  Plus, many SEO experts believe .com domains have greater weight in the search engines than other extensions. 

Also, many people automatically type the extension .com when trying to visit a site they’ve been to before.  You don’t want to lose traffic to a competitor with a similar name if you can help it.

You can also make use of the hyphen to get a variation of a domain name that may have already been taken. For example, if newgishingrods.com has gone you could try new-fishing-rods.com. However, some search engine experts say that having more than one hyphen in a domain can damage your rankings in certain search engines, although there is little empirical proof of this, so better to get a good domain with two hyphens than a less satisfactory domain name with no hyphens.

The bottom line, as far as choosing domain names is concerned, is that you need to get your creative thinking cap on. You will usually find that the obvious ones have been taken and so there’s no option but to think outside the box, but don’t give up. There are literally billions of combinations of words, numbers and letters that can be used and so no matter what subject you choose there is sure to be a domain name out there that meets your needs.

Happy hunting!

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/tips-on-choosing-a-domain-name-for-your-online-business.html


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