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7 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

There's more to digital marketing than simply running ads on social media sites. If you're serious about drawing traffic to your webpage, you'll need a domain name that's easy to remember and good at speaking to the people. Here are just seven tips for productive brainstorming.

1. Keep It Simple

Your domain name should immediately tell customers what you're selling or advertising. Don't be afraid to be generic if that's the best way to establish your brand. There's nothing wrong with being known as PhoenixValleyCandles.com if you're selling candles in Phoenix Valley.

2. Look Up Synonyms

What if you're looking for something a bit more creative? It's time to hit the thesaurus. Look for words and phrases that bring to mind the images you're trying to associate with your brand; then make a list of nouns, adverbs and adjectives that you can play around with until you find a combination you like. For example, a list for an auto shop might include "cars," "mechanics," "grease," "hood," "bumper" and "exhaust."

3. Check Availability

There's no use falling in love with a domain name that's already taken. You'll also want to avoid names that sound like existing brands and could potentially take customers away from your site. For example, if you're thinking of registering BookBandit.com, check available domain names for BookBandits.com and TheBookBandit.com, too. If they already exist, you might want to choose something different for your own business.

4. Avoid Copyright Infringement

You'd be surprised by how many innocuous phrases are actually trademarked by big corporations. If you don't want to run into legal trouble while getting your business off the ground, make sure you aren't violating another company's copyright. There are sites where you can run checks for free, so take advantage of them.

5. Consider Your Extension Options

Not all websites end in dot-com (.com) or dot-net (.net). Depending on the kind of website you're hoping to run, you can also register dot-co (.co), dot-biz (.biz) and dot-me (.me). If you're operating a non-profit, you can register dot-org (.org). If you're putting together a commercial resource, you can apply for dot-info (.info).

6. Don't Misspell Anything

KoolKidz.com might appeal to your brand's aesthetic, but you're going to lose customers to CoolKids.com and KoolKids.com every time customers go searching for you. You might also lose interested parties who get frustrated typing out a dozen varieties of your name while trying to find the right one.

7. Avoid Numbers

In the same vein as the above, numbers just make things needlessly complicated when it comes to domain names. Are you Number1Produce.com or NumberOneProduce.com? Keep in mind that many consumers aren't savvy enough to plug your company name into a search engine. If they can't find you right away, they'll wander off to a competitor who doesn't make things so difficult for them.

These are just seven tips for choosing a strong domain name. Remember, virtual marketing isn't limited to banners and pop-ups. It starts with the words that customers type into the address box.

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