In order to start on online business you need a good domain name. Choosing an appropriate domain name should be right up there near the top of your business start up checklist. Many people have little or no idea of the importance that domain names (as well as business or site names) have on the SEO aspects of sites.
There are cases such as “dell.com”, for example, where the domain name in itself does not give any indication as to what the company is all about. If you didn’t know anything about computers or had been living in a cave for the last 15 or so years, then you probably wouldn’t know what sort of business Dell is. But since we do know that dell.com is the company site for the computer company Dell, and since Dell is in itself an extremely well-known brand name, they definitely don’t have any trouble with name recognition. However, having a site name that is “non-descriptive” is the exception rather than the rule.
In this article, we continue our series of tips on starting your own business by looking at ways of choosing good domain names for your online business. We’ll also suggest how you should go about exploring alternatives if you cannot get the exact domain name of your choice.
Tips on starting your own business — here are 3 considerations when choosing a domain name:
What’s In A Naim?
Naim is a renowned brand in audiophile audio electronics circles. Their domain name is naim-audio.com. A search for “Naim” will return almost 6 million results, with www.naim-audio.com appearing right at the top. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that there are other brands of unrelated products using the Naim “in” as their trade name and also in their domain names. But a person looking for Naim – the manufacturer of audio electronics – can easily identify the correct site from its domain name because it is hyphenated with the word audio, even without reading the site description. This goes to show that using a noun that describes the name will undoubtedly help differentiate your site from similarly-named ones.
Before deciding on a domain name for your site, do a quick web search first. Things to look out for include similar brands or companies. Take a look at how other companies have chosen their domain names by studying how these compare with their company names. Also do keyword research for keywords that suit your market and/or products. For example, if you are a retailer of New Balance shoes in Australia, your first choice may very well be newbalance.com. Since that’s already taken, try other keywords (nbrunning, newbalanceshoes, newbalancetrainers) or extensions (.com, .com.au., .net). Of course you could also differentiate your domain name by calling your store Mike’s New Balance Store with the domain name mikesnewbalancestore.com.au.
Keywords are an important element in helping your site in the search department, and this includes domain names. Just do a search for coffee beans and you will notice www.coffeebean.com appears just below a Wikipedia article about coffee beans.
You could have a long domain name, but shorter domain names (less than 7 characters) are easier to remember and tend to pass the phone test most of the time. The phone test is used to gauge how easy it is for people to roll a name off their tongues and also how easy it is to catch a name and spell it. Abbreviations can sometimes be useful as well. That said, one should not be too clever when coming up with domain names. Make sure your domain name can be clearly read and not easily mixed up with other abbreviations or words. Domain names should not be the least bit confusing.
Your domain name is essential to your online business because it represents your online identity. It’s how visitors will find your site, and how they will recognize it. This means that’s it’s extremely important that you choose a suitable domain name that matches your company’s identity. Making use of appropriate keywords to form your domain name will also help make your site that much easier to find on the Internet. And having a concise and clear domain name will make it easy for people to remember how to return to your site and let others know about it as well. So choose well!
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