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Choosing a Domain Name

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Matt Jackson
October 23, 2006

Matt Jackson
About WebWiseWords This is one edition of the free Internet marketing newsletter that is written and submitted by WebWiseWords. WebWiseWords is a professional web content copywriter service specializing in page content, SEO copy, newsletter content, and much more.
Matt Jackson has written 2 articles for DomainInformer.
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The domain name of a website is often one of the most overlooked aspects of web development. Yet, when it comes to marketing, it is potentially a very powerful tool. Businesses looking to establish an online presence should use their website to assist in company or product branding whereas stand alone websites can promote their pages in the search engine results.

Company Branding

Company branding is a big part of business. Being recognized by your existing and potential customers can increase your likelihood of a sale and repeat custom. In order to achieve good company branding you should attempt to emulate your company name perfectly as your domain name. Often, however, this isn't possible because your domain is already owned by another webmaster. Attempt to procure a domain that is as close as possible to your company name.


Even if you are unable to get your company name as your domain ensure that it is logical. This means there must be some kind of link between the domain and your business. If you can use one or two relevant keywords in the domain then this will help with search engine promotion. This is a hotly debated point with many SEOs and webmasters but it can help give your site extra credence, a greater position in the search engine result pages, and will help when other sites want to link to you. The use of a keyword in the domain means that the anchor text used to point to your site will always contain your keyword.

Make It Catchy

Domains should always be memorable and catchy. Generally speaking, the shorter the better to aid visitors in remembering your URL next time they look for your service. Long domain names are very easy to forget or remember incorrectly. Avoid using slang that is not in very common use and always avoid using txt tlk as well.

Make It Smooth

Do not use hyphens. Generally, visitors will remember the words but forget the hyphens and there is a very good chance you will present your potential customers to one of your competitors. In terms of the search engines, this is important too. Search engines like Google deem sites with an overly large number of hyphens to be spammy sites and they will punish you accordingly.

Make It Com

The TLD domain is the last section of your URL. Some examples include .com and .net. The former, .com, is by far the best option. Visitors will almost always remember your site as a .com even if it isn't. Again, you could be gifting your competitors with your potential customers. There are very few exceptions to this rule. One notable exception is the latest .mobi domain names, designed specifically for sites that are meant to be viewed on a mobile browser such as a cell phone.

Make It Simple

When there are two or more similar domains that could easily be confused by your visitors, including something as simple as a plural of your domain, you should consider buying all the relevant domains and using redirects to point to your main site. This ensures that you still benefit from any errors in typing. You could also consider purchasing several top level domains if you want to be on the safe side. It may certainly be worth buying up local domains such as or .us.

Expired Domains

Expired domains offer huge benefit. When a popular domain expires it still tends to receive traffic and will also retain its search engine listing for some time. By buying an expired domain you could have a ready made database of visitors before you really get going.

A domain name is generally one of the very first things that potential visitors will see of your site. For this reason you should make it short, snappy, and memorable. If possible try to match your domain to your company name to assist in brand recognition but if this isn't possible, certainly try to include one or two major keywords. .Com is the ideal top level domain but you may also consider buying other top level domains to ensure you benefit from your marketing methods.

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