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Choosing a Domain Name

Aug 19, 2007
Domain names provide the identity of a website. Choosing a domain name for your site can be difficult. You will want to choose something memorable, something that reflects your products and services, and something that is seo friendly.

Because there have been millions of people who set to the task of choosing a url before you did, finding seo friendly domain names that haven't already been taken can be a bit tricky. This is why it is a good idea to work on naming your website and choosing a domain name at the same time.

Here are a few other things to consider when choosing a url for your website:

One of the reasons that choosing a domain name is so difficult is the idea of branding. Your website name and your domain name are your brand, and they should be one in the same. Branding can be tricky because you are, in essence, establishing your website identity. You need a name that reflects what you will be promoting. For example, an informational website about debt will be best served with domain names that somehow mention debt, while someone selling books can have the option of choosing a url with a catchy name like Amazon.com or a name that describes the service, such as Bookfinder.com.

If you have already started researching domain names, then you have probably already heard several arguments about the benefits of choosing a short domain name vs. a long domain name. Both arguments have their points. A long domain name is generally more seo friendly and can better describe your products. A short domain name, on the other hand is easier to remember and easier to type into a browser.

When choosing a domain name, you can use up to 67 characters. This means that you don't have to settle for short, obscure, or abbreviated domain names. At the same time, it is unwise to use anything close to 67 characters. It simply leaves too much room for error when someone is typing in the browser name. A ridiculously long name will also make it difficult for people to share your website through word of mouth.

Sometimes, when webmasters can't get the domain names they want, they simply add hyphens. For example, if discountbooks.com was taken, one could simply add a hyphen and buy the domain name discount-books.com. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a url with a hyphen. The advantage is that search engines can better distinguish your keywords, making your website a little more seo friendly. The disadvantage is that it is very easy to forget a hyphen when typing and you run the risk of sending your site's visitors to your competitor.

Top Level Domains
When choosing a domain name, you also have to decide what you want your top level domain to be. While almost everyone wants to be a .com, that option may not be available to you. The good news is that there is nothing necessarily wrong with choosing other domain names that end in .net, .org, or even .biz.
About the Author
Cliff Posey, owner of CRP Marketing, owns and operates http://webbusinesstoolsonline.com. Cliff Posey has also operated several other successful web businesses including Love Song Cards and Radio Career Consultants. The content in this article was developed from his experience in these businesses.
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