Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

5 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name

We’ve had some fun in the past, pointing out “unfortunate” domain name choicesa couple of times. Clearly, having a good domain name is important for your business. For awhile it was the rage to create many web sites, with each domain name using a different keyword phrase for your business. Having  keywords in your domain name are substantially less helpful now.

How do you select a good domain name? Well, I have a modest list of rules that should guide you through the process.

  1. Make it easy to remember.
    You want people to return to your web site, right? They’re not going to search for you every timne; they’ll just type it in. So keep it easy to remember.
  2. Make it hard to misspell.
    There are web sites out there with common misspellings of domain names, lurking either to download malware onto a user’s computer or to entice the user to click on a Google AdSense ad. ( is an example of a common misspelling used that way.)
  3. Choose a .com name for your business.
    If the domain name you want is already taken, it may be tempting to register the same domain name but with a .info or .biz extension instead. Most people, though will type in .com at the end out of sheer habit. That’s bad enough if the .com version is an unrelated website, but if the .com version points to a competitor, you’re sending customers to them.
  4. Avoid hyphens.
    People never quite remember whether to use the hyphen or not … or just where in your domain name the hyphen belongs.
  5. Finally, shorter is better than longer.
    You always want it to be as easy as possible for people to do business with you. Don’t make them type in a long, complicated domain name. First of all, that’s likely to cause you to violate rules 1 & 2, but also, you don’t want to make it more difficult than it has to be to enter your address in a browser’s address bar.

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