Choosing a domain name is really important as it is the center of your internet business. There are lots of things that you need to consider while choosing a name because it will represent you on the Web. Here are my seven handy tips about choosing domain name -
1. Keep it short
There are places which let you register names up to 63 characters. You need to keep in mind that people won’t remember such big names. You should register short names which visitors and customers can remember. I always recommend my clients to restrict the domains to seven characters (suffix excluded).
2. Dot com, dot net, or something else?
There are plenty of extensions out there right now and I would recommend you to go for .com for businesses. This extension is used the most while searching for Websites. It is also the oldest extension around. This will show that you business is old enough and that you have a good presence on the Web.
3. Stay away from the trademarked names
I am saying this for two reasons and they are really good. First – it doesn’t look nice. You might have heard stories about someone who bought a “some-huge-multi-million-dollar-company.com” and then sold it to the company for a lot of money. But you need to remember that these companies have spent a lot of money and time for creating their brand and what goes around comes around. Also, the companies aren’t really signing checks for getting their names back; they just call lawyers.
4. Register your domain RIGHT NOW!
Domain names are getting snatched at lighting speed and hence you will have to register your domain fast or else you will end up with something that no one wants. You don’t need to have any ecommerce department or Webmaster or Web design consultant for this. You can book a domain even if you do not have any Web pages. Register fast or you will lose out.
5. One might not be enough
Sometimes, it is a good idea to register the similar domain names at once. You can register Chris.com and Chris.net at the same time or someone else might take it. You can also register the full company name and easier, shorter version for remembering it well. Some people might make typos for your company name. Don’t get a separate Web page for each. The typo domains can just point to the same Website.
6. Character types
You might know about this; domain names can only contain dashes, numbers, and letters. Symbols and spaces aren’t allowed. Also, the domain names aren’t case sensitive.
7. Ask around
If you have a shortlist containing your preferred names; then it is recommended that you ask your clients and friends about what they have to say. It isn’t hard to get a name that is too hard to remember for other people. Your domain should be easy to say, easy to spell and you shouldn’t need any explanation about why you choose that particular domain name. It should ideally be self-explanatory.
Finally, if you have got the right domain name but aren’t sure if it is the one .. then register it right away before someone else does it.
It is really important to select the right domain name for your blog. The importance of picking a domain is underestimated by a lot of people. Hence I am writing this article to tell you that this is serious and hence you should make the right choice. Pick up something that you think is the best. Here are my two bits to go about it.
Keywords - Keywords play a really important role in any domain. Good keywords help you to get a higher rank in search engines. Getting something like Webhosting.com can be pretty hard and you might need to spend a lot of money for it. However, niche markets are coming out these days and hence the keyword possibilities are increasing. So you should use your creativity for getting one keyword in your domain.
Branding -We sometimes forget about our audience and users in a quest for getting keywords. You should make sure that your domain is catchy and also easy to memorize so that the users can get back to your Website without forgetting about it. Sometimes, catchy and unrelated domains get the job done for you. For instance – Google; it has nothing to do with the search engine but still dominates the Web. Branding should be kept in mind while registering domain names.
Length, hyphes, etc. - Shorter domains are easier to memorize but you shouldn’t just buy looking at the length. If you get something like psju.com then it won’t be of any use because it doesn’t relate to your niche. You can use hyphens in the domain but try to avoid them because the value goes down as the domain name gets bigger. It is also recommended that you avoid double letters or else you might lost traffic to typos. Stay away from things like wordpresssetup.com; it will confuse the readers.
Extension - The most popular domain extension is .com but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just that. You should get an extension that suits the site the most. If your blog relates to any organization, then it should be .org. If you are being informative and your blog is an informational site, then .info is good too. .com is a big plus simply because people type .com without thinking anything else.
More than benefits, let’s focus of why is it crucial to have your own domain name. I have argued this a couple of times in past. However, the argument was quite casual, and I still meet people who are emphasizing on using free domains. Here are three significant reasons on why every blogger should have their own domain name; or why they shouldn’t have free domains.
1. Free Domain Names aren’t Really Yours
If you don’t know this, you must probably start reading fine print every time you come across a registration page. Most people have their pages on Blogger, and many earn a substantial amount every month. However, you will learn, after reading Blogger’s ToS, that you don’t really own the blog. It’s theirs. You simply own the content you write in it.
So, if you write content that’s unacceptable by the administrators, or if they feel you have violated any terms, they might delete your account, and you loose all your work. Besides, if your blog becomes popular, you don’t have the privilege to sell it off.
2. You Don’t Have Credibility
Actually you do, but not as much as you would having your own domain name. You will find several blogs on Blogger that cannot be termed as ‘good quality’ blogs. Moreover, some of them are spam. And, remember, you share the same platform. Hence, your credibility, no matter how hard you try, wouldn’t get the deserved boost.
3. You Don’t Have Flexibility
If you have your own domain name, you can modify your blog as per your needs and wishes. This benefit, however, cannot be enjoyed in Blogger. You wouldn’t be able to add special scripts. You wouldn’t be able to add pages. You cannot design it as per your wish.
As your blog becomes popular, you will realize the significance of flexibility. You will have to modify various things, which you wouldn’t be able to do in a free domain name.
People who have been using free domain names since years are now finding it impossible to grow beyond certain limit. It doesn’t cost much to book a domain. However, it would cost much if your growth is limited.
People are quiet confuse about what should they do once they buy an old domain. There are some aspects and wise tactics that could be followed once you have bought an old domain name.
Using 301 Redirect:
This is a technique that you can do once you have purchased an old domain. This is a very simple technique. What you have to do is redirect the old domain with your existing domain. Now here you have to make one thing clear that you can not merge any domain name with your existing site. Make sure that when you are redirecting an old domain name with your new or existing site, the names should be relevant as well as the keywords you are using and the content.
The benefit of using this technique is that you gather numerous appropriate links for your existing sites. Also it is least time consuming and you get approximately 95% of the value benefits because of the old domain links.
Things to be considered:
If the old domain name consists of the old branded anchor text there is no use of putting it into your existing site as it is not key word rich hence it’s of no benefit. If the old domain had a penalty on it and you have redirected it with your new website then there is possible chance that your existing website can also be penalized. Take precautions while using this technique.
Transformation of old domain to a Micro site:
Another technique is that you can do overhauling of the old site and transform it to micro site for your existing domain. This is beneficial only in the case if there is an exact match between the old domain and your existing domain on keywords. It also proves beneficial if your old domain had adequate and higher rankings for the targeted keywords.
Use of using this technique is that it can bring to your sites cross links branding and conversions for your existing site. You have a benefit of experimenting new things in your micro site which you would not prefer doing it on your main site and most importantly you do not require your site to be robust.
Things to be looked before opting overhauling technique:
Its time consuming as whole site need to be overhauled. There is a possibility of getting penalty on your site for doing reciprocal link exchange. There is not inheriting linkage as in case of 301 redirect technique. Micro sites are inefficient for usage.
Overhauling of Old Domain:
This technique is time consuming but is beneficial then the two described above. In this you can run both the domain i.e. old and existing alongside by selling the same product as are being sold at the existing domain. By doing this search engines get hold of your site and give you ranking for both alongside and also you are increasing the potential for the sale and conversions.
By using this technique if your both sites rank as per your targeted terms you can get more real estate in the SERP’s. In this technique you just need to focus on the ranking and conversions rather than looking for keyword rich domain.
Things to be taken care of:
You have to constantly keep a watch that the content you post on the old site should not be same or duplicate of what is already present in you existing site. This technique increases the work load as it is difficult to manage and maintain the old site. If you are cross linking with this technique it’s not recommended because you may come under consideration of the search engine which may penalize your site.
Each option suits for different individuals looking on how they can handle things. If you have experimented any of the three options is it proving beneficial to you? If yes then how and what changes your sites have come across on using such techniques?