123Designing's Choosing a Good Domain Name
Quick Domain Name Overview:
A domain name can be any combination or letters, numbers, or dashes. For example:123-d-e-signing.com. In the United States, most common domain names extensions (aka Top Level Domains) are .com, .net, and .org. There are many other domain name extensions that have been created in the previous years such as .tv, .biz, .info, etc.
How do domain names work?
A domain name works like an address forwarding service. All of your Web site content sits on a computer with an unique address. This is called an IP address. An IP address is made up of a series of numbers, such as 123.45.678.90. Your domain name directs visitors to your site using this IP address. We use domain names instead of IP addresses because most people find it easier to remember a name rather than a series of numbers.
How to Choose a Good Domain Name:
Here are some guidelines and tips on how to choose the best domain name for your website.
- The Shorter The Domain Name The Better. It is best if the domain name is under 15 characters. A shorter name is easier for people to remember and visitors are less likely to misspell or mistype it. For example, MadCool.com is a much easier name to remember and spell than madcoolwebsitethateveryoneshouldsee.com. On the other hand, ZXYQV.com might be a short 5 letter domain name, but no one will remember how to spell it.
- If Possible Stick With a .com Domain Name: Most people will type the .com extension by default because they are so used to it. The last thing that you want is to purchase a Net extension for your online business, and then lose the visitor when they mistype it as .com instead. Even worse is when the .com is currently or becomes an adult site.
- Purchase Common Misspelling of Your Domain Name: It's hard enough to get visitors coming to your website. The last thing that you want is to lose your visitors due to a misspelling of your domain name. For example, 4idols.com. Common misspelling for that could be foridols.com and 4idol.com. If you type in those domain names, you will see that it points to the original site: 4idols.com. So before you select your domain name, make sure that the other spelling of your domain name aren't taken.
Real Case Study: When I brought AsiaFinest.com, I didn't think people would misspell it and even if they did, they would see an invalid domain name and type in the right spelling. That changed as AsiaFinest.com grew to over 20,000+ visitors daily. Soon an adult website owner purchased AsianFinest.com to take advantage of the misspelling of our domain name. One of our Asian celebrities that we interview told us that the first thing she typed in was AsianFinest.com, which at that time was pointed to an adult site. She was shocked and almost declined our interview because she thought it was an adult site. Other visitors told us of how they would be at school or in a room full of people and misspelled our site, which resulted in a very embarrassing moment. I purchased AsianFinest.com from the owner soon after.
- Domain Names that Improves Your Search Engine Ranking: It is a good idea to include keywords into your domain name if possible. If your website is about freelancing, then the word freelance should appear in your domain name like FreeLanceCenter.com. Another way to improve the keyword in your domain name is by adding a dash between the keywords. For example: If your site is about Chinese green tea, then you might want to consider getting a domain name called: chinese-green-tea.com as well as chinesegreentea.com. The search engine will read chinesegreentea.com as one word, while chinese-green-tea.com will be read as 3 separate words. Those 3 separate word will help when people are searching for green tea, Chinese tea, or Chinese green tea.
- Try to Have Your Domain Name Start With The Letter A: A lot of online directories where you can list your websites are sorted alphabetically. Most visitors will click the first few links that they see. So if your website is called YummyWholesale or ZebraWebHosting, then your website will be listed all the way at the bottom of the list. So if possible try to have your name start with A, B, or C. Some directories will list numbers before the alphabets. So you could consider having your domain name start with a number instead. There is a slight risk to that suggestion, as some directories will list numbers after the alphabets.
Now that you have a guideline of what to look for in a domain name, the next step is to purchase a domain name. Domain names cost can range from $6.95 to $30 and up, depending on which domain name registrar that you pick. Feel free to take a look at 123Designing Domain Names Registration Service where domain names starts at $6.95 and up.
About The Author:
Ben Li is the founder of MadCool Network and has been working on websites since 1997. His websites has won numerous awards including Best Shopping Website from New York Magazine.
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